Rhetoric and Language

Eloquentia Perfecta - Excellence in Writing and Speaking

Voices of International Students
Martin Baro Scholars.
Voices of International Students
Voices of International Students panel.
Students in writing lab
Students in writing lab.
Speaker showcase
Speaker Showcase.

The mission of the Department of Rhetoric and Language is to teach all University of San Francisco students to communicate effectively and ethically in academic, civic, and professional contexts. Through our classes, service, and co-curricular activities, we advance the Jesuit ideal of eloquentia perfecta - reason and eloquence in writing, speaking, and literacy - and guide our students as they learn to engage critically with the texts that influence their beliefs, values and actions. 

Effective writing, speaking, and critical thinking skills are central to the University of San Francisco's mission and the hallmark of an educated person. Together the divisions of the Department stress all aspects of communication, literacy, and rhetoric. The department includes three areas:

Composition is designed to increase each undergraduate student's ability in writing, which includes not only how to write but also how to read analytically and to think critically.

Public Speaking introduces students to the fundamentals of oral communication and increases their ability to make effective presentations in classroom and public settings.

Academic English for Multilingual Students (formerly ESL) provides a variety of classes for multilingual students to assist them in refining their skills in written and oral English.

In addition to offering courses, the department houses several special projects and programs:

Writing Center - Faculty Writing Consultants work with students to help them improve their writing skills.

Writing for a Real World, a journal that publishes refereed student writing with commentary from students and their instructors is dedicated to providing a public forum for the finest student writing at the University of San Francisco.

DebateTeam offers students the opportunity to participate in both public and competitive speech and debate activities.

Speaking Center is available to help all USF students prepare for public speaking - including speeches, oral presentations, team presentations, and Powerpoint demonstrations.

Martín-Baró Living-LearningCommunity is a year-long, first-year program that focuses on poverty and social justice in writing, reading, and speaking.