Using Contrastive Rhetoric in Legal Writing Pedagogy

15 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2020

Date Written: June 15, 2006


The paper focuses on the cross-cultural and cross-linguistic challenges for ESL students using contrastive rhetoric theory, a growing and evolving field of study, which focuses on the relationship of culture, language, logic, and rhetoric. The underlying assumption to contrastive rhetoric theory is that language and writing are cultural phenomena with culturally defined conventions and specific rhetorical expectations. Contrastive rhetoric focuses on making students aware of the different writing conventions, different roles of writers, and different audience expectations across language, culture, and even specific discourse communities, such as the legal discourse community in the U.S. Contrastive rhetoric today has taken on a multidisciplinary approach, encompassing the fields of applied linguistics, linguistic relativity, rhetoric, text linguistics, discourse type, literacy, and translation. It has expanded to many English for Specific Purposes (ESP) discourse communities, such as business and technical writing. Unfortunately, contrastive rhetoric has received little attention in the legal writing community despite concerns and observations by those within the legal writing community about the increasingly globalized legal writing classroom.

Keywords: contrastive rhetoric, legal writing, rhetoric, ESL, ESP, English for Specific Purposes, discourse, legal skills, LLM

Suggested Citation

Brown, Rafael, Using Contrastive Rhetoric in Legal Writing Pedagogy (June 15, 2006). Available at SSRN: or

Rafael Brown (Contact Author)

Qatar University College of Law ( email )

College of Law
Doha, 2713

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics