Rhetoric I

Full-year course.  The first year of a three-year high school sequence. Introduction to the techniques of persuasive writing. The initial focus is on sentence and paragraph construction; students then move on to the progymnasmata exercises (narrative, description, fable, proverb, anecdote, refutation/confirmation, commonplace, praise and blame, comparison, speech-in-character) to teach thesis establishment, development, and support; the year concludes with the construction of a persuasive piece following the pattern established by Aristotle in Rhetoric. Click here for an explanation of our writing and grammar curriculum, and sample course sequences.

Prerequisite: Preparation for Rhetoric Writing, or, at least two years completed study in Expository Writing, using Writing With Skill, the Institute for Excellence in Writing, Classical Composition, or a comparable program. For help in placement, see our writing assessment, which will be evaluated by Academy writing instructors.

Please Review Before Registering


  • Example Syllabus (Download the PDF)
  • Click here to purchase the course texts.
    • Paragraphs for High School: A Sentence Composing Approach, Don Killgallon
    • Durable Design: Classical Oration for Speeches and Essays, Michael Larson
  • Class meets twice per week for 50-55 minutes.
  • Class cap: average 12 students.
  • Designed for grades 9-12.
  • Students in grades 9-12 may be awarded 1 Language Arts credit upon completion of this course.