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Communication Criticism: Approaches and Genres [Hardcover]

Karyn Rybacki , Don Rybacki
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

October 1990 0534141188 978-0534141189
This book should be of interest to courses in rhetorical criticism and rhetorical theory.

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4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful June 23 2003
Format:Hardcover
I used this course when I taught an upper level course in Massachusetts one summer and found it to be quite helpful in introducing students to the various critical approaches to communication. The book starts by explaining the purposes of criticism. It is pointed out that rhetoric or communication is "a deliberate attempt to influence the choices an audience makes" (p. 2). From there, six characteristics of rhetorical acts are discussed.
Subsequent chapters cover the various approaches to rhetorical criticism: the traditional approach, the dramatistic approach, the fantasy theme approach, the narrative approach, and the cultural approaches. The remaining chapters look at criticism in specific contexts, i.e., public speaking, film television, song, and humor.
The authors do a good job in exposing readers to a variety of approaches to the subject of rhetorical criticism. Their discussions are easy to follow and provide the essence of each of the approaches included. It was also a wise decision on their part to include the chapters featuring the specific contexts of communication. This helps readers to become aware of the various constraints found in a given means of communication.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great undergrad introduction text April 5 2000
By Craig E Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I've used this text for my undergraduate rhetorical criticism class for the last five years. This is a great text for introducing rhetorical criticism and rhetorical theory to students meeting "rhetoric" for the first time. The text's division into three sections makes sense. Section one gives a clear understanding of the goal and process of criticism in a way that applies to almost any rhetorical criticism. This lays the foundation for the actual application of theory which is where the second section comes in. It does a very good job of reviewing the five major schools of rhetorical thought. The dramatism chapter is especially clear compared to a lot of descriptions of Burke's ideas. The other strength within these chapters is that Rybacki and Rybacki give clear questions, often set apart in boxes, that can guide the students in their rhetorical analysis projects. The final section breaks down rhetorical criticism by communication genre. The music chapter is a little weak, mainly a history lesson. But the humor chapter is very well done. One last strength- the text ends each chapter with an anotated bibliography of articles relevant to the chapter. This gives the student or teacher a great place to take off on their own. I've found them a great way to assign independent projects or to find methodologies for papers. My two "complaints"- 1) The text really needs a new edition. It's old. It's still useful, but I'd love to see a new edition. 2) Sometimes the running examples used in chapters are boring or too old to compel student interest. Again, up-dating a newer edition would allow the authors to up-date their examples as well. On the whole, it's a great text if you're interested in teaching rhetorical criticism or if you're an undergrad interested in rhetoric. And if you're a college forensics coach and Communication Analysis scares you- buy this book.
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful June 23 2003
By Dr. W. G. Covington, Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I used this course when I taught an upper level course in Massachusetts one summer and found it to be quite helpful in introducing students to the various critical approaches to communication. The book starts by explaining the purposes of criticism. It is pointed out that rhetoric or communication is "a deliberate attempt to influence the choices an audience makes" (p. 2). From there, six characteristics of rhetorical acts are discussed.
Subsequent chapters cover the various approaches to rhetorical criticism: the traditional approach, the dramatistic approach, the fantasy theme approach, the narrative approach, and the cultural approaches. The remaining chapters look at criticism in specific contexts, i.e., public speaking, film television, song, and humor.
The authors do a good job in exposing readers to a variety of approaches to the subject of rhetorical criticism. Their discussions are easy to follow and provide the essence of each of the approaches included. It was also a wise decision on their part to include the chapters featuring the specific contexts of communication. This helps readers to become aware of the various constraints found in a given means of communication.
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