Chinese Rhetoric and Writing: An Introduction for Language Teachers

By Andy Kirkpatrick and Zhichang Xu
Copy edited by Don Donahue.

CoverThe authors of Chinese Rhetoric and Writing offer a response to the argument that Chinese students' academic writing in English is influenced by "culturally nuanced rhetorical baggage that is uniquely Chinese and hard to eradicate." Noting that this argument draws from "an essentially monolingual and Anglo-centric view of writing," they point out that the rapid growth in the use of English worldwide calls for "a radical reassessment of what English is in today's world." The result is a book that provides teachers of writing, and in particular those involved in the teaching of English academic writing to Chinese students, an introduction to key stages in the development of Chinese rhetoric, a wide-ranging field with a history of several thousand years. Understanding this important rhetorical tradition provides a strong foundation for assessing and responding to the writing of this growing group of students.

About the Authors

Andy Kirkpatrick is Professor and Head, School of Languages and Linguistics, at Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. Directly prior to that he was Director of the Research Centre into Language Education and Acquistion in Multilingual Societies at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. He is the author of English as a Lingua Franca in ASEAN: A Multilingual Model (Hong Kong University Press, 2010) and the editor of the Routledge Handbook of World Englishes (2010). He is editor of the journal Multilingual Education and of the book series of the same name (both with Springer).

Zhichang Xu is a lecturer in English as an International Language (EIL) at Monash University, Australia. His research areas include Chinese English (as an emerging Expanding Circle variety of English), English language teaching (ELT), intercultural education, blended teaching and learning, academic writing, and Chinese studies. He is the author of Chinese English: Features and Implications (Hong Kong Open University Press, 2010), and the lead author of Academic Writing in Language and Education Programmes (Pearson, 2011).

Publication Information: Kirkpatrick, Andy, and Xu, Zhichang. (2012). Chinese Rhetoric and Writing: An Introduction for Language Teachers. Fort Collins, Colorado: The WAC Clearinghouse and Parlor Press. Available at

Publication Date: March 5, 2012

Contact Information:
Andy Kirkpatrick:
Zhichang Xu:

Table of Contents

In PDF Format PDF Format     In ePub Format ePub Format

Front Matter


1 Rhetoric in Ancient China

2 The Literary Background And Rhetorical Styles

3 The Rules of Writing in Medieval China and Europe

4 The Ba Gu Wen

5 Shuyuan and Chinese Writing Training and Practice

6 Principles of Sequencing and Rhetorical Organisation: Words, Sentences and Complex Clauses

7 Principles of Sequencing and Rhetorical Organisation: Discourse and Text

8 The End of Empire and External Influences

9 Party Politics, the Cultural Revolution and Charter 08

10 A Review of Contemporary Chinese University Writing (Course) Books


Works Cited


Perspectives on Writing

Series Editor: Susan H. McLeod, University of California, Santa Barbara

Acrobat Reader DownloadThis book is available in whole and in part in Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF). It is also available in print at Parlor Press.