The Office of Assertion

An Art of Rhetoric for the Academic Essay

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“The best guide to the writing of essays that I have ever seen.” —Jeffrey Hart, professor of English emeritus, Dartmouth College

A frivolous argument or inflated claim is often dismissed with the reply, “That’s just rhetoric!” But as Scott Crider explains in The Office of Assertion, the classical tradition of rhetoric is both a productive and a liberal art.

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Description

The Office of Assertion has become an indispensable resource for college, high school, and homeschool students everywhere. In this short, practical guide to the art of persuasive writing, Professor Scott Crider reclaims the classical tradition of rhetoric while highlighting the most recent discoveries concerning the writing process.

A frivolous argument or inflated claim is often dismissed with the reply, “That’s just rhetoric!” But as Crider explains, the classical tradition of rhetoric is both a productive and a liberal art. The ability to employ rhetoric successfully can enable the student, as an effective communicator, to reflect qualities of soul through argument. In that sense, rhetoric is much more than a technical skill.

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Reviews

“The best guide to the writing of essays that I have ever seen.” —Jeffrey Hart, professor of English emeritus, Dartmouth College

“Scott Crider has done what I thought impossible: he has found the strong elements of current composition theory and folded them into a crisp, cogent account of traditional rhetoric. The result is a brief, lucid, yet thorough introduction to rhetoric for students, as well as a handy refresher for their professors.” —R. V. Young, professor of English, North Carolina State University; author of A Student’s Guide to Literature

“A brief, elegant text on a topic all too often treated esoterically. Crider makes of rhetoric a liberal art as well as a formidable instrument of persuasion. Particularly helpful is his chapter on revision, in which he makes clear that style is no mere decoration but a final result of both insight and labor. The Office of Assertion becomes in the end a guide to truthful utterance on all levels, with skill in language leading to fuller participation in culture and a nobler concept of the human.” —Louise Cowan, professor of English, University of Dallas; coauthor of Invitation to the Classics

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