The rhetoric of science is a growing area of research, devoted mainly to the study of how scientists persuade each other. Scholars in this field have done their best during the past two decades to prove the “hard case” that the prototypical scientific text, the research report that seeks to establish a scientific truth claim, is amenable to rhetorical scrutiny. Rhetoricians engage in a variety of approaches to analyzing texts. The “method” of analysis adopted in the case studies to reveal how individual texts achieved their persuasive influence is a new approach to rhetorical criticism called “close textual-intertextual analysis.” The purpose of this modified approach is to explain how texts work by connecting rhetorical strategies to their effects on historical audiences. Rhetoricians engaging in close textual analysis tend to focus on a single text at a time. This new approach to rhetorical criticism, a “close textual-intertextual analysis,” provides a more reliable connection between internal form and external function.
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