Rhetorical Principles Introduce you to the skills of critical thinking, reading, and writing. Help you define and assess the rhetorical situation in which a certain argument is made. Teach you to understand and critically evaluate the arguments presented in various sources to which you refer. Provide guidance as to how to create an effective argument in your own writing.
Definitions: Rhetoric “Rhetoric is the art of dressing up some unimportant matter so as to fool the audience for the time being” Ezra Pound How do you understand this definition of rhetoric? Do you agree with it? Why (not)?
Definitions: Text What is text? Are the these examples of text? Why (not)?
What other examples of a text can you think of? Web pages Posters Bumper stickers Television/movies Architecture Vehicles/industrial design Art/Sculpture
Rhetorical Triangle Chose any text (mentioned previously) and answer the following questions: - Who created this text? - Who did they create this text for? - Why did they create this text? Speaker Audience Purpose/Message
Rhetorical Triangle: Author What do we know about the writer, speaker, artist, designer, or creator? –educational background –political affiliations –investment in message –biases Where do we look for information about the author?
Rhetorical Triangle: Audience Audience –who is the message intended for? –Age, gender, social/cultural group, political affiliation, etc… Where do we look for information about the audience?
Rhetorical Triangle: Purpose (message) What is the purpose of your text? –To inform? –To entertain? –To call to action? How can you infer the purpose of the text? What elements of the text do you refer to in order to find information about its purpose? Message?
The Rhetorical Appeals: Ethos Ethos- Credibility - Ethics - Trustworthiness of the speaker/writer Credibility based on audience’s view of author and subject For Academic Argument, an author must: - Exhibit good sense - Demonstrate high moral character - Express good will
The Rhetorical Appeals: Logos Logos - Logic –Attempt to appeal to the intellect –Everyday arguments vs. academic arguments –Common ways to appeal to logos? Most valued appeal in academic argument Accomplished through inductive or deductive reasoning –Definition –Evidence from other sources –Expert testimony
The Rhetorical Appeals: Pathos Pathos – Pathetic, sympathy, empathy –Appeal to emotions –Arguments in popular press –Manipulative –Effect Appeals to emotion are accomplished through –Sensory description –Value-laden diction –Anecdotes –Objects of emotions People Abstract concepts Etc.
Putting It All Together How do the rhetorical triangle and rhetorical appeals work together to create a message? These tools are not exclusive; all six should be considered when evaluating a text Ethos Pathos Logos Speaker Audience Purpose
Tips For Your Writing… How can you apply rhetorical principles to your own writing? Think about… –Yourself as the author/speaker –Your audience –The purpose of your message and how you will achieve it
Author: How you want to appear to your audience What impression do you want to make on your readers? How will you show that you are worth trusting? How will you demonstrate that you are an authority on your subject? What do you have in common with your audience in order to create a bond with them?
Audience: What you should know about your readers How much do they already know about your subject? What do they expect to see in the document (style, format, organization)? What preconceptions might they have about your subject? What do they need to know? What are their interests?
Purpose: What are you trying to achieve by writing? Purpose –to persuade, sell, inform, entertain, express yourself, etc… How are you going to achieve this goal? –What argument structure will you use (e.g., spatial, chronological, comparison/contrast, etc.)? –What types of support will you include in your writing (e.g., anecdotes, graphs, numbers, personal stories, quotes, facts, expert opinions, etc.)? –What types of language will you use (e.g., denotative language, connotative language)