ERIC Number: ED357366
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Apr
Classical "Topoi" and the Academic Commonplace.
Musgrove, Laurence E.
An investigation of the various ways the term "topos" is used in classical rhetoric reveals the limited range of invention strategies offered by academic discourse pedagogy. Donald Bartholmae's work on basic writing addresses the relationship of the commonplace to topical invention within academic discourse. Investigation of the history of rhetoric reveals five categories of topoi: (1) dialectical; (2) particular; (3) propositional; (4) common; and (5) predicable. The belief that composition students should have access to a wide range of invention strategies justifies investigation of any academic discourse pedagogy that focuses on the particular and the propositional topoi of a specific discipline at the expense of the variety of common and predicable topoi shared by all disciplines. Composition courses should offer students an introduction to the general means of persuasion under the genus "topoi." Instructors should also introduce students to the two species of general and specific topoi; and to their further sub-species, the dialectical, the common, the predicable, the particular, and the propositional. Students should move from the general to the specific, from a wide range of general strategies for analyzing whatever knowledge they discover and produce in any rhetorical situation in and outside academia to an understanding that specific discourse communities in and outside academia expect particular means of persuasion. (SAM)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A