Chinese Rhetoric and Writing: An Introduction for Language Teachers

Reviewed by Evelyn Ming Whai Shih, Assistant Professor, CU Boulder on 7/1/19

Comprehensiveness rating: 3

This text lacks an effective glossary, and would do well to include an appendix with original language quotations, since this is largely absent within the text. This is a work about rhetoric in Chinese, with some comparison with other traditions (such as Latin), so original language quotations for those who know the languages would be extremely helpful. I also feel that each chapter needs more substantial examples--especially contemporary ones, which would go far in demonstrating its point. Sometimes it seems to get lost in the history or abstract form of Chinese rhetoric, which is more of a pedantic point than something that would be useful.

Content Accuracy rating: 4

For the most part, seems to be accurate. There could probably be some more information, however--it's all a little general, and thus hard to dispute in terms of accuracy.

Relevance/Longevity rating: 4

I think it would be fairly easy to update this book, as it is mainly the last chapter that contains contemporary information. The rest is historical, and hence not terribly controversial unless some new discoveries are made.

Clarity rating: 4

It's pretty good on this count, which is impressive because it is constantly translating from different languages. I would only suggest that there should be more examples of the arguments presented.

Consistency rating: 4

Yes, there is definitely a consistent thread of argument going through it. In fact, the books seems to sacrifice some comprehensiveness in the name of maintaining a consistent theme throughout. I would actually like if it went on more productive tangents.

Modularity rating: 3

The text is presented in small digestible chunks. However, it could be more designed towards modularity; it seems a little difficult to excerpt. This has to do with its strong consistency throughout--seems meant to be digested as a whole.

Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 4

It follows a chronological order, and is easy to follow. It's just that sometimes the pay off for the arguments in each chapter are not very satisfying.

Interface rating: 5

This is not a problem for the text.

Grammatical Errors rating: 5

This was good.

Cultural Relevance rating: 3

This text does not really deal with diversity within China, which is significant. However, the aim of the book is actually to create engagement between Anglophone letters and Chinese language writing. So within the American university context, it does do some work to further diversity.