Structuring What You Know

The following is a structure that may be of benefit to you in creating a study guide from your notes this semester. You should not think of this as a comprehensive list of things you should know or be able to do, but as a structure for you to make such a list. Neither the examples nor the bullets beneath the categories are comprehensive. They illustrate for you to fill in from your studying.

Rhetors and Discourse of the Century

You should have basic knowledge of the rhetoric we have studied this semester, including at least the following:.

Rhetoric and Leadership

This knowledge links rhetorical activities to leadership. You can think of it as having particular rhetorical abilities when the demands of leadership call for it.

National Leaders (examples: Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Cabot Lodge, Franklin Delano Roosevelt)

You have learned about important political leaders from the century and also something about the rhetorical abilities national leaders must master. You should know these leaders, but also how they achieved leadership through mastering rhetorical abilities such as:

Movement Leaders (example: Emma Goldman, Martin Luther King, Harvey Milk)

You have learned about many movements during the century and also about those who used rhetoric to lead the movement and help it succeed. You should know the movement leaders we studied, but also account for their abilities to lead movements from their understanding of such things as:

Non-political Cultural Left (example: progressive writers, Al Gore)

Your study has extended beyond political leaders to other rhetors through society that through the force of their words influence the way we live our lives. You should know these leaders, and be able to account for their attaining leadership through the force of their words and the ideas contained therein.

Rhetorical Resources of 20th Century American Culture

This list should be characteristic rhetoric that transcends particular speakers (although they may influence it or even create it) and thus is available for all sorts of people -- public and leaders -- to call upon.

Cultural Orientations brought to life through standard rhetorical performance

Broad ways of talking, thinking, and living, supported by an underlying characteristic rhetoric through which ordinary people live their public lives such as

Rhetorical Forms and Motives

Ways of processing events to understand them and respond to them as public events such as

These include rhetorical motives, "Rhetorics of . . ." and common narratives used in discourse to understand events and respond to them.


Words or phrases that are pronounced in discourse to invoke values and public commitments, such as

Changing Media of Communication (examples: speaking, writing, cartoons, books, radio, television, public interaction)

20th Century Problems

This list identifies the material conditions of various times in the century converted into public concern with rhetoric and addressed to motivate public response. You will want to know how the conditions were created as a problem and how response to address them was motivated.


You should use the glossary on line and your notes to identify key terms and concepts such as "rhetorical strategy" and "public" to master the definitions of them.


You should develop a timeline something like the one on line capturing the events, speakers, and speeches of the century.

Things you should be able to do

Once you have mastered the knowledge above, essay and short answer questions will ask you to work with that knowledge. You should be able to do things like: