Rhetoric Rhetoric is defined in the English 101 textbook Writer Citizen as: “We define rhetoric as the intentional use of language or symbols to accomplish a specific goal with a specific audience (1).” Rhetorical analysis involves looking at communication (written, oral, or visual) in a goal- oriented (purpose-driven) and audience-focused way Works Cited Houser, Catherine, Jeanette E. Riley, Kathleen Torrens. Writer/Citizen. Iowa: Kendall Hunt, 2010. Print.
Communication Whether writing, speaking, or communicating visually 3 elements are essential for communication to take place
3 Parts to Communication 1.WRITER or SPEAKER: conveys the message (written, spoken, or visual) 2.AUDIENCE: receives the message 3.SUBJECT: what the message is about
Writer (or speaker) Audience Subject the text 3 parts of communication work together to create the text
The rhetorical triangle is a tool to help you think about and analyze the way we communicate
Persuasion No matter what form of communication you choose, you are trying to convey your ideas effectively to your audience in order to get them to agree with you The Rhetorical triangle includes 3 kinds of appeals identified by Aristotle to help you be persuasive
Three APPEALS Writer ETHOS Audience PATHOS Subject LOGOS the text The appeals are Greek words from Aristotle’s time
Aristotle’s Three APPEALS ETHOS: appeals based on the character, expertise, and reputation of the SPEAKER PATHOS: appeals based on the values and beliefs of the AUDIENCE LOGOS: appeals based on logic, reasoning, and facts (evidence) about the SUBJECT
Purpose Whether you are trying to persuade a friend to stop doing homework and go to a party with you, analyzing the use of symbolism in The Scarlet Letter, or convincing the UMD community to stop littering in a Torch article you have an audience-focused PURPOSE for your writing Make sure the audience understands what you want them to think or do after reading your essay (this is purpose) Use the rhetorical triangle to help you tailor your communication to appeal to your audience persuasively
Writer Chancellor MacCormack Audience The Torch Subject Tuition Increase the Text Situation 1
Details about Situation 1 Writer: Chancellor MacCormack (Is the head of UMD it is her job to run the University) Just like the president of a company she must make sure UMD is financially secure Audience: UMD Torch (students) (The Torch is the UMD Student Newspaper) Students will not readily accept a tuition increase, they will need to be persuaded Subject: Tuition Increase Why is it necessary? Facts are needed to persuade students
Appeals in Situation 1 Writer: Chancellor MacCormack Can draw on her credibility as an expert (ethos) whose job it is to keep UMD financially secure Audience: UMD Torch (students) Must consider PURPOSE: What does the writer want the audience to think or do after reading? She wants them to accept the tuition increase, what appeals will help her achieve this? Students need to be persuaded with appeals based on what they value (pathos) such as: upgrading computer labs, new library addition, upgrading the sports facilities, upgrading the dorms, hiring new faculty/staff, salary increases for faculty/staff, to offset costs of increased scholarships based on financial need The success of the Torch article depends on appealing to a wide range of students (do any of the possible appeals work for you?) Subject: Tuition Increase The writer must choose the facts (logos) most likely to appeal to the widest range of students in the audience
What happens when we change the audience? Writer Chancellor MacCormack Audience Faculty Email Subject Tuition Increase the text Situation 2
Appeals in Situation 2 Writer: Chancellor MacCormack Can draw on her credibility as an expert (ethos) whose job it is to keep UMD financially secure Audience: Faculty Email Must consider PURPOSE: What does the writer want the audience to think or do after reading? She wants them to accept the tuition increase, what appeals will help her achieve this? Faculty are not effected by the tuition increase—unless they are getting raises The email can be informational. Good news if there are raises (pathos), plain old news if the audience isn’t directly affected Subject: Tuition Increase The writer must present the facts (logos) clearly
What happens when we change the writer? Writer Student (editorial) Audience The Torch Subject Tuition Increase the text Situation 3
Appeals in Situation 3 Writer: Student (editorial) Can draw on his/her credibility as an expert who is effected by the subject (ethos) Can use personal examples (ethos) of the hardship created by the increase (and why it is worth it or not to accept the increase) Audience: The Torch (UMD students) Must consider PURPOSE: What does the writer want the audience to think or do after reading? Accept or reject the tuition increase? Should the audience do anything to help achieve the desired result? Audience may trust a student more than an authority figure (pathos) Appeals to the values of the students (pathos) to get the students to accept or reject the increase May call on the students to act in some way by appealing to their own self-interest (pathos) Subject: Tuition Increase The writer must present the facts (logos) clearly and logically (logos)
Now that we’ve seen how a text is influenced by the 3 parts of communication in the rhetorical triangle, let’s review
Rhetorical Triangle Writer ETHOS Appeals based on the character, expertise and reputation of the writer (or speaker) Audience PATHOS Appeals based on the values and beliefs of the audience Subject LOGOS Appeals based on logic, reasoning and facts the text Hint: print out this page and hang it up near your desk
Use the Triangle: Writer/Ethos Establish Character: Establish good will with your audience Who are you? Why should the audience care what you have to say? Convey Expertise: Demonstrate that you are knowledgeable about the subject What do you know about the subject? Why do you care about the subject? Use Reputation: Use what you’ve seen and done and show the audience that you are credible What personal experience do you have related to your subject? Why should the audience trust you?
Use the Triangle: Audience/Pathos Purpose: Consider the reason for your writing (beyond getting a good grade) What should the audience think or do after reading the essay? Audience Knowledge: Consider the knowledge base of your audience What does your audience know about your subject? This will impact how much explanation/history is needed Audience Values: Consider the values of your audience Will they care about your subject or will you have to persuade them to care? Use emotional appeals and figurative language to make them care Audience Beliefs: Consider the beliefs of your audience Will they agree with your opinion on the subject or will you have to persuade them to agree?
Use the Triangle: Subject/Logos Evaluate: Your understanding of your subject What do you already know? What you need to know? What do you need to research to fill in the holes in your comprehension? Investigate: Perspectives What counterarguments will arise based on your point of view? Which counterarguments are your readers likely to raise? Determine: Appropriate evidence to support your assertions What types of evidence do you need to back up your claims? What sources will your audience accept as credible?
Use the Rhetorical Triangle Analyze texts (from textbooks, additional readings, your own essays and peer essays) for effective use of ethos, pathos and logos Consider the relationship between the writer, the audience, and the subject for all written communication and assignments This will require a thorough audience analysis so you know who your readers are, what they know about your subject, and what types of appeals will engage/persuade them to agree with your thesis (main point) and respond positively to your purpose Review this slideshow and get comfortable with the information presented