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Everything is an Argument You are bombarded with them all the time! The average American sees over 3000 advertisements per day (2012). In addition to advertising,

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Presentation on theme: "Everything is an Argument You are bombarded with them all the time! The average American sees over 3000 advertisements per day (2012). In addition to advertising,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Everything is an Argument You are bombarded with them all the time! The average American sees over 3000 advertisements per day (2012). In addition to advertising, we see argument in emails, texts, conversations in the hallway, television shows, movies; it’s everywhere!

2 Argument is Everywhere!


4 Rhetoric and Rhetorical Analysis  Rhetoric is the art of persuasion. Western rhetoric originated in ancient Greece as a discipline to prepare citizens to argue in court.  Rhetorical analysis is an examination of how well the components of an argument work together to persuade or move an audience.  Rhetorical (adj): hypothetical; use to produce a certain effect  Why do we use rhetorical questions?

5 Obvious Arguments  Make a direct claim based on evidence  Pushes readers/listeners to recognize problems and seek solutions  [W]omen unhappy in their marriages often enter full-time employment as an escape. But although a woman’s entrance into the workplace does tend to increase the stability of her marriage, it does not increase her happiness—The Popular Research Institute, Penn State University (p. 5 EAA)

6 Rogerian argument: approaches audiences in nonthreatening ways. See p. 7  Why is this Rogerian?  How does this appeal to audiences?  Who is the audience? Purposes of argument

7  What are your personal reasons for making arguments?

8 Aren’t Arguments About Winning?  When you argue to win, you are often trying to convince or persuade someone, and there are differences between the two.  Arguments to convince: lead audiences toward conviction, toward agreeing that a claim is true or reasonable. (p. 8 EAA)  Arguments to persuade: seek to move the audience from conviction to action. (p. 9 EAA) P. How does the last sentence change the argument? Why?

9 Purposes of argument To inform

10 Purposes of argument  Arguments to explore: exploratory arguments are useful in terms of opening a dialogue about an issue. The essential argument is that a problem exists, therefore the writer/reader needs to understand it and respond constructively.  Arguments to make decisions: closely allied to exploratory arguments, these arguments aim to make good, sound decisions about a particular issue. By the time you’ve explored the pros and cons, you should be closer to making a good, and more importantly, an informed decision.

11 Where does Gretchen Rubin’s argument fall?

12 Purposes of argument To meditate or pray Look at p. 13.

13 Occasions for Argument  Arguments about the past: (forensic arguments) common in business, government, and academia. They rely on evidence/testimony to recreate what is known about past events and offer an analysis of cause and effect. Why is it important to have these? How do they affect the present?

14  Arguments about the future: (deliberative arguments) often establish policies for the future, but can be speculative in nature, advanced through reasonable guesses and projections. Occasions for Argument

15  Arguments about the present: (ceremonial arguments) usually address contemporary values or widely held beliefs and assumptions that are often debated (inaugural addresses, sermons, eulogies, graduation speeches, etc). Look at the article on p. 17 and determine what kind of argument it offers. Occasions for Argument

16 Stasis  Another way to categorize arguments is to look at the issues they address. This system, developed in ancient Greece and Rome, is called stasis theory. The questions were posed in sequence because each depended on the question preceding it.  Did something happen?  What is its nature?  What is its quality or cause?  What actions should be taken? **Each questions/explores a different aspect and uses different evidence/techniques to reach conclusions.

17 Arguments of Fact  Involves a statement that can be proved or disproved with specific evidence.  To settle the matter, writers and readers need to ask questions about the “facts.”  Where did the facts come from?  Are they reliable?  Is there a problem with the facts?  Where did the problem begin and what caused it?

18 Arguments of Definition  Is playing video games a sport?  This argument depends on what one considers a “sport,” and whether or not the definition of sport is universal or fluid.  What conflicts over words are being defined today?

19 Arguments of Evaluation and Proposal  Arguments of Evaluation: Present criteria and then measure individual people, ideas, or things against those standards; leads us to wonder how a circumstance happened.  Arguments of Proposal: present the problem in such a way that the reader/audience responds by saying what can we do?

20 The Audience  Exploring stasis questions will help you to think about the audience you are addressing.  One should always write with intent, with the particular audience in mind.  However, a writer must also keep in mind that there are various dimensions of audience.  All texts, whether oral or written, have intended audiences, but they also have real readers who are not among the original audience envisioned by the writer.

21 The Context: Why is it important?  P. 24 EAA “Weasel-Words Rip My Flesh!”  Read “The Do-It-All Dilemma”  Why is Belle concerned?  As you compose your own arguments, think carefully about the contexts that surround your readers—and place your topic in its context as well.

22 Rhetorical Strategies: Ethos  Ethos: An appeal based on the character of the speaker. This appeal is based on whether or not the audience perceives the speaker as someone who is morally competent, trustworthy, and knowledgeable on the subject about which s/he is speaking. (Think celebrity endorsers, doctor testimonials, etc.) Example “Dad, you know I have always been a responsible son and I never taken advantage of the privilege to drive, and I know that you would not want me to miss my doctor’s appointment, as the school requires I have a physical before playing football; therefore, you should let me drive to school so that I may fulfill my obligation.”


24 Rhetorical Strategies: Pathos  Pathos: An appeal to emotions or feelings including fear, humor, romance, compassion, pity, etc… (Think SPCA / “Save the Children” videos) Example: “Dad, I feel really sick today… and you know I love school and would never want to miss any of my classes… so you should let me drive to school today so I can go to the doctor right after school before this gets any worse? In my weakened condition it would be hard to walk all the way there. If you loved me, you would let me drive.”


26 Rhetorical Strategies: Logos  Logos: An appeal to logic or rational reasoning. If you can explain real-life cause and effect and if/then situations, and make reasonable comparisons using facts and figures that can be verified, then you are using logos. Example “Dad, you should let me drive to school today because I have to go straight from school to a doctor’s appointment at 3:00, and I will be late to my appointment if I walk to school rather than drive.”


28  Kairos: An appeal that takes advantage of the suitable time and place for making an argument  Why do I avoid telling jokes? I have not mastered kairos…   When is it appropriate to send “happy birthday” to a friend on Facebook? Are you first? Do you send a private message? Rhetorical Strategies: Kairos

29 Other Rhetorical Strategies  Repetition: Speakers repeat things they want the audience to remember (“I have a dream…”)  Allusion: A reference to commonly known literature pieces, historical events, pop culture, etc. This gives the speaker credibility.  Diction: Strong and deliberate word choice. The words a speaker uses are incredibly important to convey his or her intended message.  Connotation: The emotion behind a word. Ex: retarded versus a person with a disability or skinny versus scrawny  Other devices that speakers commonly use are similes and metaphors, imagery examples, personification, etc.

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