Presentation on theme: "The Art of Argument. Rhetoric According to Aristotle, rhetoric is “the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion.” It is."— Presentation transcript:
Rhetoric According to Aristotle, rhetoric is “the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion.” It is a thoughtful, reflective activity leading to effective communication, including a rational exchange of opposing viewpoints Good rhetoric is effective, eloquent, and persuasive
Key Elements of Rhetoric The key elements of rhetoric are context and purpose. The context is the time and place the piece was written or spoken. The purpose is the goal that the speaker or writer wants to achieve. Read Lou Gehrig’s Farewell to Baseball Address What is Gehrig’s content and purpose? Why is it effective?
SOAPSTone S: subject of the speech or essay O: the occasion of its writing/speaking A: the author of the piece P: the purpose of the piece S: the speaker of the piece (not necessarily the author) Tone: the speaker’s attitude toward the subject, the audience, the occasion, etc. ALWAYS identify SOAPSTone of any piece of rhetoric before you do any other analysis
Aristotelian Triangle Encyclopedia—the focus is on the subject (it) Political Speech—the focus is on the audience (you) Poem—the focus is on the speaker (I) Sermon History Text Election Campaign Speech
Persona Speakers and writers assume a persona The persona is the character the speaker creates when he or she writes or speaks The persona depends on the context, purpose, subject, and audience Considering the audience is important
Persuasive Appeals Ethos—an appeal to character, trustworthiness Logos—an appeal to logic and reason Pathos—an appeal to emotion Who made the cake?Icing on top The cake itself
Ethos (who made the cake?) Speakers and writers appeal to ethos, or character, to demonstrate that they are credible and trustworthy They often emphasize shared values between the speaker and the audience Sometimes ethos is established by reputation and/or qualifications but other times by making a good impression The speaker’s ethos is his/her expertise and knowledge, experience, training, sincerity, or a combination of these
Ethos Ultimately, ethos gives the audience a reason for listening to the speaker !
Logos (the cake itself) Speakers and writers appeal to logos, or reason and logic, by offering clear, rational ideas Appealing to logos means Having a clear main idea (thesis) With support (specific details, examples, facts, statistical data, and/or expert testimony
Logos: Counterargument Another way to appeal to logos is to acknowledge a counterargument-- to anticipate objections or opposing views—and then refute them In acknowledging a counterargument, the speaker agrees (concedes) that an opposing argument may be true, but then he or she denies (refutes) the validity of all or part of the argument
Pathos (the icing on the cake) Pathos is an appeal to emotion Although writing that relies exclusively on emotional appeals is rarely effective (imagine eating a cake that is 90% icing), choosing language (such as figurative language or personal anecdotes) that engages the emotions of the audience can add an important dimension
Pathos Speeches or arguments that appeal only to emotion are, by definition, weak They are propagandistic in purpose and more polemical than persuasive Propaganda—writing intended to sway opinion rather than present important information Polemic– an argument against an idea, usually regarding philosophy, politics, or religion A good speaker understands the power of evoking the audience’s emotions without overwhelming it
Pathos Emotional appeals usually include vivid, concrete description and figurative language Visual elements often carry a strong, emotional appeal
Rhetorical Strategies Ethos, logos and pathos are NOT the only elements of rhetoric. They are the basic structure and are, themselves, made of other elements. In other words, cakes don’t grow on trees.