Speech (Rhetorical) Criticism




    “A second purpose a critic could have is to evaluate the rhetorical experience.  Such a critic also argues.  If one merely praises or blames a communicator without offering reasons for the judgment, such a person is an appreciator or a carper but not a critic.  Critics are distinguished by the ability to argue why a rhetorical product or process is excellent or objectionable” (Brockreide, 1985: 159)



      “Two critics can explain or evaluate the same event, using a different perspective by emphasizing different dimensions, constructs, or criteria – and emerge with differing interpretations.  Each person may shed light on the experience, on relevant constructs, or on both.  If each critic argues his or her interpretation well, a reader can find both arguments legitimate and interesting.  The value of criticism depends largely on the convincingness of the argument” (159).




Brockreide, Wayne. 1985. Constructs, experience, and argument. Quarterly

      Journal of Speech, 71; 151-163.