English 11 - Kolbe Academy

English 11

Classical Rhetoric

Classical Rhetoric is a yearlong study in the skills of written and oral persuasion.  We will master these skills through the study of Aristotle’s Rhetoric, Traditional Logic, Figures of Speech, and a “Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading.”  While forming our own minds with logic and literary devices, we will read through those who have mastered these skills before us.

This course is based on The Rhetoric and Poetics of Aristotle and covers the first two elements of writing and oratory with which he dealt–the speaker and the audience.  The course is built upon

  • Reading & detailed note taking
  • Evaluative writing assignments
  • Weekly research
  • Analytical reading exercises
  • Figures of speech lessons
  • Review of traditional logic
  • Case study analysis

As a class, we will study three model speeches from Homer, Plato, and Abraham Lincoln as examples of the three branches of classical oratory, and students will enjoy analyzing Marc Antony’s “Funeral Oration” from William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar as an example of a great speech that defies all expectations.

Course Objectives:

  • The student will understand & apply the principles found in Aristotle’s Rhetoric
  • The student will learn how to read, mark, & summarize dense text
  • The student will learn classic figures of speech  
  • The student will learn how to analyze the effectiveness of his & others writing through traditional logical exercises

Suggested Prerequisites:

We suggest either Advanced Composition or Logic as prerequisites.  A review of Logic is also incorporated into this Rhetoric course.

Students taking this course for Kolbe Core (OK) credit will be required to submit 4 larger composition assignments per semester as chosen by their instructor.  Core students should also expect to have daily reading, shorter weekly written assignments, required participation, and exams as assigned by their instructor.  All requirements are assigned and graded by the instructor.

  • Classical Rhetoric with Aristotle Traditional Principles of Speaking & Writing
  • The Rhetoric and Poetics of Aristotle
  • Figures of Speech: 60 Ways to Turn a Phrase
  • MLA Handbook Eighth Edition
  • How to Read a Book (Optional)

Course Details:

Section Number



Mrs. O’Connor

Grades (Typical)

10 – 11 (11th)

Live Class Meets

1x per week

1 hr. 20 min.



Class Period



9:00-10:20 AM PT

12:00-1:20 PM ET



Credits (Type)

11 (English)

Transcript Designation


Companion Courses

Literature of Christendom

Era of Christendom

Apologetics & Church History II


This class is NOT offered at the Kolbe Honors (OH) level.