What is Rhetoric?

Rhetoric is the study and art of writing and speaking well, being persuasive, and knowing how to compose successful texts and presentations. From songs and speeches to tweets and Facebook posts, Rhetoric is actively shaping our experience and the world in which we live.

  • Professor speaking in front of class
  • Two students working on a problem together
  • Two students in conversation
  • A Professor lecturing in front of a white board
  • Two students in conversation


The Writing Center helps all in the University community improve their writing, including attitudes and self-confidence about writing.


Our Speaking Center tutors work with students to improve their public speaking skills, gain confidence in joining class discussion, and improve basic conversational language skills.


The Conversation Center hosts one-on-one and small group conversation between international and domestic students to build cultural awareness and casual English skills.


Success in Rhetoric (SIR) (2012 Main Library; phone: 319-353-2747) offers fifty-minute, skills-based, small-group tutoring to any student enrolled in Rhetoric. Sessions are led by fellow students who have recently and successfully completed Rhetoric. Rhetoric students may conveniently drop-in at the beginning of any SIR session. Updated tutoring times and topics are available here: https://tutor.uiowa.edu/find-help/help-labs/success-in-rhetoric-sir/