An Introduction to Rhetoric Chapter 1
What is rhetoric? Aristotle defined rhetoric as “the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion.”
What do we use rhetoric for? • A position of strength • Ability to appeal to an audience • Persuasion= power • Resolve conflict • Persuade • Take action
Key Elements of Rhetoric Content • The occasion or the time and place it was written or spoken Purpose • A goal that the speaker or writer wants to achieve Read Lou Gehrig’s speech on p.1 and then listen to the link below. http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/lougehrigfarewelltobaseball.htm
In groups, identify the following in Lou Gehrig’s speech… • Delivered speech between games of a doubleheader • Contrast between his athletic career and life ending diagnosis • To remain positive • To downplay the fact that he has an incurable disease • To show that life must go on – baseball must go on Content Purpose
Ethos (Character) • Demonstrate that speaker is credible and trustworthy • Often emphasis shared values between the speaker and audience • Ex. A spokesperson against teen drinking might someone who emphasizes they are a parent of a teen who experienced the negative consequences of drinking underage • How does Lou Gehrig establish ethos?
Logos (Reason) • Offers clear, rationale ideas • Has a clear main thesis with specific details, examples, facts, statistical data, or expert testimony as support • Offers a counterargument • By conceding to an opposing view and then also refuting it, your argument becomes more valid and displays your careful consideration. (logic) • How does Gehrig establish logos? How does he offer a counterargument?
Pathos (Emotion) • Rarely effective is used exclusively • Achieved with figurative language, personal antecedent, imagery, and/or effective word choice • Vivid concrete description • Visual elements have strong emotional appeal • How does Gehrig’s speech establish pathos?
Check for Understanding • Silently read the letter from Albert Einstein to a 6th grade student on p.9 • In your notes, identify the subject, speaker, audience; context and purpose, and appeals to logos, ethos, and pathos. • With a partner(s), compare notes and answer this question: How rhetorically effective do you find Einstein’s response? • Be prepared to discuss your points with the class.
Visual Rhetoric • Subject: the death of Rosa Parks • Speaker: Tom Toles (award-winning political cartoonist) • Audience: readers of the Washington Post • Ethos: speaker and audience have shared admiration and respect for Parks (credible) • Context: memorial for Parks • Purpose: to remember Parks for her actions
Rhetoric in Literature p. 12 • Subject: Priam wants his dead son’s body • Speaker: Priam • Audience: Achilles • Ethos: Priam emphasizes he is an aging old man • Pathos: Makes connections to Achilles’ father • Logos: Priam offers “ransom” in exchange for his son • Context: After battle between Hector and Achilles • Purpose: to reclaim his son’s body
Arrangement • The organization of a piece • There is a framework for the essay; a beginning, a middle, and an end • Within that framework, the argument is structured to meet its purpose
The Classical Model 5 part structure for an oratory (speech) • The introduction introduces the reader to the subject; can be one or several paragraphs; draws the reader into the text; establishes ethos • The narration provides factual and background information; identifies the problem; level of detail relies on the knowledge of the audience; establishes pathos
The confirmation includes the proof needed to make the writer’s case; contains the most concrete details; establishes logos • The refutation addresses the counterargument; bridge between proof and conclusion; appeals largely to logos • The conclusions brings the essay to a satisfying close; can be one or several paragraph; writer usually appeals to pathos; answers the question, so what? Read and analyze the example on p.14
Arrangement According to Purpose • Narration • Description • Process Analysis • Exemplification • Comparison and Contrast • Classification and Division • Definition • Cause and Effect
Narration • Telling a story or recounting a series of events • Based on personal experience or knowledge gained from observation • Chronological sequence • Concrete detail, point of view, and sometimes dialogue • About crafting a story that supports your thesis Example p.17
Description • Unlike narration, description emphasizes the senses • Paints a picture • Used to establish mood or atmosphere • Rarely is an entire essay descriptive • Can make writing more persuasive • Readers more easily empathize with you and your argument by sharing your senses Example p.18
Process Analysis • Explains how something works, how to do something, or how something was done • Clarity is key • Explain subject clearly and logically with transitions that mark sequence • How to bake bread • How to assemble a treadmill • A self-help book Example p.19
Exemplification • Turns a general idea into a concrete one by providing a series of examples • Can use on extended example or a series of examples • Examples lead to a general conclusion • Induction – a type of logical proof (Aristotle) Example p.20
Compare and Contrast • A common pattern of development • Juxtaposing two things to highlight similarities and differences • Used to analyze information carefully • Organized subject-by-subject or point-by-point Example p.21
Classification and Division • Sort ideas or material into major categories • What goes together and why? • Readers and writers can make connection between seemingly unrelated things. • Used to break down a larger idea or concept into parts Example p.23
Definition • Sometimes, definition is required for meaningful conversation. • Lays the foundation to establish common ground • Definition can be a paragraph or two. • Definition can the purpose of an essay. Example p.24
Cause and Effect • What causes lead to a certain effect? • What effects result from a certain cause? • Either way, careful logic is key • Often signaled by a why in the title or opening paragraph. Example p.26
Check for Understanding • Silently read Jody Heyman’s essay “We Can Afford to Give Parents a Break” on p.6 • Make notes of the patterns of development. • With a partner in your group, compare notes and answer the following questions: • Which pattern prevails in the overall essay? • Which does she use in specific sections or paragraphs? • Be prepared to discuss points with the class.
When Rhetoric Misses the Mark • Sometimes effective rhetoric is a matter of opinion. • Is the following speech rhetorically effective? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7r4e5Wg4PDI • Read Mr. Collins’ proposal to Elizabeth Bennet from Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice p.26 • Is this rhetorically effective? • Which rhetorical appeal does his writing demonstrate?
Check for Understanding • Listen and follow along to the four texts related to the death of Princess Diana. • In each text, identify the purpose, speaker, audience, and subject in your notes. • With your group, compare and discuss your notes. • How does the interaction of speaker, audience, and subject affect the texts? How effective is each text in achieving its purpose? • Answer these questions in a group essay.