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Rhetoric in our Lives. Definition of Rhetoric: the art humans use to process messages sent and received. Rhetoric=Language is not accidental Use experiences to make rhetorical choices Unconscious, conscious, individual, universal, continuous use

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Rhetoric in our lives l.jpg

Rhetoric in our Lives


Definition of rhetoric the art humans use to process messages sent and received l.jpg

Definition of Rhetoric: the art humans use to process messages sent and received

  • Rhetoric=Language is not accidental

  • Use experiences to make rhetorical choices

  • Unconscious, conscious, individual, universal, continuous use

  • Negative assumptions: just used by professional speakers to manipulate message and coerce audience, lack of sincerity, deliberate falseness, unclear communication, ethically questionable


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Rhetor: writer, speaker, reader, listener

  • “a good person speaking well” Quintilian, Roman rhetorician

  • Art of analyzing all language choices in any given situation, so text has meaning, purpose, effect

  • Features of texts that give meaning, purpose, effect in a situation


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Skill at rhetoric means

  • Making good speeches, writing good papers, having a discerning eye and ear for others’ works

  • Reading beyond the meaning to analyze rhetor’s decisions to accomplish a purpose for an audience

  • Planning and writing good compositions

  • Determining what has already been said, what is yet to be resolved, and what might persuade audience to take action

  • Using full menu of choices judiciously to select most effective option


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Rhetorical Triangle

Speaker or writer

Audience

Subject


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Rhetorical triangle explanation: (Aristotelian triad from fourth century BCE)

A person creating or analyzing a text needs to consider:

  • Speaker or writer, personal character or persona (mask or character he wants to portray)

  • Subject and kinds of evidence used to develop it

  • Audience: their knowledge, attitudes, ideas, and beliefs and decides to be persuaded


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Understanding Persona

  • Ethos: rhetor can get the audience to perceive him as distinct, considerate, educated, trustworthy, and well-intentioned.

  • Inferences: rhetor can make inferences about another writer/speaker’s character

  • Voice: rhetor’s tone/attitude affects audience’s beliefs through diction (word choice), syntax (word arrangement), choice of ideas and details


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Understanding Appeals(Aristotelian)

Rhetor makes three appeals to audience:

  • Logos: clear, reasonable central idea (thesis/argument), developing it with reasoning, examples, details

  • Ethos: credibility of sender (author or narrator), ethical knowledgeable, believable

  • Pathos: emotions and interests of audience creates sympathy for rhetor’s idea (appeals to self interest)

  • Often simultaneous


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Purpose vs. Exigence

  • Exigence: Why is the author writing this? Think context. (What gets the author's goat/upsets him?)

  • Audience: To whom is the author writing?

  • Purpose: What does the author want his audience to do? (The author obviously wants the audience to share his exigence, but what else does the author want the audience to do?)


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Aristotle said rhetoric is useful because “things that are true and things that are just have a natural tendency to prevail over their opposite.”


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Web of Rhetorical Analysis

Exigence

Audience

Purpose

Logos

Ethos

Pathos

Organization/Whole Text Structure

Imagery

Figurative Language

Diction

Syntax

*A reader can enter a text at any point/level to get to another point/level.


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Understanding Subject Matter

  • Topic: must be open to interpretation, analysis, argument

  • KWL: give more info to satisfy curiosity

  • Thesis: claims and support

  • Invention: rhetor responsible for providing ample support


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Modified Rhetorical Triangle

Speaker or writer

Context and genre

Intention, aim,

purpose

Audience

Subject


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Outside of Triangle

  • Context: time, place, people, events, motivation, outside influence that help audience understand material

  • Purpose/intention: Every rhetorical transaction needs to have it.

  • Genre: chosen by rhetor to accomplish purpose


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Understanding context

  • Immediate situation/current events  immediate boundaries

  • Historical background  distant boundaries

  • Persona/identity of rhetor

  • Knowledge/beliefs of audience

  • Rhetor knows context to use to help audience understand his position and to connect positively with his argument


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Understanding Intention

  • What rhetor wants to happen

  • What rhetor wants audience to believe or do

  • Begin with intention: find evidence and present it fairly

  • Begin with topic: discover intention through research and writing

  • Reader draws on context, personal experience to discover rhetor’s intention and the success of the piece.


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Understanding Genre

  • Context + Intention  Genre

  • What in the context calling for?

  • Who needs to know my intention?

  • What is the best genre?

  • 5 paragraph essay not always appropriate


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