The Available Means of Persuasion: Mapping A Theory and Pedagogy of Multimodal Public Rhetoric
by David M. Sheridan, Jim Ridolfo, and Anthony J. Michel

Book Review by Rachel Dortin, the University of Findlay


Application and Accessibility:

Overall, The Available Means of Persuasion is presented in an extremely accessible manner. The chapters have concise lists at the end reminding the reader what was discussed, acting as a guide when using the book as a reference. The pragmatic audience for this book is two-fold: students and teachers alike of composition. The text conveys to students in an easily understood way the importance of multimodal composition; brimming with examples, students also find inspiration for their own multimodal compositions. As a teacher of composition, the sample lesson plan for introducing multimodal composition into the classroom is extremely beneficial. Providing a chapter which explain how the class functioned is also important for several reasons: skeptical teachers can see the lesson played out, the audience sees the authors as credible for having put their new theory into action, and hearing student perception of the lesson plan allows teachers to envision how their own students might receive the shift in traditional pedagogical practices. The structure of the book provides the reader with the reason why the shift to multimodal public rhetoric is needed, what has to change to facilitate the process, potential drawbacks and methods to prevent said drawbacks, and an illustration of the new pedagogical process in practice respectively. Just as rhetoric is always evolving, the composition aspect of the field changes as well; The Available Means of Persuasion challenges students and faculty alike to adapt their composition practices to meet the needs of the ever changing public sphere.

Background Image: Andrew from Sydney. "Christmas Tree Bokeh." Photograph. Flickr. 11 Dec 2011. Web. 25 Nov 2014.