Zdravka Biočina, Ivanka Rajh

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The paper points out the benefits of rhetorical analysis and rhetorical criticism in developing business communication skills. At Zagreb School of Economics and Management, both the American and the European approach to business communication have been combined, with LSP courses taught in the first year and business communication and rhetoric courses taught in the second year. An experiment was conducted on a sample of 99 students, including 57 female and 42 male participants, who were asked to assess the teenage activist Greta Thunberg and her speech at the UN Climate Action Summit in 2019. The research focused on the role of the gender in perception of quality, attractiveness of the speech, the use of ethos, pathos and logos, persuasiveness and the influence potential. The results showed that male students gave lower grades to Greta and her speech, unlike the female students, who would also be more willing to change their behavior as the result of listening to Greta’s speech. Nevertheless, these differences were statistically significant only for a limited number of questions. The potential gender bias to speakers should be addressed in the rhetoric and business communication course design. Exposing students to a diverse set of speakers increases their critical thinking skills, ensuring higher objectivity and bias-free assessment of speakers including their peers.


business communication, rhetorical analysis, rhetorical criticism, gender bias, student assessment

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22190/JTESAP2104693B


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