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Rhetoric is "the art of winning the soul by discourse."

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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: Exigence The urgent need or demand that gives rise to a text. Purpose What the text, created in response to the exigence, is intended to do Audience The 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! Appeals Ethos Pathos Logos

7 For example A eulogy is written in response to an exigence, a community’s grief. The purpose of the eulogy is to honor the deceased The audience for the eulogy is the friends and family of the deceased Of course, this changes depending on the person and their notoriety

8 Logos Tone Style Ethos Pathos

9 Rhetorical Situation Appeals TONE Arrangement Surface Features

10 Steps to Analysis Success

11 Aristotle’s Definition of Rhetoric
The faculty of finding all the available means of persuasion in a particular case Let’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 finding Aristotle used the Greek noun heuresis (hyu̇-ris-sis), or “a finding” Both rhetors and rhetorical analysts must be consistently and systematically searching Searching 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 actions In 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 examples How the writer or speaker capitalizes on unspoken assumptions he or she things the audience already believes about the issue at hand How the writer or speaker incorporates facts, data, reasoning and perspectives about the issue How the writer or speaker substantiates a claim, a generalization or a point about the issue Logos is the central and indispensable proof

19 The Appeals: Ethos A text emphasizes the good sense, the good will, and the good character of the writer A text emphasizes the knowledge and authority of the author to speak about the subject Text becomes more credible because of these points

20 For example Following advice in an article by Michael Jordan on ways to motivate high school basketball players would be useful Following advice in an article by Michael Jordan on the appropriateness of standardized testing for college admissions criteria may be naive

21 Ethos In an analysis, assess how effectively a text is delivered by analyzing the attributes of the speaker projected in the text His or her knowledge Tone Level of sincerity Vested interest in the topic

22 The Appeals: Pathos Almost all texts do something to appeal to the emotions or states of life of readers Although 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 Pathos In an analysis, look closely for the emotional appeals present in the argument Emotionally charged language and ideas Personal examples Are these manipulative or appropriate?

24 For example

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 Tone When you make claims about these, you are making arguments The 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 idea To narrow the text’s focus To divide the text into smaller parts To compare or contrast material that has come before with what will come after To address possible objections to what has been said so far To 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 Tone That’s analysis

32 Now we look at Style Diction Syntax Imagery Figurative 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 Imagery Are there any visual, auditory or tactile images?

36 Figurative Language Are 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 is Then, explain HOW the author creates meaning HOW the text realizes its purpose HOW it achieves its effects HOW it makes clear its exigency HOW it addresses or evokes its audience HOW 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)?


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