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Elizabeth Britt

Professor of English

Beth Britt is a rhetorical theorist and critic whose research focuses on legal rhetoric. She is currently working on two projects: a study of 19th century legal education as rhetorical education and a study of intervention programs for domestic abusers.

Professor Britt teaches undergraduate courses in writing and rhetoric, including “Introduction to Rhetoric,” “Writing for Prelaw,” “Rhetoric of Law,” and “Style and Editing.” At the graduate level, she has recently taught courses in rhetorical theory, rhetorical education, and law & the humanities.

View CV
  • Faculty Fellow, Northeastern University Humanities Center, 2018-19.
  • Excellence in Teaching Award. Northeastern University, 2007.
  • Predoctoral Grant. Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, 1995-96.


Course catalog
  • Advanced Writing for Prelaw

    ENGW 3311

    Introduces students to legal reasoning and to the contexts, purposes, genres, audiences, and styles of legal writing. Emphasizes the role of writing and argument in U.S. legal culture. Using strategies drawn from rhetorical theory and criticism, students examine briefs, memoranda, opinions, and other legal texts to identify and describe techniques of analysis and persuasion. In a workshop setting, offers students an opportunity to evaluate a wide variety of sources and develop expertise in audience analysis, critical research, peer review, and revision.

  • First-Year Writing

    ENGW 1111

    Designed for students to study and practice writing in a workshop setting. Students read a range of texts in order to describe and evaluate the choices writers make and apply that knowledge to their own writing and explore how writing functions in a range of academic, professional, and public contexts. Offers students an opportunity to learn how to conduct research using primary and secondary sources; how to write for various purposes and audiences in multiple genres and media; and how to give and receive feedback, to revise their work, and to reflect on their growth as writers.

  • Introduces students to major concepts, traditions, and issues in rhetorical studies. Explores the range of ways that people persuade others to change their minds or take action; the relationship among language, truth, and knowledge; and the role of language in shaping identity and culture. Focuses on recognized thinkers from the Western tradition as well as writers that challenge the rhetorical canon. Emphasizes contemporary and interdisciplinary approaches to rhetoric interested in the entire range of rhetorical artifacts, with primary attention given to methods of critically investigating texts and their effects.

  • Style and Editing

    ENGL 2710

    Explores the relationship between style and substance through close attention to choices made at the level of the paragraph, sentence, and word. Introduces editorial processes and practices and gives students practice in editing for themselves and others.

  • Topics in Rhetoric

    ENGL 7360

    Focuses on specialized topics in rhetoric, such as visual rhetoric, rhetorical criticism, rhetoric of science, issues in contemporary rhetorical theory, and rhetoric and cultural studies.

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