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Rhetoric Alive! Senior Thesis Student Workbook

  • Rhetoric Alive! Senior Thesis Student Workbook

Rhetoric Alive! Senior Thesis Student Workbook


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  • A yearlong course for grades 11-12


    The senior thesis is a capstone project, the crowning achievement in a student’s academic journey. In completing the thesis, students bring all that they’ve learned—reading, writing, and arguing—to bear on one issue. They learn the background of the topic, analyze other people’s arguments, and synthesize their findings and discoveries, putting it all together to form a true, good, and beautiful whole.

    Through the use of workshops, assignments, and presentation practices, the Rhetoric Alive! Senior Thesis workbook walks students step-by-step through the process of writing and then delivering a thesis. Students will gradually draft the six parts of the thesis—introduction (exordium), statement of facts (narratio), thesis statement (partitio), argument (confirmatio), counterargument (refutatio), and conclusion (peroratio)—as they are taken through the thesis process from start to finish, from choosing a topic to crafting a snappy title, and everything in between.

    Versatile and straightforward, this text can be used by students who are only writing a thesis paper, only delivering a spoken address, or doing both. Additionally, the genius of Rhetoric Alive! Senior Thesis is that it can be utilized by students using any rhetoric curriculum and even by strong students who have not yet studied rhetoric.

    Rhetoric Alive! Senior Thesis is an all-in-one resource—journal/scratch pad/research notebook and rough-draft-to-final-copy writing guide—that will equip students to create a strong, compelling, and well-crafted senior thesis. The text is spiral bound so that students can easily draft portions of their theses and take notes in the workbook, either in class or at home.

    To learn more about the value of the senior thesis, read Dr. Alyssan Barnes's blog post, "From Sophomore to Senior: Why Students Need the Senior Thesis," here.

    This is a consumable item. For more information on this product’s copyright, please refer to our General FAQ section here.


    What sets Rhetoric Alive! Senior Thesis apart from other rhetoric texts?

    • RA Thesis can be used in conjunction with any rhetoric curriculum
    • RA Thesis uses clear, accessible language
    • RA Thesis takes students step-by-step through the writing of the thesis, from start to finish
    • RA Thesis aids students in writing a paper, speech, or both
    • RA Thesis helps reluctant or struggling writers generate good ideas and organize them well
    • RA Thesis contains presentation practice and writing workshops in each chapter
    • RA Thesis supplies tips from former senior thesis students
    • RA Thesis includes sample student writing and an example of a complete student thesis
    • RA Thesis brings classical rhetorical theory to bear on a contemporary issue

    What people are saying about Rhetoric Alive! Senior Thesis:

    “It is crucial for contemporary students to know the classical rhetorical tradition. Dr. Alyssan Barnes takes this ancient wisdom and presents it in its full complexity, showing through helpful exercises and clear processes the practicality, richness, and wisdom of this tradition and how it applies to the modern student. Only a master teacher of the art, with long and deep experience, could have produced a book this valuable to students.” —Gregory Roper, PhD, Chair of English, University of Dallas, and Author of The Writer’s Workshop: Imitating Your Way to Better Writing

    “The senior thesis process can overwhelm students and parents alike. Research, writing, defending—these things seem like impossibilities. Thanks to Dr. Alyssan Barnes’s latest entry in the Rhetoric Alive! series, solace is just ahead. Rhetoric Alive! Senior Thesis offers hands-on, practical advice to help navigate the murky waters that often bog down thesis work.” —Sean Hadley, Thesis Director, Trinitas Christian School

    Students who have used Rhetoric Alive! Senior Thesis are saying:

    “This workbook walked me through writing a thesis in simple but elegant steps that kept me engaged and actually made me a better writer.” —Ben B.

    “At first, I was dreading the idea of doing a thesis, but this step-by-step method let me organize and express my thoughts in a fun and easy way.” —Grace M.

    “Before I did the exercises in this book, I wasn’t a very good public speaker. I am now much more confident sharing my ideas in front of an audience.” —Blake N.

    “With this workbook as a guide, I was able to understand and compose a proper argument. The explanations helped me organize my thoughts while writing my thesis.” —Will D.

  • Paperback

    ISBN: 9781600513572

    Pages: 248

    Dimensions: 8.5in x 11in

  • Alyssan Barnes PhD, Author

    Alyssan Barnes PhD

    Dr. Alyssan Barnes began teaching in 2001 at an urban classical school in Dallas, Texas, which offers a classical education primarily to less fortunate students. She now teaches rhetoric, Latin, and AP English at Live Oak Classical School in Waco, where her three daughters also attend. She completed her PhD in rhetoric in 2014 and wrote her dissertation on classical education. She is also the author of Rhetoric Alive! Senior Thesis Student Workbook.

  • Published Reviews


    "Rhetoric Alive! Book 1: Principles of Persuasion is the most comprehensive, classically focused rhetoric textbook that I have seen on the market. . . . The explanations are written in engaging prose, punctuated with easy-to-digest examples and a plethora of pleasant and performance-enhancing activities. Rhetoric Alive! Book 1: Principles of Persuasion serves as an excellent textbook for a first-year rhetoric course in the classical school or homeschool curriculum." —Joshua Butcher, Rhetoric Teacher, Trinitas Christian School

    “Rhetoric Alive! is a highly knowledgeable, comprehensive, and clear Aristotelian treatment of the art of rhetoric. . . . Its virtues are many, but two are especially prominent: its patient pedagogy and its detailed and interesting exercises. . . . This is a living rhetoric bound to animate the spoken and written suasions of any teacher or student who submits to its instruction.” (Taken from the foreword.) —Scott F. Crider, PhD, Author of The Office of Assertion: An Art of Rhetoric for the Academic Essay

    “This text has the potential to shake up English studies at the secondary level. It is a formidable and appealing innovation that is wonderfully old-fashioned and yet as fresh as anything I’ve seen in a long time.” —John Briggs, PhD, Director, University Writing Program, UC Riverside

    “Rhetoric Alive! moves Aristotle’s ideas and concepts out of the classical past and sets them on the bottom shelf for high school students—and the accomplishment is that it does so without reducing them, but instead revealing their relevance and worth. It delivers on the aspiration of the title: It brings Aristotle’s Rhetoric alive.” —Craig Doerksen, Head of the School of Rhetoric, Regents School of Austin

    “Combining Aristotle’s insights on rhetoric with examples of speech and writing ranging from Augustine to Shakespeare and from Emily Dickinson to Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. Alyssan Barnes has written an illuminating and useful guide for all K-12 teachers of the liberal arts. The selections are well-chosen and age-appropriate. The analysis is first-rate. The connection of past to present is exemplary. Excellent scholarship combined with practical applications.” —Dr. Peter Gibbon, Senior Research Fellow, Boston University