Rhetoric - the Art of Using Language Effectively or Persuasively RHETORICAL TRINITY: WriterAudienceContext
The Rhetorical Situation Writer Purpose Audience Topic Context
WRITER FACTORS WHICH CAN AFFECT YOUR WRITING INCLUDE: Your age Your experience Your gender Your location Your political beliefs Your parents and peers Your education
PURPOSE Purpose – the effect you wish to have on your intended audience. Major purposes for writing include: Expressing your feelings Investigating a subject and reporting your findings Explaining an idea or concept Evaluating some object, performance, or image Proposing solution to a problem Arguing for your position and responding to alternative or opposing positions Entertaining the audience
AUDIENCE Audience: To Whom are you Writing? Many of the same factors which affect the writer also affect the audience Age Social class Education Past experience Culture/subculture Expectations
CONTEXT The situation which generates the need for writing affected by the Time period or timing Location Current events Cultural significance
VOICE & TONE Voice represents the personality and/or style of the writer Tone is the writers attitude toward the topic (Passionate, serious, humorous … )
VOICE & TONE Voice and Tone reflect YOUR attitude about your subject and your audience. VOICE is WHO the audience hear talking in your paper, and TONE is the way in which youre doing the writing: Serious Informative Formal/Informal Humorous
DICTION & STYLE Style is a term for the effect a writer can create through attitude, language, and the mechanics of writing. A consistent choice of patterns and word choices will result in a coherent and harmonious style supporting the content Diction is a choice of words and informality or formality of a style based on word and pattern choices
DICTION (Continued) Dont pad your writing - avoid terms with nearly identical denotations: Talented and gifted; to persecute and oppress Avoid informalities, be aware of the differences between standard written English (used in most scholarly and professional communication) and writing that permits the use of slang, colloquialism, or deliberately irregular grammatical constructions – as in fiction, poetry, drama, etc.
DICTION (Continued) Avoid the use of I feel, I think, I believe, to me, etc. – its usually unnecessary. It also makes a statement sound more like an unfounded "opinion" than a well-considered and supported argumentative position. Do without such superfluous phrasing wherever you can, especially when it undermines the strength of an argument. Avoid using contractions (he's, she's, it's, let's, we're, you're, they're, isn't, aren't, weren't, he'll, she'll, they'll, don't, shouldn't, wouldn't, couldn't, I'm, I'll, I've, you've, we've, etc.) as they are too casual.
UNITY & COHERENCE Unity is the development of a single controlling idea usually presented in a thesis statement. Each sentence should develop this central idea and should not get off the main topic of discussion. Coherence is a connection between thoughts and the order of the content within a piece of writing. In Latin, coherence basically means to stick together.
COHERENCE (Continued) To make your essay coherent you may use the following tips: Repeat key words. Using synonyms may help as words are markers Use pronouns for important nouns Use demonstratives: This policy …, that event, etc. Use transitional words to link the thoughts and signal the type of relationship between the thoughts : therefore, moreover, however Establish logical order to the paragraphs and sentences within paragraphs such as cause to effect, or general to particular
Figurative Language Metaphor Simile Analogy Personification
Metaphor A metaphor makes an implicit comparison between dissimilar ideas or things without using like or as: You are a hog. War is hell. She was very old and small and she walked slowly in the dark pine shadows, moving a little from side to side in her steps, with the balanced heaviness and lightness of a pendulum in a grandfather clock. -Eudora Weltry To take full advantage of the richness of a particular comparison, writers sometimes use several sentences or even a whole paragraph to develop a metaphor.
Simile A simile is an explicit comparison between two essentially different ideas or things that uses the word like or as to link them. You eat like a hog. Life is like a box of chocolates. I walked toward her and hailed her as a visitor to the moon might salute a survivor of a previous expedition. - John Updike
Analogy Analogies usually involve explaining one idea or concept by comparing it to something else. An analogy is typically a complex or extended comparison. Admittedly capital punishment is not a pleasant topic. However, one does not have to like the death penalty in order to support it any more than one must like radical surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy in order to find necessary these attempts at curing cancer. Ultimately we may learn how to cure cancer with a simple pill. Unfortunately, that day has not yet arrived. Today we are faced with the choice of letting the cancer spread or trying to cure it with the methods available, methods that one day will almost certainly be considered barbaric and would certainly delay the discovery of an eventual cure. The analogy between cancer and murder is imperfect, because murder is not the "disease" we are trying to cure. The disease is injustice. We may not like the death penalty, but it must be available to punish crimes of cold-blooded murder, cases in which any other form of punishment would be inadequate and, therefore, unjust. If we create a society in which injustice is not tolerated, incidents of murderthe most flagrant form of injusticewill diminish.
Personification In Personification, the writer attributes human qualities to ideas or objects. The moon bathed the valley in a soft, golden light. -Corey Davis Indeed, haste can be the assassin of elegance. - T.H.White Blond October comes striding over the hills wearing a crimson shirt and faded green trousers. - Hal Borland