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ERIC Number: EJ888886
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Apr
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1740-4622
Practicing the Ancient Art of "Memoria" in the Modern Classroom
Miller, Jackson B.
Communication Teacher, v19 n2 p48-52 Apr 2005
Memoria, one of the original five canons of rhetoric, has been described as a lost art. While "word-for-word" memorization and presentation of classic speeches was an important component of rhetorical training that "persisted through the middle ages," it receives no more than a brief mention (usually in the sections outlining different types of delivery) in most contemporary public speaking texts. The ancients believed that memory, and therefore the development of memory skills, was an important component of an education in rhetoric because it provided the student with the mental discipline necessary to craft, recall, and present oral arguments. For many modern students, the opportunities to practice memorization skills normally do not extend beyond cramming information for exams, and this sort of memorization rarely, if ever, results in a public presentation. This article introduces the oratorical address presentation, an activity that aims to challenge students' memorization and speaking skills by having them present an excerpt from a previously delivered speech. This memorized presentation helps students start to learn effective techniques for structuring, wording, and presenting oral arguments. The process of memorizing and presenting a short excerpt helps students understand how different public speakers can express the same ideas in different ways. A list of references and suggested readings is included. (Contains 1 note.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A