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Introduction to Rhetoric

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1 Introduction to Rhetoric
AP English Language and Composition

2 Looking Ahead to the Rest of the Year

3 Preview of the School Year
Summer reading review and response Introduction to rhetoric and the AP Exam Colonial literature The Scarlet Letter Ages of Reason and “Renaissance” The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Research Paper – American author and book The Great Gatsby War (“What is it good for?”) and films Vocabulary during the whole year (buy book soon!) Lots of AP strategies throughout (writing and analysis)

4 Goals of This Next Unit and Rhetoric
Understand the components of rhetoric. Understand and apply the elements of the rhetorical ladder. Understand and apply the concept of rhetorical context. Learn and apply a strategy (SACPETS) for analyzing texts for rhetorical components. Understand and analyze texts according to various components of the rhetorical ladder. Experience a variety of “texts.”

5 Final Assessment of This Unit
At the end of this unit you will be given a text to analyze on your own. This will involve being given an AP-style analysis question about the text and then being given only a class period to read the text and write an AP-style essay. May the force be with you!

6 What Is Rhetoric?

7 What Is Rhetoric? Plato:  [Rhetoric] is the "art of enchanting the soul." (The art of winning the soul by discourse.) Aristotle: Rhetoric is "the faculty of discovering in any particular case all of the available means of persuasion." Cicero:  "Rhetoric is one great art comprised of five lesser arts: inventio, dispositio, elocutio, memoria, and pronunciatio."  Rhetoric is "speech designed to persuade."

8 What Is Rhetoric? continued
Quintilian:  "Rhetoric is the art of speaking well" or "...good man speaking well." George Campbell:  "[Rhetoric] is that art or talent by which discourse is adapted to its end.  The four ends of discourse are to enlighten the understanding, please the imagination, move the passion, and influence the will." Philip Johnson: "Rhetoric is the art of framing an argument so that it can be appreciated by an audience."

9 What Is Rhetoric? continued more
George Kennedy: “Rhetoric in the most general sense may perhaps be identified with the energy inherent in communication:  the emotional energy that impels the speaker to speak, the physical energy expanded in the utterance, the energy level coded in the message, and the energy experienced by the recipient in decoding the message.”

10 Essential Elements in Rhetoric
What is the context? What is the tone? What is the exigency? Speaker What is the purpose? What is the subject? The “text” Audience What strategies are used?

11 SACPETS: an analytical tool
Subject: What is the subject of this selection? (What is the main topic?) Audience: Who is the intended audience? Context: What do you know about the writer of this selection? What do you know about the background when this selection was written? Purpose: What is the message of this selection? What effect does the writer intend to have on the audience? Exigency: What is the need or lack of something that explains the creation of this text? Tone: What is the author’s attitude towards the subject and/or the audience? Strategies: What strategies does the writer use to convey the purpose of this selection?

12 Ultimately, Rhetoric boils down to . . .
What is the meaning of the text? (In other words, what is the author saying? What is the author’s message? What is the author’s purpose? What is the author’s tone? What is the author’s attitude? What are the author’s views?) How does the author show the meaning of the text? (What strategies are used?) And (sometimes) what do I think about these two areas?

13 Course Goals from the College Board
Upon completing the AP English Language and Composition course, students should be able to: analyze and interpret samples of good writing, identifying and explaining an author’s use of rhetorical strategies and techniques; apply effective strategies and techniques in their own writing; create and sustain arguments based on readings, research and/or personal experience; write for a variety of purposes; produce expository, analytical and argumentative compositions that introduce a complex central idea and develop it with appropriate evidence drawn from primary and/or secondary sources, cogent explanations and clear transitions;

14 Goals continued demonstrate understanding and mastery of standard written English as well as stylistic maturity in their own writings; demonstrate understanding of the conventions of citing primary and secondary sources; move effectively through the stages of the writing process, with careful attention to inquiry and research, drafting, revising, editing and review; write thoughtfully about their own process of composition; revise a work to make it suitable for a different audience; analyze image as text; and evaluate and incorporate reference documents into researched papers.

15 Some Tools for Looking at Strategies
Diction Syntax Rhetorical/literary devices Overall structure Appeals Purpose/Tone Exigency

16 Diction = Word Choice Creates tone, attitude, and style
Selection of details Why does the “speaker” choose the words and phrases that he does? What denotation do the words have? What connotation do the words have?

17 Syntax = Sentence Construction
Grammatical construction Simple Complex Repetition Inverted Periodic = main clause at the end of sentence with phrases, dependent clauses before it Questions Imperatives Exclamations Punctuation Parallelism

18 Rhetorical/Literary Devices
Allegory Alliteration Allusion Figurative language (metaphor, simile, analogy, symbol = non- literal language) Imagery (sensory images) Irony/satire/parody Metonymy (representative term is used for the actual object) Motif Onomatopoeia Oxymoron Personification Pun Synecdoche (part represents the whole: “all hands on deck”)

19 Rhetorical/Literary Devices, cont.
Rhetorical devices: Antithesis (two contrasting images/phrases) Hyperbole (“this is the most used strategy of all time!”) Deduction/Induction (general to details/details to general) Pacing Rhetorical question Understatement Ellipsis (. . .) Anaphora (“I came, I saw, I conquered.”) Litotes (“not a minor strategy to use”)

20 Overall Structure Induction/deduction Examples Compare/contrast
Cause and effect Classification Process Definition Narration Description Spatial

21 Related to “Modes of Discourse”
Exposition = illustrates a point Narration = tells a story Description = creates a sensory image Argumentation = takes a position on an issue and defends it

22 Appeals Ethos Logos Pathos

23 Ethos What does the person tell us about him or her?
How trustworthy is the speaker? How valid is the information the speaker uses? How biased is the speaker?

24 Logos What kind of information is used?
How reliable is the information? How logical is the information? How “documented” is the information?

25 Pathos How does the speaker appeal to our emotions?
How much does the speaker make us feel about the subject of his or her message? What kind of emotional responses does the audience have about the message?

26 Purpose/Tone What is the purpose of the speaker’s message?
What is the speaker’s attitude towards his or her subject? What is the speaker’s attitude towards his or her audience?

27 Some Tones angry dreamy objective apologetic sharp restrained vibrant
humorous upset proud frivolous horrific silly dramatic audacious sarcastic boring sad shocking nostalgic afraid cold somber zealous happy urgent giddy irreverent hollow joking Provocative benevolent joyful poignant sentimental seductive allusive detached fanciful candid sweet confused complimentary pitiful vexed childish condescending didactic tired peaceful sympathetic bitter mocking contemptuous

28 Exigency What is the context of the “text”?
What is the need for this message? What does the “world” lack that is being argued for in the “text”?

29 Activities to Practice Rhetorical Analysis

30 Practicing Rhetorical Analysis with a Film

31 Rhetorical Context of 300 This film is a fictionalized account of the Battle of Thermopylae of 480 BCE where an alliance of Greek city-states fight the invading Persian army in the mountain pass of Thermopylae. Though the oracles and the elders of Sparta warn King Leonidas not to fight the Persians (a force of over 100,000 soldiers!), he still does, enlisting the help of 300 Spartans, 700 Thespians, and a few other slave soldiers. Vastly outnumbered, the Spartans hold-off the Persians for three days, but they need reinforcements. The king’s wife, Queen Gorgo, asks the Spartan Council to send in the rest of the Spartan army to help the This is her speech to the Spartan Council.

32 Assignment Take notes on the text of the speech.
Fill out the SACPETS sheet on the film. oviespeech300queengorgo.html

33 Text of the Queen Gorgo’s Speech
Councilmen, I stand before you today not only as your Queen: I come to you as a mother; I come to you as a wife; I come to you as a Spartan woman; I come to you with great humility. I am not here to represent Leonidas; his actions speak louder than my words ever could. I am here for all those voices which cannot be heard: mothers, daughters, fathers, sons families that bleed for our rights, and for the very principles this room was built upon. We are at war, gentlemen. We must send the entire Spartan army to aid our King in the preservation of not just ourselves, but of our children. Send the army for the preservation of liberty. Send it for justice. Send it for law and order. Send it for reason. But most importantly, send our army for hope -- hope that a king and his men have not been wasted to the pages of history -- that their courage bonds us together, that we are made stronger by their actions, and that your choices today reflect their bravery.

34 Review of the Gorgo Speech
Watch speech again, paying special attention to the audience’s reaction and the strategies that Gorgo uses. Discuss SACPETS. What strategies does she use? This is what an AP question would look like for this speech: After some information about the context of the speech, the question would ask: “Write an essay that defines the central argument of Queen Gorgo’s speech and analyze the rhetorical strategies that she employs in her argument.”

35 More Practice with Rhetorical Analysis
One of the most popular contexts of rhetoric . . .

36 Elizabeth Glaser’s Address to the Democratic National Convention
Delivered on July 14, 1992, in New York City, New York. This convention nominated Bill Clinton as the Democratic candidate for president.

37 Rhetorical Context Prior to the Democrat Bill Clinton (president during the years ), the United States saw 12 years of Republican presidents: Ronald Reagan ( ) and George H.W. Bush ( ). HIV/AIDS was first recognized in the United States by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1981. Both the Reagan and Bush administrations were criticized for not doing enough for HIV/AIDS prevention and research, with many critics accusing the Republican administrations of marginalizing the disease to the gay community.

38 Background on Elizabeth Glaser
Wife of Paul Michael Glaser (actor in the popular Starsky and Hutch TV series in the 1970s). After being married to Glaser, Elizabeth became a mother of two children and then an “AIDS activist.” She co-founded the “Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation” in 1988.

39 Assignment Listen to and read the speech.
Mark up the speech for elements of SACPETS. Fill out SACPETS completely. On back of SACPETS, compare/contrast this speech to Queen Gorgo’s speech. glaser1992dnc.htm

40 Discuss Glaser’s Speech
Review SACPETS. What strategies does Glaser use in her speech? How effective is her speech? How is this speech similar to the Queen Gorgo speech?

41 What happened to Elizabeth and Her Son?

42 More Practice: Word Choice & Allusion in Bruce Springsteen’s “The Rising”

43 Some Background on Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen was born on September 23, 1949, in New Jersey. He became a “classic rocker” during the 1970s and 1980s, and he is still producing best-selling songs and albums. Nicknamed “The Boss, he is well known as a singer- songwriter who tours with the E Street Band. His songs focus on “heartland rock,” with poetic lyrics and Americana elements. Much of his writing focuses on working class people on the East coast. Some of his best known albums are Born to Run, Born in the USA, and The Rising. He likes “thematic” albums. Besides selling more than 65 million albums in the United States and 120 million worldwide, he has earned at least 20 Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes, and an Academy Award. Rolling Stone Magazine ranked him as the 23rd greatest artist of all time in its 100 Greatest Artists of All Time list.

44 Rhetorical Context of “The Rising”
The song called “The Rising” appears on Springsteen’s album also called The Rising. The song was written in late 2001 and the album was released in July, 2002. Tracks from the album: 1. “Lonesome Day” 2. “Into the Fire” 3. “Waitin’ on a Sunny Day” 4. “Nothing Man” 5. “Countin' on a Miracle” 6. “Empty Sky” 7. “Worlds Apart” 8. “Let's Be Friends (Skin to Skin)” 9. “Further On (Up the Road)” 10. “The Fuse”   11. “Mary's Place” 12. “You're Missing” 13. “The Rising” 14. “Paradise” 15. “My City of Ruins” 

45 Listen to the Song “The Rising”
Can't see nothin' in front of me Can't see nothin' coming up behind I make my way through this darkness I can't feel nothing but this chain that binds me Lost track of how far I've gone How far I've gone, how high I've climbed On my back's a sixty pound stone On my shoulder a half mile of line Come on up for the rising Com on up, lay your hands in mine Come on up for the rising Come on up for the rising tonight Left the house this morning Bells ringing filled the air I was wearin' the cross of my calling On wheels of fire I come rollin' down here Come on up for the rising Come on up, lay your hands in mine Come on up for the rising Come on up for the rising tonight Li,li, li,li,li,li, li,li,li There's spirits above and behind me Faces gone black, eyes burnin' bright May their precious blood bind me Lord, as I stand before your fiery light Li,li, li,li,li,li, li,li,li I see you Mary in the garden In the garden of a thousand sighs There's holy pictures of our children Dancin' in a sky filled with light May I feel your arms around me May I feel your blood mix with mine A dream of life comes to me Like a catfish dancin' on the end of the line Sky of blackness and sorrow (a dream of life) Sky of love, sky of tears (a dream of life) Sky of glory and sadness (a dream of life) Sky of mercy, sky of fear (a dream of life) Sky of memory and shadow (a dream of life) Your burnin' wind fills my arms tonight Sky of longing and emptiness (a dream of life) Sky of fullness, sky of blessed life (a dream of life) Come on up for the rising Come on up, lay your hands in mine Come on up for the rising Come on up for the rising tonight Li,li, li,li,li,li, li,li,li  Copyright © 2002 Bruce Springsteen (ASCAP)

46 Answer Questions about “The Rising”
Write down many details about the narrator and make inferences about the narrator? (who, what, where, when, how, and why) And the audience? Word choice: what is the significance/meaning of these words and phrases? Especially note the italics. "this chain that binds me" "sixty pound stone" "Left the house this morning" "bells ringing" "Wearin' the cross of my calling" "wheels of fire" "rollin' down here" "Faces gone black" "Mary in the garden" "garden of a thousand sighs" "catfish dancin' on the end of a line" "lay your hands in mine" "dream of life" "li, li, li, li, li, li, li, li, li"

47 More Questions Why use the pairs of words after each "Sky of" phrase? What is the effect? Explain the meaning of the four lines of the chorus: "Come on up for the rising" etc. What is the mood of the song? (How does it feel?) Why is the song called "The Rising"? What is the message of this song?

48 More Information about “The Rising”
One person’s interpretation: s-rising-and-september-11th.html It earned Grammy awards for Best Rock Song and Best Male Rock Performance of the year. Rolling Stone named it the 35th best song of the decade. During the 2008 U.S. presidential election, "The Rising" was first used as a closing campaign rally song by the John Edwards campaign. Despite the song's grim setting, the "Rise up" refrain matched the closing exhortation of Edwards' speeches. The Hillary Rodham Clinton campaign then began to use the song as well, especially at the end of her rallies or victory celebrations. Following Springsteen's April 2008 endorsement of Barack Obama, the Obama campaign began replacing U2's "City of Blinding Lights" with "The Rising" as their commencement-of-rally song. (From

49 More on the Song The song was also played immediately following Obama's victorious presidential acceptance speech on the night of November 4, 2008 in Grant Park in Chicago. Rolling Stone later remarked of its use there, "when its metaphor of struggling through darkness was blasted at Obama's victory celebration, it became a national anthem for the 21st century.” (from

50 Practicing with 9/11 Information
Answer the questions on the sheet about your knowledge of 9/11/01. Then read the article and answer the questions over that article.

51 Going over Article
How does your account of the attacks correspond to the article’s account? How accurate/reliable is this source? What is the “ethos” of this source? What is the purpose of this article? Who is the intended audience? According to the article, who is responsible for the attacks? How sure is the article? According to the article, how did the buildings collapse? Look at the paragraph with the quotations from George Bush. What rhetorical strategies does Bush use? Finally, look up the list of tone words from the PowerPoint on “Introduction to Rhetoric.” Pick at least two tone words from this list and explain how the tone words illustrate the attitude of the writer towards the subject of the article.

52 More Info on the 9/11 Attacks
Disclaimer: This is a study in rhetoric, not necessarily Mr. Anderson’s or Ms. Howard’s views. Loose Change 9/11: An American Coup Documentary film made in several editions 1st edition: 2005; 2nd edition: 2006; 3rd edition: 2007; and this edition in 2009. Narrated by Daniel Sunjata from the television show Rescue Me, who is a strong advocate of first responders. Written, directed, and edited by Dylan Avery. The forms of Loose Change have been viewed online over 100 million times and have sold 2 million copies of the DVDs.

53 Documentaries What do we know and expect about documentary films?

54 Assignment
Watch the prologue (the first 16 minutes) of Loose Change. Answer the questions about the film. Complete video can be found at: We will watch most of it in class. So don’t skip ahead. Just review.

55 When Watching the Prologue . . .
Pay attention to the choice of images and how the images are edited. Notice the narration (what is the tone of the narrator’s voice and what words are used?). Listen to the sound carefully (what sound effects are used and how is music used?).

56 Discuss the Prologue of Loose Change
How does music play an essential role in this prologue? Note the speed and intensity of the music. At what parts does music add to the visual images? Note carefully the choice of details in this prologue. What is the sequence of events in this prologue? What is implied by the sequence of events? Evaluate the use of ethos, logos, and pathos in the prologue. Give examples. Who is the intended audience of this film? What rhetorical context does the prologue establish for the rest of this documentary? At the end of the prologue, what is the stated thesis of the documentary? [Hint: it’s in the form of a question.] How effectively does the prologue lead to the thesis? Support your answer with examples. (In your answer, also consider the "documentary film" as a "text" for this thesis.)

57 Looking at the Structure of the Prologue
Leader Hitler FDR LBJ Bush and others Set-Up of the Inciting Incident The Inciting Incident (causes) Results (effects) Implications first examines mysterious and infamous events that reshaped world history – from the Reichstag Fire in 1933 that catapulted Hitler to dictatorship – to the Gulf of Tonkin Incident in 1964 that led to the Vietnam War, and then takes viewers on a turbulent journey through several pivotal moments in history before delving into the most significant catastrophe in recent memory, 9/11.

58 "THE WINK": CONGRESSMAN ALBERT THOMAS KNOWINGLY WINKS AT SMILING LBJ AFTER THE ASSASSINATION There is evidence that Lyndon Johnson was directly involved. Johnson was seen ducking down in his car a good 30 to 40 seconds before the first shots were fired, even before the car turned onto Houston street. Lyndon Johnson was acting as if he knew bullets would soon be flying, ducking down repeatedly before the shots went off. At the ceremony of Johnson being sworn in as president, Congressman Albert Thomas was photographed knowingly winking at a smiling LBJ, while JFK's grieving widow stood next to Johnson. “The Truth Behind the JFK Assassination”

59 Watch the Remainder of Loose Change
Watch until 1:13:00. And then watch again at 1:30:58 until the end. During the remainder of the film, pay close attention to the dates and times mentioned. Parts of the argument in this film involve the sequence of events.

60 Questions to Discuss over the Film
Who are the bad guys (who are the ones responsible for the 9/11 events?)? How are the bad guys portrayed? What are the arguments/conclusions in this film? What types of sources are used in the arguments? How are the arguments/conclusions stated? What rhetorical strategies are used in the arguments? What do the filmmakers want the viewers of this film to do?

61 Read Popular Mechanics
How does the magazine portray those who have created the "myths"? Compare/contrast the ethos of this magazine with the ethos of the film. Which is more trustworthy? Why? This magazine's article is structured with a "Claim/Fact" organization. How much does it address and to what degree does it address the claims made in the film? What kind of "facts" does the magazine give to refute the "false claims"? What is the purpose of the magazine's account? Who is the intended audience? What does the magazine want the audience to do? What strategies does the magazine use to support its arguments? How does the form (science magazine vs. internet video) help to shape the argument, purpose, and intended audience of message? Fun question to answer on back (unrelated to rhetoric): What do you believe to be the truth? Why?

62 Other Media in Regards to 9/11
Clips from Loose Change, 2nd Edition (1:19:50 to 1:23:50) Ministry’s song, “LiesLiesLies” The Onion’s article on “Talking to Your Child About the WTC Attack” child-about-the-wtc-attack,8058/ EdNews Parents on talking with kids about 9/11 an-expert-talking-to-your-kids-about-911

63 More Practice with Rhetoric
No longer related to 9/11 conspiracy theories! Read “Obama, the One-Term President” by Roger Simon. Answer questions about article.

64 Discuss Simon Article Read the title and the first paragraph (“Honest to goodness ”) of this article. Based on this, what do you believe Roger Simon thinks of President Barack Obama? What reasons does Simon give for supporting his assertion that Obama will be a “one-term president”? Read the remainder of the article and consider Simon’s main purpose in his writing. What does Simon suggest are the qualities that a president should have? In Simon’s view, how does Obama measure up to his suggested qualities of a president? Provide a few examples to support your answer. What methods does Simon use to communicate his views? Sample AP English Language Question: Write an essay that analyzes how Simon uses rhetorical strategies to communicate his view of the role of the president.

65 Looking at Cartoons Which of the three cartoons most supports Simon’s argument? Why? Which of the three cartoons most supports those whom Simon is attacking? Why?


67 Brief Tips on Responding to a Free-Response Essay Question
Read the prompt carefully, underlining the essential terms. Remember that your introduction should answer the prompt and that the essential terms should be focused on throughout the essay. Read the text of the prompt with SACPETS in mind! Mark up the text while focusing on: 1) What is the meaning of the text? (In other words, what is the author saying? What is the author’s message? What is the author’s purpose? What is the author’s tone? What is the author’s attitude? What are the author’s views?) AND 2) What strategies are used to show the meaning of the text?

68 Keep in Mind the Rhetorical Ladder
Diction Syntax Rhetorical/literary devices Overall structure Appeals Purpose/Tone Exigency

69 Key Elements in an Opening Paragraph
Author and title of the piece. Thesis that answers what the prompt is asking Normally, this includes the meaning of the piece with the elements that convey the meaning Devices that help interest the reader to continue your essay BUT NOT TOO LONG! (4 to 5 sentences)

70 Tips on Writing Body Paragraphs
Try to organize paragraphs around a major stylistic device being used in the passage. This is where you present your analysis related to what you said in the opening paragraph. As much as possible, use quotations, specific references, and details from the passage. Place quotation marks around the words, phrases, and sentences that you take from the passage. You should be referring to the key ideas from the prompt and from your opening paragraph.

71 Big Difference! Remember that the biggest difference between the mediocre/average essay and the excellent essay is the ability to explain how the strategies that you identify help to explain the meaning of the text! It’s your ability to answer the question: SO WHAT?!?!?!?

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