What are Rhetorical Strategies? Big ol’ name, but everybody uses them… What is “rhetoric”? Rhetoric is the “art or study of effective language.”
Big ol’ name, but everybody uses them…
Maybe you named some of these examples. People sometimes use the following techniques to verbally persuade:
Some people may be persuasive by using these techniques:
*enumeratio (listing or numbering ideas) – this logical presentation of information can be convincing because of its strong organization
*anticipation of opposition – some people may present very convincing arguments that are structured in contrast to what the opposition is likely to think or say
Some rhetorical strategies are generally more persuasive than others, but often the audience and circumstances may affect a rhetorical strategy’s persuasiveness. For example, if you wish to persuade the pastor of a church to plan a church outing, are you likely to get far with invective? Do you think you should use caustic satire as a persuasive strategy in a job interview?
Ralph : Hello, my gorgeous mother. Please, please, please take us to a magic show!
Mother : No, I will not “please, please, please take you to a magic show.” I won’t even take you to the dentist. You need to clean out the frog cage. I am incredibly disappointed in your neglect. Now go in there and do it.”
Ralph: But I can do that in the morning, Mom. You know what Benjamin Franklin says, “Plough deep while sluggards sleep.”
Mother : I am not going to pay $100.00 for you to disappear. Now get in there and deal with the frog.”
End of Argument
*Did you notice someone’s use of humor as a persuasive tactic?
*Did you notice any diction designed to express a particular emotion or to present an overall tone?
*Who made an allusion? Was it persuasive?
*Who used hyperbole?
*What about the “reductionist” tactic? Can you find someone’s attempt to reduce another’s argument?
Here are some highly persuasive speeches that are famous for their use of rhetorical strategies. (Get a copy and give them a careful analysis)!
*Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech (lots of metaphor!)
*Patrick Henry’s “Speech at the Virginia Convention” (great organization and powerful diction – “Give me liberty, or give me death.”
*Abe Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address” (note the cool parallelism and repetition)
*Chief Seattle’s speech has great rhetorical questioning (“How can you buy or sell the warmth of the land”? And “where is the thicket? Where is the eagle”?