Volume 27, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0155-0640
  • E-ISSN: 1833-7139
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Chen Kui was a scholar-official of the Southern Song dynasty. He published the (here translated as in 1170. This book is commonly described by Chinese scholars as China’s first systematic account of Chinese rhetoric. The book comprises ten chapters, covering aspects of rhetoric and composition, including the use of rhetorical devices, the functions and methods of citation, and the importance of using everyday language. Despite its acknowledged importance by Chinese scholars, The Rules of Writing’ remains comparatively unknown, even within China. This article will focus on three topics discussed by Chen Kui that I hope will be of interest to applied linguists and to teachers of academic writing, especially those involved in the teaching of academic discourse to international students of Chinese background. The three topics are: the appropriate use of language; the sequencing of argument when writing discursive texts; and the methods and uses of citation. It will be argued that writing styles are a product of the age in which they develop, and that these styles change significantly over time, no matter in which culture they may be set. Principles of Chinese rhetoric as discussed here have their counterparts in other rhetorics. They are not uniquely Chinese.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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