Chinese Rhetoric and Writing: An Introduction for Language Teachers
Andy Kirkpatrick, Griffith University
Zhichang Xu, Monash University
Copyright Year: 2012
ISBN 13: 9781602353022
Publisher: WAC Clearinghouse
Conditions of Use
This text lacks an effective glossary, and would do well to include an appendix with original language quotations, since this is largely absent within the text. This is a work about rhetoric in Chinese, with some comparison with other traditions... read more
This text lacks an effective glossary, and would do well to include an appendix with original language quotations, since this is largely absent within the text. This is a work about rhetoric in Chinese, with some comparison with other traditions (such as Latin), so original language quotations for those who know the languages would be extremely helpful. I also feel that each chapter needs more substantial examples--especially contemporary ones, which would go far in demonstrating its point. Sometimes it seems to get lost in the history or abstract form of Chinese rhetoric, which is more of a pedantic point than something that would be useful.
For the most part, seems to be accurate. There could probably be some more information, however--it's all a little general, and thus hard to dispute in terms of accuracy.
I think it would be fairly easy to update this book, as it is mainly the last chapter that contains contemporary information. The rest is historical, and hence not terribly controversial unless some new discoveries are made.
It's pretty good on this count, which is impressive because it is constantly translating from different languages. I would only suggest that there should be more examples of the arguments presented.
Yes, there is definitely a consistent thread of argument going through it. In fact, the books seems to sacrifice some comprehensiveness in the name of maintaining a consistent theme throughout. I would actually like if it went on more productive tangents.
The text is presented in small digestible chunks. However, it could be more designed towards modularity; it seems a little difficult to excerpt. This has to do with its strong consistency throughout--seems meant to be digested as a whole.
It follows a chronological order, and is easy to follow. It's just that sometimes the pay off for the arguments in each chapter are not very satisfying.
This is not a problem for the text.
This was good.
This text does not really deal with diversity within China, which is significant. However, the aim of the book is actually to create engagement between Anglophone letters and Chinese language writing. So within the American university context, it does do some work to further diversity.
The text itself is incredibly comprehensive in outlining the history, qualities, and changes in Chinese rhetoric. The authors provide sufficient supporting evidence and examples to address each subject. However, the textbook would benefit in... read more
The text itself is incredibly comprehensive in outlining the history, qualities, and changes in Chinese rhetoric. The authors provide sufficient supporting evidence and examples to address each subject. However, the textbook would benefit in having an index or glossary, so readers can look up names and terms more easily.
The textbook is supported by credible research and focuses primarily on informing the reader facts about Chinese rhetoric and its history.
This textbook can easily be updated with additions or edits to "A Review of Contemporary Chinese University Writing (Course) Books." The earlier chapters would require fewer updates as they are more focused on the history and characteristics of Ancient Chinese rhetoric.
The prose is concise and smooth; terms unfamiliar to the intended reader (those not familiar with Chinese rhetoric) are defined.
The chapters adhere to the introduction's overview of topics. Terminology such as "before-therefore" and "frame-main" are revisited to provide coherency throughout the text.
The textbook consistently uses centered, larger font headings for larger sections and left-aligned, smaller font sub-headings for parts of the text within the larger sections.
The order of the book is chronological, as it should be for an overview of Chinese rhetoric. Perhaps in the table of contents years could be listed for readers who know what time period they want to learn more about. However, the order itself is logical and clear with each chapter building off from one another. Ch. 6 and 7 go into more detail on "Rhetorical Organization," which is necessary for showing the external influences that affect said rhetorical organization.
There are no interface issues. Graphs and text were not distorted, and I could easily scroll to or enter the page number of the section I want to read.
The text appears to have no grammatical errors.
The textbook resists both reinforcing Western assumptions about Chinese rhetoric and its supposed limitations as well as resisting the simplification of Chinese rhetoric. This textbook provides a complex account of rhetorical practices by citing different and at times contradicting texts and scholars before putting them alongside each other. For instance, the authors argue how the supposedly "indirect" nature of Chinese writing is more of a "preference for inductive reasoning" (7), which is also found in Western rhetoric. Furthermore, the authors demonstrate how Chinese rhetoric can employ deductive reasoning as well (58), and thus Chinese rhetoric is not always "indirect" or reliant on inductive reasoning.
Chinese Rhetoric and Writing: An Introduction for Language Teachers is a valuable resource for not just instructors but people studying rhetoric as well. This text can help decentralize Western rhetoric and reorient non-Western rhetoric and those who use it away from being considered as the Other.
This volume offers a detailed description of rhetoric and writing instruction in historical and contemporary China. It covers history, major rhetorical forms, linguistic and cultural influences on rhetorical organization, sociopolitical... read more
This volume offers a detailed description of rhetoric and writing instruction in historical and contemporary China. It covers history, major rhetorical forms, linguistic and cultural influences on rhetorical organization, sociopolitical influences, contemporary writing instruction in China, and a comparison of Chinese and Western conceptions of rhetoric throughout history. An index would have been a welcome addition, but the table of contents is detailed enough for focused searching. This volume is an excellent introduction for language and writing teachers, and would also be appropriate for students of intercultural rhetoric.
The information is accurate and sources extensively documented.
With the increasing numbers of Chinese undergraduates studying abroad, this book has tremendous relevance for educators in Western countries, and as a well-documented historical analysis, it has longevity. Noteworthy developments in Chinese rhetoric and rhetorical instruction can easily be added to subsequent editions.
The content is clear, with detailed descriptions and analyses, extensive examples, and succinct cross-references.
The writing itself is consistent in style and tone. The chapters follow a consistent format of introduction, content, and summary.
Chapter topics are distinct enough to be assigned as independent readings. Information from one chapter is quickly summarized when it is relevant in another chapter, so chapters could be selectively assigned or reordered to suit course design.
The text flows quite smoothly through descriptions of rhetorical history, significant essay forms, linguistic and discourse principles, socio-political influences, and contemporary writing instruction.
There were no issues with the interface.
There were no grammatical errors.
The text is relevant as a sensitive portrait of the richness of Chinese rhetorical traditions, which also includes an informative synopsis of Western rhetorical traditions for comparison. Given its focus, the text is inclusive.
This volume is a welcome response to the unfortunate notion that Chinese students’ previous academic writing instruction interferes with their ability to write successfully in Western academic settings. The authors demonstrate that Chinese rhetorical traditions do include forms that are preferred in Western settings, but that the Chinese rhetorical repertoire is in fact much more diverse. Although the book’s subtitle is “An Introduction for Language Teachers,” it is not a “how to” manual for language teachers. It is instead an invitation for writing teachers to think beyond Western Anglo-centric forms when they consider (teach and assess) “good writing.”
The text introduces background material essential to understanding the aim of the book and then thoroughly covers what one must know in order to comprehend Chinese rhetoric and writing. read more
The text introduces background material essential to understanding the aim of the book and then thoroughly covers what one must know in order to comprehend Chinese rhetoric and writing.
The content is current and accurate.
The content is up-to-date and will relevant for many years. Due to the content, the text should not need frequent updates. When they are necessary, they will be relatively simple.
The text is clear and simple, providing explanations when needed for further clarification.
The ideas in the text are presented in a logical, straightforward manner.
The text is easily readable. However, in order to fully understand the aim of the text, one should read it in order.
The topics in the text are presented in a logical, straightforward manner.
The interface of the text is of good quality. Readers should not encounter problems.
There are no grammatical concerns.
The text is very culturally relevant.
The margins of each page are not consistent. For example, the left and right margins on page four and five are different.
This books provides profound knowledge to understand the development of writing system in the Chinese language. The chapters not only systematically link the evolution of the Chinese rhetoric, but covers all aspects of the Chinese writing system. read more
This books provides profound knowledge to understand the development of writing system in the Chinese language. The chapters not only systematically link the evolution of the Chinese rhetoric, but covers all aspects of the Chinese writing system.
As a linguist and Chinese native speaker, I would say this book is very accurate.
Globalization has an impact on language change. It would be nice to include a chapter or continuation to discuss how Chinese rhetoric has been influenced by the interconnected world.
The authors have done extended research to provide efficient examples and references, which help readers understand the concepts.
This book is very systematic and consistent. No confusion.
There are distinguishable sections in this book that instructors can easily manage the courses according to the subtopics. If the course follows the organization of the chapters, students will gain comprehensive knowledge of the Chinese writing.
I like the way how the authors organized the book in a chronical order and logical flow. Each chapter is also built upon the previous ones. This organization helps instructors design the course and helps students understand the materials.
Although there is no issues on the interface, it would be beneficial if it have provided graphs, especially because Chinese is such a semantic and visual language.
The book is well written. I don't find grammatical errors as an issue.
The book has focused on various eras rather than diversity. Although it includes a couple of chapters on political division and western influence, it would be nice to include information on language variations as China is made up by culturally and linguistically diverse groups.
This book is highly recommended for Chinese learners who want to gain comprehensive knowledge to master Chinese writing. It is also a great resource for scholars and teachers who want to explore Chinese rhetoric or refine second language pedagogy. I can see myself using this book in my teaching and to further explore my research in rhetoric in Chinese language learners and Chinese-speaking foreign language learners.
This textbook provides an intricate view into the history and tradition of rhetorical Chinese writing. It begins with the history of ancient Chinese rhetoric and ends with a review of contemporary Chinese university writing. This textbook would be... read more
This textbook provides an intricate view into the history and tradition of rhetorical Chinese writing. It begins with the history of ancient Chinese rhetoric and ends with a review of contemporary Chinese university writing. This textbook would be suitable for teachers of academic English writing, who teach Chinese students. However, I would consider this textbook complementary to additional resources, if one were to gain a solid grasp of how historical and traditional Chinese rhetorical writing influences the writing of Chinese students today. Perhaps connections throughout the text, or an additional chapter, on pedagogical implications would be helpful. An index or glossary would have also been helpful, considering the many foreign terms used repeatedly in the text. The book does include a helpful table of contents with descriptive titles.
The content shows accuracy with extensive citations, references, and cross references.
In terms of relevance, the book provides an excellent historical background on the history of Chinese rhetorical writing. In terms of longevity, the book can be easily updated as additional chapters can be added that review the latest course books on Chinese university writing. As mentioned previously, a discussion of pedagogical implications would be helpful, to include in relation to the updated material.
The book is thoroughly written, and most information is expressed clearly. Each chapter begins with an explanation of what will be discussed and ends with a conclusion of the main topics. In addition, it provides context, within the text, for the technical terminology used.
The book follows a logical sequence in the presentation of information and the explanation and use of terminology. It also provides a supportive structure in the building of historical background on Chinese rhetoric. However, any mention of pedagogical implications is very limited, and sporadic.
The book is divided into reasonably sized chapters with adequate subheadings within most chapters. Much of the content of this textbook is presented in a way that requires the reading of the previous chapters. This is only logical as the information builds upon itself, beginning with the ancient Chinese history of rhetorical writing and ending with contemporary Chinese university writing.
The content is organized in a way that builds on the student’s understanding and knowledge of previous chapters. Most topics are presented in a logical and clear fashion. However, some of the information requires memorization as the text refers to multiple, foreign/technical terms used earlier in the book. Perhaps this is where an index or glossary would be useful in order to avoid interruption of flow, as the reader is required to search extensively for the original reference to the term.
I did not notice any interface issues.
There were very few grammatical errors.
The text is culturally relevant as it addresses the argument that the academic writing of Chinese students’ is unique to their historic and cultural background and therefore interferes with their adaptation to the Western style of writing. The book provides a welcome and alternative view on the issue. In addition, I did not find the text to be insensitive or offensive in any way.
Overall, I think this textbook is helpful, informative, and includes a wealth of information. I would have liked to see a continuous link between each chapter and the current writing issues that present themselves in the classroom today, a link to the very issues that sparked this argument, with pedagogical implications. In other words, I found the history of Chinese rhetorical writing very helpful but would have liked additional information on how to better support Chinese students in the classroom today. This is why it is suggested that this textbook be used alongside additional resources.
Table of Contents
- Front Matter
- 1 Rhetoric in Ancient China
- 2 The Literary Background And Rhetorical Styles
- 3 The Rules of Writing in Medieval China and Europe
- 4 The Ba Gu Wen
- 5 Shuyuan and Chinese Writing Training and Practice
- 6 Principles of Sequencing and Rhetorical Organisation: Words, Sentences and Complex Clauses
- 7 Principles of Sequencing and Rhetorical Organisation: Discourse and Text
- 8 The End of Empire and External Influences
- 9 Party Politics, the Cultural Revolution and Charter 08
- 10 A Review of Contemporary Chinese University Writing (Course) Books
- Works Cited
About the Book
The authors of Chinese Rhetoric and Writing offer a response to the argument that Chinese students' academic writing in English is influenced by "culturally nuanced rhetorical baggage that is uniquely Chinese and hard to eradicate." Noting that this argument draws from "an essentially monolingual and Anglo-centric view of writing," they point out that the rapid growth in the use of English worldwide calls for "a radical reassessment of what English is in today's world." The result is a book that provides teachers of writing, and in particular those involved in the teaching of English academic writing to Chinese students, an introduction to key stages in the development of Chinese rhetoric, a wide-ranging field with a history of several thousand years. Understanding this important rhetorical tradition provides a strong foundation for assessing and responding to the writing of this growing group of students.
About the Contributors
Andy Kirkpatrick is Professor and Head, School of Languages and Linguistics, at Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. Directly prior to that he was Director of the Research Centre into Language Education and Acquistion in Multilingual Societies at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. He is the author of English as a Lingua Franca in ASEAN: A Multilingual Model (Hong Kong University Press, 2010) and the editor of the Routledge Handbook of World Englishes (2010). He is editor of the journal Multilingual Education and of the book series of the same name (both with Springer).
Zhichang Xu is a lecturer in English as an International Language (EIL) at Monash University, Australia. His research areas include Chinese English (as an emerging Expanding Circle variety of English), English language teaching (ELT), intercultural education, blended teaching and learning, academic writing, and Chinese studies. He is the author of Chinese English: Features and Implications (Hong Kong Open University Press, 2010), and the lead author of Academic Writing in Language and Education Programmes (Pearson, 2011).