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Rhetoric LibGuide: Home

How can this guide help you?

LibGuide Focus

Learning - if you do not know much about rhetoric, our page of resources has links that will help you learn more about the subject generally.  You can find these links in the books and websites sections.

Researching - if you are doing a project or paper about a topic of rhetoric and need to research to find sources, our list of databases, journals, and books will help you.

Questions? Ask Butler Libraries!

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To contact the librarian that supports the discipline or subject area covered by this LibGuide, email Sally Neal, Associate Dean for Instruction and User Services,

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Guide Credits

This Guide was exists due to the great work of several Information Commons student employees: Alexis Schmidt, Quinn McKenzie, Lydia Gentry, Madeleine Lucchetti, and Seth Stone.

Creative Commons Attribution License

You are welcome to reuse the content of this Guide as long as you attribute Butler University Libraries.

Rhetoric Resources


Have you ever tried to communicate a point to an audience?  Whether you were giving a speech, writing an essay, or simply talking to a friend, you were engaging in practices of rhetoric.

To put it one way, rhetoric is:

The art of using language effectively so as to persuade or influence others, esp. the exploitation of figures of speech and other compositional techniques to this end; the study of principles and rules to be followed by a speaker or writer striving for eloquence, esp. as formulated by ancient Greek and Roman writers.  (Oxford English Dictionary Definition)


However, since so many people engage in and study rhetoric, it can be approached in a variety of angles by scholars.  Here are a few more definitions, which have been taken from websites that you can find in the resources section of this LibGuide.

Rhetoric, according to Aristotle, is the art of seeing the available means of persuasion. Today we apply it to any form of communication (TedEd Blog).
In brief, “rhetoric” is any communication used to modify the perspectives of others (Purdue Owl).
Rhetoric is the study of effective speaking and writing. And the art of persuasion. And many other things (BYU).

As these definitions allude to, rhetoric is a broad concept that takes time to understand fully.  Our guide provides resource so that you are able to learn about or research rhetoric in depth.

Finding Research

For your variety of research and learning needs, this Guide provides an array of rhetoric resources:

  • Databases/Journals/Articles
  • Websites

If you are looking for books, you can either click on any title in the scrolling widget above or use the search box below to see what we have in our collection. 

Butler Libraries' Catalog

The search below is WorldCat Discovery. Here's what you need to know:

  • It will bring back all sorts of good stuff - books, ebooks, evideo, articles, etc.
  • It's a large, flexible search - put in a title, author, or topic keywords

Find books, articles, media, and more at Butler and beyond

Advanced SearchPowered by 

When you see search results, it will tell you what type of material the item is (book, ebook, evideo, etc). It will also will tell you whether it is held by Butler University Libraries. If you see something other than Butler listed (WorldCat Libraries or PALNI), this means we don't actually own a copy here - but we can likely get it for you! Learn more about our PALShare and Interlibrary Loan options.

PHYSICAL CONTENT (Books, DVD/CDs, Musical Scores, etc.) 

After you make sure that the item is held by Butler University Libraries, you should be able to see whether it's currently available and where it is located. The students and staff at the Information Commons Desk are happy to help you find items on the shelves. Learn more about our collection locations and borrowing policies.

ONLINE CONTENT (Articles, eBooks, eVideo, etc.)

On the search page you may notice some blue buttons to "View eBook" or "View full text." If the item is held by Butler Libraries, this button should connect you with the content online. If it does not:

  • Sometimes links break or send you to the wrong page! If you can't get it to work, let us know.
  • There is a lot of variance in our eBook collection - even among those that say "held by Butler Libraries." Some are eBooks we already own that will allow for immediate viewing or downloading. Some are part of our DDA program and can be purchased once you give your login to let us know you want the item. Even within the DDA program there are variances - some eBooks can be instantly purchased, some require approval from library staff (done during M-F business hours), and some may limit the number of simultaneous users. Bottom line: check out our eBook LibGuide and ASK your librarian if you have any eBook questions!





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