The basics of rhetoric
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The Basics of Rhetoric. An introduction. Learning Targets. Target 1: I can define rhetoric. Target 2: I can use the three rhetorical analysis questions to analyze a text. Target 5: I can differentiate between summary and rhetorical analysis. What is Rhetoric? . A few definitions to know.

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The Basics of Rhetoric

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The basics of rhetoric

The Basics of Rhetoric

An introduction


Learning targets

Learning Targets

  • Target 1: I can define rhetoric.

  • Target 2: I can use the three rhetorical analysis questions to analyze a text.

  • Target 5: I can differentiate between summary and rhetorical analysis.


What is rhetoric

What is Rhetoric?

A few definitions to know


Definitions of rhetoric

Definitions of Rhetoric

  • Aristotle’s Definition:

    • the art of observing in any given case the “available means of persuasion

  • Other Definitions:

    • “The study of effective speaking and writing.”

      • -Silva Rhetoricae

    • “ The art of speaking or writing effectively”

      • Merriam-Webster

    • “The art of effective communication”


The major players of rhetoric

The Major Players of Rhetoric

3 things to consider


The start of rhetorical situation

The start of Rhetorical Situation

Author – the creator of the communication

Audience – the receiver of the communication

Subject – the topic of the communication


What is rhetorical analysis

What is Rhetorical Analysis?

**Note: that was not a rhetorical question


The components

The Components…

  • Rhetoric = effective speaking and writing

  • Analysis = identifying the parts or features of something and explaining how these features work together


Rhetorical analysis

Rhetorical Analysis

  • Cameron’s definition:

    • Breaking apart the components of a piece of communication to examine the techniques an author uses for successfully getting a point across.

      • Communication mediums – speaking, writing, visual

      • Techniques of…

        • Language (our major focus)

        • Images

        • Verbal inflections


Summary vs analysis

Summary vs. Analysis

  • Summary is merely stating what the author says.

  • Analysis is dissecting what the author does with language to communicate powerfully.


So how do we start

So how do we start?

Ask 3 questions


3 rhetorical questions

3 Rhetorical Questions

  • 1. What is the message?

  • 2. How is the message being conveyed?

  • 3. Why is the message being conveyed?


We can read visual texts too

We can read Visual texts too!

  • Consider:

    • What elements/details catch the eye or seem important?

    • Does the visual have a title?

    • Is color (or the lack of it) used significantly?

    • How do different parts of the picture fit together?

  • Draw conclusions about the visual’s message.


Homework for tonight

Homework for tonight

Read “We are all writers now” & answer the three rhetorical questions for this text.


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