Edward De Vooght


I obtained a bachelor's degree in Latin and Italian Literature and Linguistics (2017) and a master's degree in Modern Comparative Literature (2018). Even though literary studies are my roots, my passion lies with rhetoric, the art and theory of persuasion. In October 2018, I commenced my doctoral research on political rhetoric at the Center for Persuasive Communication (CEPEC) and the Center for Journalism Studies (CJS).

Edward De Vooght

PhD Project

Classical rhetoric has dominated our view on speech writing and persuasion ever since Aristotle. However, its effects and merits were never validated empirically. My research project, titled "How does style persuade?", takes the first step towards the validation of classical rhetoric in political speech. The project focusses on the effects of rhetorical figures in persuasive speech and establish the way in which rhetorical figures affect persuasion. The goal is to provide scholars, rhetoricians, political marketeers, journalists and speech writers with an empirically validated rhetorical framework that explains the persuasive gains of various rhetorical figures. In order to do so, I will first examine the use of rhetorical figures in political speeches from countries representing different media systems. Furthermore, by means of several experiments the effects of various rhetorical figures on argument persuasiveness will be established under different contextual circumstances. This project is supervised by Liselot Hudders (CEPEC) and Sarah Van Leuven (CJS).

Supervisors: Liselot Hudders and Sarah Van Leuven


Technicum, T1, Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 41, 9000 Ghent