2 Rhetoric is "the art of winning the soul by discourse." Plato: Rhetoric is "the art of winning the soul by discourse."
3 Aristotle: Rhetoric is "the faculty of discovering in any particular case all of the available means of persuasion."
4 BREAKDOWN! Rhetoric = the art of persuasion Analysis = the breaking down of some thing into its parts and interpreting how those parts fit together
5 In other words, in rhetorical analysis we examine how authors attempt to persuade their audiences by looking at the various components that make up the art of persuasion.
6 What are the components of Rhetoric? Rhetoric is often divided into the following areas:ExigenceThe urgent need or demand that gives rise to a text.PurposeWhat the text, created in response to the exigence, is intended to doAudienceThe importance of knowing your audience can not be overstated. You need to know their background, knowledge, bias, socioeconomic level, political and religious affinities, etc. in order to understand how best to persuade and not antagonize!AppealsEthosPathosLogos
7 For exampleA eulogy is written in response to an exigence, a community’s grief.The purpose of the eulogy is to honor the deceasedThe audience for the eulogy is the friends and family of the deceasedOf course, this changes depending on the person and their notoriety
11 Aristotle’s Definition of Rhetoric The faculty of finding all the available means of persuasion in a particular caseLet’s break it down in order to better understand the definition. . .
12 The faculty Aristotle calls it an improvable art That means, it’s a teachable art and people can get better at it
13 Of finding Searching for what???? Not necessarily using, but certainly findingAristotle used the Greek noun heuresis (hyu̇-ris-sis), or “a finding”Both rhetors and rhetorical analysts must be consistently and systematically searchingSearching for what????
14 All the available means Everything a writer might do with language
15 Of persuasion In a particular case. Writers and speakers aim to shape people’s thoughts and actionsIn a particular case.Rhetoric capitalizes on specific situations
16 What are all those available means of persuasion? The appeals and parts of a text that work together to achieve meaning, purpose and effect
17 The Appeals: Logos The embodied thought of the text The central and subsidiary ideas that the text develops for the reader to “take home”Formal arguments, reasons, facts and logical appeals developed in a text
18 The Appeals: Logos Logos is the central and indispensable proof A writer or speaker builds logos using reasoning and examplesHow the writer or speaker capitalizes on unspoken assumptions he or she things the audience already believes about the issue at handHow the writer or speaker incorporates facts, data, reasoning and perspectives about the issueHow the writer or speaker substantiates a claim, a generalization or a point about the issueLogos is the central and indispensable proof
19 The Appeals: EthosA text emphasizes the good sense, the good will, and the good character of the writerA text emphasizes the knowledge and authority of the author to speak about the subjectText becomes more credible because of these points
20 For exampleFollowing advice in an article by Michael Jordan on ways to motivate high school basketball players would be usefulFollowing advice in an article by Michael Jordan on the appropriateness of standardized testing for college admissions criteria may be naive
21 EthosIn an analysis, assess how effectively a text is delivered by analyzing the attributes of the speaker projected in the textHis or her knowledgeToneLevel of sincerityVested interest in the topic
22 The Appeals: PathosAlmost all texts do something to appeal to the emotions or states of life of readersAlthough an argument that appeals only to the emotions is by definition weak, an effective speaker or writer understands the power of evoking an audience’s emotions.
23 PathosIn an analysis, look closely for the emotional appeals present in the argumentEmotionally charged language and ideasPersonal examplesAre these manipulative or appropriate?
25 Tone Tone gets established by the prevalence of each appeal. For example, is the argument stronger on logos or pathos?You, the rhetorical analyst, make inferences based on the arrangement and style and the use of logos, ethos, pathos and tone.Diction, syntax, imagery, figurative language
26 The Appeals and ToneWhen you make claims about these, you are making argumentsThe details of the text provide evidence to support these claims
27 Huh?Aren’t you just making mountains out of molehills? Or arguments out of nothing??Aren’t these just words on a page?
28 Precisely!A rhetorical analyst’s (that’s you in this class) job is to focus on and scrutinize words to see how they forge logos, ethos, pathos and tone
29 How? Study the arrangement, organization and structure of the text How can it be divided into parts and what is the function of each of these parts?To introduce a central ideaTo narrow the text’s focusTo divide the text into smaller partsTo compare or contrast material that has come before with what will come afterTo address possible objections to what has been said so farTo promote the author’s credentials (ethos)To add a piece of emotionally evocative material (pathos)
31 So What? What difference does the structure of the text make? The analyst shows how the organization influences the appeals and the establishment of tone.Connect Structure to Appeals and ToneThat’s analysis
32 Now we look at StyleDictionSyntaxImageryFigurative Language
33 Diction Formal or informal, academic or casual Does the writer use I or you or we?Does the text use any specialized jargon?
34 Syntax Are the sentences long, short, varied, periodic, loose? Are they primarily in active voice?If there are any passive voice sentences, how do they function?
35 ImageryAre there any visual, auditory or tactile images?
36 Figurative LanguageAre there any tropes (fancy word for figurative language)?What are the principal metaphors being used?How are comparisons and contrasts brought about by tropes other than metaphor?Can we detect any irony or sarcasm?
38 So What?What do the diction, syntax, imagery and figurative language do to the establishment of logos, ethos, pathos and/or tone?Answering that is analysis
39 Taking So What to Analysis Determine what the text means, what its primary intentions or purposes are, what effect you think its author intended it to have on its audience, why you think the author was compelled to write it, and who you think its audience isThen, explain HOW the author creates meaningHOW the text realizes its purposeHOW it achieves its effectsHOW it makes clear its exigencyHOW it addresses or evokes its audienceHOW it announces its intentions.
40 In the end,You must construct a discussion/argument concerning what you conclude is the meaning/purpose/effect of the text and how you perceive its parts working together to achieve these ends.How does an entity’s parts (organization, syntax, diction) constitute its whole (meaning, purpose, effect)?