Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric and Technical Communication (PhD)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Humanities


Lauren M. Bowen


This thesis examines the ways in which linguistic minority students assert themselves as rhetorical agents when faced with the expectation of impromptu verbal responses. Based on a study that aims at identifying specific rhetorical strategies these students employ, the goal of this thesis is to theorize ways in which linguistic minorities deal with the challenges of fast-paced, high-stakes interactions. The practices that emerge from data analysis suggest that such strategies tend to be reactive rather than proactive and highly dependent on context. While they are valuable ways for linguistic minorities to navigate their ways in specific moments, the thesis argues that they are ultimately insufficient to create a sense of agency and empowerment. Future research hence needs to address ways in which strategies can be consciously trained and employed in order to create a more inclusive classroom experience for linguistic minority students.