Document Type

Research Paper


Many American teachers can see differences between the way their domestic and international students organize an argument; fewer would be able to explain these differences. Due to the recent wave of Chinese students enrolling in American universities, many professors are grappling with cultural differences ranging from the unfamiliar classroom behavior to the diverse rhetorical styles of these students. Misunderstandings may form a rift between the students, who write according to their own Eastern rhetorical upbringing, and the professors, who assign and assess the writing based on their Western rhetorical tradition. As a result, many professors are looking for ways to bridge the gap; having a mutual understanding of the rhetorical traditions behind the American and Chinese styles of writing is a step in the right direction. A closer look at the European and Chinese rhetorical traditions, as well as a comparison of current American and Chinese composition pedagogies, demonstrates that there are both differences and similarities between the two traditions. With ever increasing numbers of undergraduate and graduate Chinese students in the United States, it is in the best interest of both the students, who will be expected to understand American rhetorical styles, and their professors, who will be expected to assess them, to understand something about wherein those similarities and differences lie.



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