What is the importance of rhetoric?

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lprono eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Rhetoric is described as the art of discourse and is therefore crucial for writers or speakers to communicate effectively and engagingly with their audience. The importance of the discipline is reflected in the theoretical works that it has continued to stimulate since the Ancient Greeks and the publication of Aristotle's Rhetoric. Although nowadays the discipline has lost its preminence in high school and university curricola it once enjoyed, the use of the right rhetorical strategies is fundamental  for authors to reach their goal of persuading those who are reading or listening that the arguments put forward make sense. Although the primary domain of rhetoric is obviously politics, every speech or writing act could be defined as rhetorical as it attempts to convey a particular meaning to a particular audience.