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What is Rhetoric?. According to Aristotle…. Rhetoric is “the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion.” Huh? Rhetoric is a thoughtful , reflective activity leading to effective communication , including the rational exchange of opposing viewpoints.

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what is rhetoric

What is Rhetoric?

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Common Core State Standards ELA

according to aristotle
According to Aristotle…
  • Rhetoric is “the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion.”
  • Huh? Rhetoric is a thoughtful, reflective activity leading to effective communication, including the rational exchange of opposing viewpoints.

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Common Core State Standards ELA

aristotle s rhetorical triangle
Aristotle’s Rhetorical Triangle

Speaker

ContextAim/Purpose

AudienceSubject

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Common Core State Standards ELA

assertion thesis claim
assertion/thesis/claim
  • a clear and focused statement
  • Ex: Lou Gehrig speech

(Appreciation Day,

July 4, 1939)

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Common Core State Standards ELA

context
context
  • Rhetoric is always SITUATIONAL—context is the occasion or the time and place it was written or spoken
  • What was the context for Gehrig’s speech?

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Common Core State Standards ELA

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Delivered the speech between games of a doubleheader
  • Poignant contrast between the celebration of his athletic career and the life-threatening diagnosis he had received

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Common Core State Standards ELA

a note about context
A note about context…
  • Be aware that sometimes context may arise from current events or cultural bias(bias: prejudice toward one side of an issue)
  • Ex: Someone writing about freedom of speech in a community that has experienced hate graffiti must take THAT context into account and adjust the purpose of the piece so as not to offend the audience (graffiti on a synagogue, swastika spray-painted on a garage door, etc.)

SNRPDP: Common Core State Standards ELA

purpose aim
purpose/aim
  • The goal the speaker or writer wants to achieve
    • Trying to win an argument?
    • Persuade us to take action?
    • Evoke sympathy?
    • Make someone laugh?
    • Inform? Provoke? Celebrate? Put forth a proposal? Secure support? Bring about a favorable decision?
  • What was Gehrig’s purpose when he wrote and then delivered this speech?

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Common Core State Standards ELA

he shows his purpose is
He shows his purpose is…
  • To remain positive by looking on the bright side and downplaying the bleak outlook

HOW DO WE KNOW THIS IS HIS PURPOSE?

    • One reference to the diagnosis
    • Straightforward language of strength: he got a “bad break” (no blame, no self-pity, no plea for sympathy)
    • Maintains his focus: to celebrate the occasion and get back to work—playing baseball

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Common Core State Standards ELA

subject
subject
  • The main idea
  • What is Gehrig’s subject?
  • Baseball…specifically, the New York Yankees (doh!)
  • His disease (briefly); the things for which he is thankful

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Common Core State Standards ELA

writer speaker
writer/speaker
  • the author, speaker, or the person whose perspective (REAL or IMAGINED) is being advanced in a speech or piece of writing
  • persona: speaker, voice, or character assumed/adopted by the author of a piece of writing
    • Are you speaking as a poet, comedian, or scholar?
    • Are you speaking as an expert on swimming or popular music?
    • Are you speaking as a concerned citizen in your local community?

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Common Core State Standards ELA

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What do we know about Gehrig as the speaker? Does he use a persona? What does knowing this tell us about his approach, the language choices he makes?
  • Understands his audience: He presents himself as a common man, modest, glad for the life he’s lived
  • He’s a baseball player; doesn’t “put on airs”

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Common Core State Standards ELA

audience
audience
  • One’s listener or readership; those to whom a speech or piece of writing is addressed
  • Who will read/hear your writing/speech and what will they be expecting?
    • College application  admissions officers at a university
    • Resume  prospective employer
    • Letter to the editor in local newspaper  entire community
  • What does the audience know about the subject?
  • What is the audience’s attitude towards it?
  • Is there common ground between the writer’s and reader’s views on the subject?

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Common Core State Standards ELA

choosing rhetorical strategies

Choosing rhetorical strategies

What is a strategy?

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types of appeals
Types of Appeals

The “three musketeers”: Ethos, Logos, and Pathos

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Common Core State Standards ELA

ethos
Ethos
  • A writer’s/speaker’s appeal to character to demonstrate that s/he is credible and trustworthy
  • The speaker’s expertise, knowledge, experience, training, sincerity
  • Often emphasizes shared values between the speaker and the audience

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Common Core State Standards ELA

examples of appeals to ethos
Rhetorical Situation

Speech discouraging children from using alcohol

As a parent speaking to other parents in the community

Appeal to Ethos

Stressing you are a concerned parent, psychologist specializing in alcoholism, recovering alcoholic

Showing that you share a concern for their children’s education or well-being

Examples of Appeals to Ethos

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Common Core State Standards ELA

other ways to establish ethos
Other ways to establish ethos…
  • Reputation
    • Being a scholar
    • Being known as an expert in your field
  • The discourse (writing or speaking) itself
    • Making a good impression (setting a tone of goodwill) from the type and thoroughness of the information presented

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How does Lou Gehrig establish ethos in his speech-- what makes him credible, sincere, trustworthy?
  • How do teachers establish ethos with students?

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Common Core State Standards ELA

logos
Logos
  • An appeal to reason by offering clear, rational, logical ideas
  • Gehrig’s speech may seem largely emotional, but considering his thesis “I am the luckiest man on the face of the earth,” what two points (facts) also support this thesis?

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Common Core State Standards ELA

gehrig s logos
Gehrig’s logos…

(1) his seventeen years of playing baseball (FACT)

(2) his belief that he “never received anything but kindness and encouragement from [his] fans” (FACT/EVIDENCE)

  • The fact that he has gotten a “bad break” does not negate (cancel) these two FACTS

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Common Core State Standards ELA

another way to use logos
Another way to use logos…
  • counterargument: to anticipate objections or opposing views

(remember…ignoring opposing views makes you VULNERABLE)

  • concede you agree that an opposing argument may be true, but then you refute deny the validity of all or part of the argument

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Common Core State Standards ELA

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How does Gehrig address a counterargument in his speech?
  • He concedes what some of his listeners may think—that his bad break is cause for discouragement or giving up—but he disagrees because he “has a lot to live for” (a contrasting way of viewing his situation)

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Common Core State Standards ELA

pathos
Pathos
  • An appeal to emotion
    • Usually includes:
      • Vivid, concrete description
      • Figurative language
      • Visual elements (think about ads)
  • Note: Writing should not rely exclusively on pathos
    • propagandistic: designed to sway opinion rather than present information
    • polemical: an argument against an idea (philosophy, politics, religion)

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Common Core State Standards ELA

einstein s letter
Einstein’s Letter
  • Read Einstein’s letter to sixth-grader Phyllis and respond to the prompt

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review
Review…
  • Can you explain the following to your neighbor?
    • Aristotle’s Rhetorical Triangle (5 parts)
    • The difference between speaker and persona
    • How one develops ethos
    • The difference between logos and pathos
    • Bias
    • Counterargument (define  concede, refute)
    • Define  polemical and propagandistic

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Common Core State Standards ELA

arrangement classical model
Arrangement: Classical Model
  • Introduction: introduces the reader to the subject under discussion
    • draws readers into the text by piquing their interest, challenging them, or getting their interest
    • often where the writer establishes ethos
  • Narration: provides factual information and background on the subject
    • establishes why the subject is a problem that needs addressing
    • length and development of this section depends on audience’s knowledge of the subject
    • often appeals to pathos because the writer attempts to evoke an emotional response about the importance of the subject

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Common Core State Standards ELA

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Confirmation: includes the development or the proof needed to make the writer’s case
    • usually the major part of the text
    • “nuts and bolts” of the essay
    • contains most specific and concrete details in the text
    • generally makes the strongest appeal to logos

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Common Core State Standards ELA

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Refutation: addresses the counterargument
    • Usually appeals to logos
    • Provides a bridge between writer’s proof and conclusion
  • Conclusion: brings the essay to a satisfying close
    • May remind the reader of the ethos established earlier
    • Usually appeals to pathos
    • Does not repeat earlier ideas; brings it all together and answers the question “so what?”
    • These are the words the audience is most likely to remember

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Common Core State Standards ELA

slide31
description: emphasizes the senses by painting a picture of how something looks, sounds, smells, tastes, or feels
    • Often used to establish mood
    • Essays are not usually entirely descriptive; can be used to make writing more persuasive (makes it easier for them to empathize with you)
    • Description is often used in conjunction with other rhetorical modes

SNRPDP: Common Core State Standards ELA

recitation review
Recitation/Review

Explain the following to your neighbor:

  • Aristotle’s rhetorical triangle
  • Another word for thesis
  • Difference between speaker and persona
  • What is ethos, logos, and pathos?
  • Define  refute, concede, polemical, propagandistic, implicit
  • What are the 4 (main) rhetorical modes?
  • What is unique about mode of description?
  • What is a trait that is unique to narrative writing?
  • What mode would process analysis fall under? Why?
  • What are the five sections of the classical model (in order!)?
  • What is an implied thesis?
  • What is the “key” to a good process analysis?

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Common Core State Standards ELA

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exemplification: providing a series of examples—facts, specific cases, or instances—to turn a general idea into a concrete one

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comparison and contrast: juxtaposing two things to highlight their similarities and differences
    • used to analyze information carefully, revealing insight into the nature of the information being presented
    • required OFTEN on exams
    • can be organized in two ways:
      • subject by subject (discusses all elements of one subject, then turns to another)
      • point-by-point (organized around specific points of the discussion)

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Common Core State Standards ELA

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classification and division: sorting of material and ideas into major categories
    • “What goes together and why?”
    • Most of the time, writers develop their own categories to find a way to break down a larger idea or concept into parts

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Common Core State Standards ELA

classification
classification
  • can be:
    • (1) binary breaks down into two parts (those with a certain feature and those without it)
      • smokers/non-smokers, runner/non-runners, believers/ non-believers
    • (2) complex  may have to sort into multiple categories and subcategories
  • thesis statement lets readers know WHY you are classifying
  • make sure that categories you choose don’t overlap
  • make sure you include all essential categories
  • might want to outline first with headings and subheadings

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Common Core State Standards ELA

division also analysis
division (also: analysis)
  • slicing into parts (not categories)
  • separate the subject into its elements  infer their meanings  explore the relations among them  and draw a conclusion about the subject

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Common Core State Standards ELA

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definition:to ensure that writers and their audiences are speaking the same language, definition may lay the foundation to establish common ground or identify areas of conflict
  • oftentimes the first step in a debate or disagreement

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Common Core State Standards ELA