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Matt Jones

on 14 September 2017

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Transcript of Rhetoric

Ethical appeals
Appeals based on establishing the author's credibility or authority
Common Ways it is Established?
highlight values your audience may share
"with the good Lord's blessing..."
refer to your successful track record in the relevant field
refer to researchers, doctors, etc. to lend credibility to your argument
admit mistakes
the reformed alcoholic-"trust me, I've been there."
portray a humble persona
"I'm only one person. It takes all of us..."
The manipulation of language to evoke an emotional response from the reader/listener
appeal to emotion
How is it Used?
pictures and images are powerful transmitters of emotional appeal
Imagery, allusions, and figurative language are powerful techniques that can be used to elicit an emotional response in a text or speech.
The use of facts, statistics, and proposed solutions to appeal to reason.
Two Primary Forms of Reasoning: Inductive and Deductive
Drawing a general conclusion based on a number of specific examples.
i.e. noticing that every tiger you see in a particular region has black stripes and drawing the conclusion that all tigers in the region must have black stripes
essentially, providing several specific examples that lead to a logical conclusion.
Cannot prove through induction
. Can only provide reasonable support.
Deductive Reasoning
Drawing a
specific conclusion based a general principle
or universal truth (major premise) and applying it to a specific case (minor premise).
Structured as
-deductive reasoning based on
three easy steps
: a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion
Each syllogism contains a
major term
(present in major premise), a
minor term
(present in minor premise) and
middle term
(present in both)
Major premise
-every wasp (middle term) has a stinger (major term).
Minor premise
-this insect (minor term) is a wasp (middle term).
-this wasp has a stinger.
Major premise
-exercise contributes to better health.
Minor premise
-yoga is a type of exercise.
-yoga contributes to better health.
Can essentially prove through deductive reasoning if the first to premises are true or universal.
What is Rhetoric?
Plato: "The art of winning the soul by discourse."

Aristotle: "The faculty of discovering in any particular case, all the available means of persuasion."

In Simpler Terms
Rhetoric is the study of effective speaking and writing (also visual)
Broad term used to encompass what can be thought of as persuasive language
How and Why is it Used?
Rhetoric is used to appeal to an audience in order to win favor for one's argument.
It can be abused (propaganda, subversive messages)
A wide range of rhetorical techniques allow one to use rhetoric effectively.
Thousands of years ago, Aristotle recognized three ways in which a writer or speaker could appeal to his/her audience:
The Three Rhetorical Appeals
audiences respond better to those who seem trustworthy or authoritative
-ex. citing scientists in research paper, being an expert or person with experience, personally identifying with an issue shared by audience
Why Use Ethos?
readers/listeners who are emotionally connected to an argument are much more likely to support it.

Why is it Used?
Detail 4
Why Use Logos
We are easily impressed by facts, figures, statistics, etc.
It substantiates an argument
To make complex situations palatable for the audience (provides structure)
Typically provides the premise for a solution
Logic can easily be abused (fallacy)
Major premise-Nazi Germany had nationalized health care
Minor premise-Obama wants nationalized health care
Conclusion-Obama is a nazi
How the Three Work Together
Ethos-an argument is influenced by the author's reputation, credibility, virtue, moral worth, etc. If the author is not credible, the audience will have no reason to listen.
Pathos-an argument is influenced by the emotions induced in the audience. The audience begins to feel that the speaker must be right and is won over to his/her side. Emotions are need to add weight and distinction.
Logos-the argument is enhanced by the demonstration of the case. Without logical suggestions for a solution, the speaker more or less seems to be ranting.
Some Common Rhetorical Devices
rhetorical strategy of referring to something indirectly by referencing a closely related object.
referring to business people as "suits"
eating at the "golden arches"
worshiping the "crown"
Anticipating an objection and refuting it
Useful because it permits an argument to move forward while also taking into account other points of view
Appeals to Ethos and Logos
"and those who hoped the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual"
Qualifies a statement by recalling it (or part of it) and expressing it in a better or stronger way
Purpose is to make the subject seem more important or qualified
"Lucy is the friendliest of all golden retrievers, nay of all dogs."
"America has given the Negro people a bad check; a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice."
Establishes a clear, contrasting relationship between two ideas by joining them together
Naturally pleasing because our brains categorize and create systematic relationships involuntarily.
"to err is human; to forgive divine."-Pope
"one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
**Note: most of the time, statements of antithesis are parallel as well.
Posing a question and immediately answering it
Appeals to ethos by making the speaker/writer seem more knowledgeable/credible
"Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no"-Bluto
The repetition of the same word or words at the beginning of successive phrases, clauses, or sentences.
Purpose is to drive home a point or develop a climax (gets the crowd pumped up)
"a time to be born; a time to die, a time to plant, a time to reap... "-The Byrds (written by Pete Seeger)
Stopping in the middle of a speech to address an absent person/make an allusion
Dramatic effect
"Hello darkness my old friend"-Paul Simon
"O Sinner" in Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God
omitting conjunctions between words, phrases or clauses
makes it seem as though the list goes on and is therefore not limited to the items on the list
"He was a fighter, a man, a champion, a father."
"She spent the day wondering, searching, thinking, understanding."

There are all sorts of ways in which one may become a presidential speechwriter. I did because then-former Vice President Nixon sought me out, and I joined his staff nearly two years before he became president. I had been the editorial page editor of the New York Herald Tribune, a leading Republican newspaper. While at the White House I hired several from various backgrounds – one, David Gergen, was just finishing up the Navy, but had been Managing Editor of the Yale Daily News (I went to Yale, so was familiar with the News), then had graduated from Harvard Law School (I’ve always thought law was good training for the mind, despite what some lawyers do to us); another was Washington PR representative for MetLife, but had spent most of his life as an Associated Press correspondent and had also been Republican County Chairman in Fairfax County (suburban Washington).

When I was a newspaper editor I formulated a basic rule for hiring: if a person had gone to journalism school I wouldn’t hold it against him if he was otherwise qualified, but I wanted someone who could think – clearly, logically, linearly, constructively. I could teach him the tricks of the trade, but if he couldn’t think he’d be of no use to me. So I cared more about a good, solid liberal arts background. In the White House that remained my #1 consideration – though, of course, it also had to be someone who was on our basic wavelength politically and philosophically. I certainly wanted people with a flair for writing, and who believed in the basic directions in which we were trying to take the country and the world – not in all the details, but in the basics. I didn’t want people to write things they didn’t believe in. And I wanted people whose beliefs were well thought out, and well grounded, and who had both personal and political integrity. And, of course, who could stand up to the often enormous pressures of White House life and work.


: Similarity of structure in a pair or series of related words, phrases, or clauses. Also called parallel structure.

By convention, items in a series appear in parallel grammatical form: a noun is listed with other nouns, an -ing form with other -ing forms, and so on.

-used rhetorically to make direct statements ("If we fight, we die. If we die, we lose.") or to rouse pathos through the use of strong verbs ("we will be stigmatized, jeopardized, euthanized")

ex. He likes rabbits, frogs, and crickets (all nouns)
bad ex. He likes rabbits, frogs and jumping rope (verb phrase at the end)
***Many rhetorical devices also employ grammatical convention of parallelism.
Rhetorical Devices in Action, "300" style!
How the Three Appeals Work Together
-The best arguments are credible (ethos) and appeal to a reader's emotions (pathos) and sense of logic (logos).
-Without logic, the argument does not make any sense
-Without emotional appeal, no one is motivated to support your cause
-If you are not credible, no one will care what you have to say
-More specific form of parallelism
-Parallel elements that similar in structure AND in length
Ex. "...to live freely, to laugh often, and to love

-The repetition of words in successive clauses in REVERSE GRAMMATICAL or Syntactical ORDER
ex. "She said she had to leave for love but she may also love to leave."

-INVERTED Relationship or meaning between two elements in two parallel phrases (very similar to antimetabole)
ex. "The value of marriage is not that adults produce children, but that children produce adults"--De vries
-A type of metaphor in which a part of something is used to refer to the whole OR the whole to represent something specific
ex. "you better learn your ABC's"
ex. Germany won the world cup last year.

-A trope in which one word, usually a noun or the main verb, governs two other words not related in meaning
ex. "His passport and his life
-The arrangement of words, phrases, or clauses in order of increasing importance.
-ex. "she fought for her sisters; she fought for freedom; she fought for equality; she fought for the values central to the spirit of humanity."
Climax often utilizes
-Two nouns that are adjacent to each other and reference the same thing/object
-I knew the teacher Mr. Hatcher but I also knew the man, Mark
-word or expression used in a figurative sense
-has also come to be used for describing commonly recurring literary and rhetorical devices, motifs or clichés in creative works
-The mockingbird trope is used to express innocence in
To Kill a Mockingbird
-Most cliches are tropes
-"kill two birds with one stone"
-"he's a workhorse"
-America is a 'melting pot'
-teenagers+cabin in woods=horror movie

Polysendeton=adding a conjunction betweeen every word, phrase or clause
-"he was a fighter and a man and a champion and a father"
-"she spent the day wondering and searching and thinking and understanding"
The Rhetorical Situation:
Context of rhetorical act

The Occasion
-time and place in which the text is written
-circumstances, atmosphere, attitudes and events surrounding the text
-goal the speaker wants to achieve (infinitive verbs)
**Gehrig Example (pg. 2)
=Lou Gehrig appreciation day, on home plate between double-header
=Gehrig's illness, his history as a player, his recent announcement
-to thank fans; to convey his positive attitude; to instill hope?
The Rhetorical Triangle
-the relationship among the speaker, audience, and subject
-Used to determine what a speaker says and how the speaker says it
Rhetorical Triangle
-not only the literal speaker but also who the speaker represents in context.
=a personality or archetype a speaker adapts
the topic. Do not confuse with purpose. What is the speech about?
listener, viewer or reader of text. To whom is this text addressed? There may be multiple audiences.
events that have prompted the necessity of said text as well as its potential immediate and long-term influence.
-practical means of assessing the rhetorical situation
-can be bullet pointed or written as a table
-more of a quick way to assess a text rather than a formal analysis

SOAPS Practice
-Examine letter to Einstein (pg. 5)
-George W. Bush's 9/11 speech
-Perform SOAPS for "A Nation of Wimps"
(topic of the piece. This is not the purpose. Recognize this objectively, without implication of persuasion).
(consider social and cultural implications at the time of publication that may have encouraged the author to write)-
(be specific. Hostile? Informed? Demographic?)
(infinitive verbs)-to persuade? to inform? to respond? to suggest?
(persona?)-consider who the speaker is AND the relationship the speaker has with his/her audience
-appeals to logos but also helps the writer establish ethos
-savvy arguers MUST anticipate objections an/or opposing views
-First, one must CONCEDE that an aspect of an opposing argument is reasonable before REFUTING the opposing argument as a whole.
ex. "while one cannot deny that we do not fully understand the long term health consequences of consuming genetically modified foods, the proliferation of genetically modified crops is the only practical and viable way to solve world hunger."
-Alice Waters-from "Slow Food Nation" (pg. 11)

Parallelism Examples

Reasoning Review

-Inductive reasoning=making a _________________ conclusion based on a number of ______________ examples.
-Deductive Reasoning is also known as a __________________
-Identify the major term, middle term, and minor terms:
Major Premise: All humans are mortal
Minor Premise: All Greeks are human
Conclusion: All Greeks are mortal
English 11: Ad Analysis Activity
: with a group of up to three people, look over your ads. Choose three to analyze. One paper needs to be submitted per group with all group members' names.
1) choose your ads (3)
2) On a separate sheet of paper, do the following:
-note how the advertisers appeal to ethos, pathos AND logos
-identify the target audience (age, race, gender, etc.)
-choose one ad you believe is particularly effective. Do a SOAPS on that add. Be ready to present.
Obama “Birther” Article Questions
Article 1
: "Donald Trump Again Won’t Acknowledge Obama Was Born in U.S."

Article 2
: "Trump, Clinton Trade Barbs Over Obama ‘Birther’ Flap"

-Donald Trump, and to a lesser degree, Hillary Clinton, are the subjects of the both articles. As you read, annotate for the source’s treatment of the subject(s).

-look at the headlines first. How are we supposed to feel about the subject from the headline alone?
-diction (word choice)-do the verbs, adjectives, adverbs carry positive, negative, or neutral connotations? Annotate for words and phrases that evoke connotative effect.
Other things to consider. Be ready to discuss/defend:
-Sources-who is being interviewed? Are the sources appropriate?
-Are shared quotes (interviews and quotes shared by both articles) used for similar or varying effect?
-Forgetting all preconceived notions about the candidates, as a reader, which article is more biased? Be ready to explain.

referencing a well-known person, work, event, or time period.
-often used as a means of establishing ethos (i.e. "God"), logos (analogy comparing allusion to current situation), or pathos (associated emotions of allusion with one currently referenced).
Rhetorical Strategy #1-Diction
-Diction-word choice
-used rhetorically to incite some emotional response or to develop credibility
-effect is based on connotation (the feeling associated with a word)
-positive, negative or neutral
-ex. house (neutral) vs. home (positive-warm and fuzzy)
-Diction most commonly informs tone. Through analysis of word choice, we can often deduce how the author feels about his/her subject.
-Often employed subtly to influence a readers opinion without the reader realizing it. Works because for the most part, we share a relatively universal understanding of connotation.
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