Presentation on theme: "Week 1, Class 2. The rhetorical triangle is a way of thinking about what's involved in any communication scenario. It involves three main parts: a rhetor."— Presentation transcript:
The rhetorical triangle is a way of thinking about what's involved in any communication scenario. It involves three main parts: a rhetor (a speaker, writer, painter, blogger, photographer... someone who performs the rhetoric), an audience (the people that the rhetor addresses), and a purpose (the thing the rhetor wants to accomplish with the audience). A context
Rhetorical situation Who is the writer and what type of writer is he or she? What stance is he or she taking? What are his or her beliefs, values, and assumptions? What is the text’s message? How is it constructed? How does it text create meaning? How are these meanings influenced by the writer? To whom is the writer writing? Why? What is the purpose for writing? In what historical context was the text written? How does the context affect the text’s meaning?
Ethos, pathos, logos "Ethos" refers to the writer's "ethical appeal," that is, how well the writer presents herself. Does she seem knowledgeable and reasonable? Does she seem trustworthy? Does she treat her opponents, people who might disagree, with fairness and respect, or does she take cheap shots at them? Does she try to establish common ground with the reader? Ethos can be divided into two parts: authority and character. "Pathos" refers to the argument's "emotional appeals," that is, how well the writer taps into the reader's emotions Many times, this appeal is how a writer will make an argument "matter" to readers. Advertisements do it all the time. Perhaps a writer will offer an anecdote to illustrate suffering or appeal to readers as parents concerned for their children. Does the writer appeal to your emotions—feelings of sadness, pride, fear, being young, anger, patriotism, love, justice?
"Logos" corresponds with the argument's "logical appeals," that is, how well the reader uses the "text" of his own argument and evidence. Effective arguments will probably include facts and other supporting details to back up the author's claims. They may contain testimony from authorities and will demonstrate the writer's carefulness in choosing and considering evidence. Questions to consider: What is being argued here, or what is the author's thesis? What points does she offer to support this idea? Has she presented arguments that seem logical, or does she seem to be jumping to conclusions? Can you think of kinds of writing that rely exclusively on logical appeals? Do they bore you?
A BALANCE of the three, ethos, pathos, logos, is often important (although as always, context and audience are crucial). Too much of one may produce an argument that readers will either find unconvincing or that will cause them to stop reading. Each appeal potentially affects the others. An overwhelming emotional argument may make us feel that the author is relying exclusively on emotions rather than offering solid reasoning. An argument contains only facts and figures and no emotional appeals, we may simply get bored. All these defects may, in turn, affect the author's ethical appeal: how can we trust a writer who appeals only to our emotions? What common ground do we have with a writer who doesn't appeal to our emotions at all?
Why We Fight! (for you to write, argue and analyze well) The ability to interpret arguments, locate claims and evidence, analyze moves and strategies, and evaluate arguments are crucial skills. They are central to business, law, professional life, and to academic study (including graduate school). You will be tested for these skills in the WPA, the LSAT, GMAT, and GRE – all the gateways to professional life. Consider the GRE…
Skills Measured in General Test: Analytical Writing Section Articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively Examine claims and accompanying evidence Support ideas with relevant reasons and examples Sustain a well-focused, coherent discussion Control the elements of standard written English
Analytical Writing Tasks Present Your Views on an Issue (45 minutes, choice of 2 topics) Analyze an Argument (30 minutes) Each essay is scored on a 0-6 scale using holistic scoring –Two scores for each essay GRE Website presents directions, actual topics, scoring guide, and sample essays for both the Issue and Argument tasks (www.gre.org/gentest.html)www.gre.org/gentest.html
EMAIL EXERCISE to explore rhetorical strategies, audience, purpose, etc. Situation: The syllabus says that the instructor does not accept late work and that if you miss class you will be penalized. Nevertheless, you miss three classes (out of 15 total) and try to hand in the second major assignment a week late. If the instructor doesn’t accept your work you will fail the class. Assignment: Please write the instructor a brief email explaining your situation. You do not want to fail the class.
“You get a lot to like: filter, flavor, flip top box "MARLBORO: THE FILTER CIGARETTE IN THE FLIP- TOP BOX" Small Print: "You get the man-size flavor of honest tobacco without huffing and puffing. This filter works good and draws easy. The Flip-Top Box keeps every cigarette in good shape. You'd expect it to cost more, but it doesn't."