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Language of Composition

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Nurin Salehuddin

on 12 November 2013

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Transcript of Language of Composition

Language of Composition
CHAPTER 1: An Introduction to Rhetoric
Using the "Available" Means
Key Elements of Rhetoric
The Rhetorical Triangle
Appeals to Ethos, Logos, and Pathos
Visual Rhetoric
An Example of Rhetoric from Literature
Arrangement of a Text
Classical Model
Patterns of Development
When Rhetoric Misses the Mark

CHAPTER 2: Close Reading: The art and Craft of Analysis
Analyzing Style
Talking with the Text
Dialectical Journal
Graphic Organizer
Analyzing a Visual text
From Analysis to essay: Writing about Close Reading
Glossary of Selected Tropes and Schemes

CHAPTER 3: Synthesizing Sources
Types of Support
Writers at Work
The Relationship of Sources to Audience
The Synthesis Essay
Conversation with a focus on Community Service
Formulating Your Position
Incorporating souces: Inforn Rather than Overwhelm

A thoughtful activity leading to effective communications, including rational exchange of exposing viewpoints.

Aristotle defines it as "the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion.”

Tools to resolve conflicts, persuade others, support position
Key Elements of Rhetoric
• Context: Occasion or the time and place it was written or spoken

• Purpose: Goal that a speaker or writer wants to achieve

• A clear thesis, claim, or assertion makes a speech effective

Lou Gehrig's Farewell Speech

 Context: Celebration of his baseball career and the life-threatening diagnosis he had received

Purpose: Remain positive by looking on the bright side; Remains focused on celebrating the occasion and playing some ‘Murican Baseball
• Calls his diagnosis a “bad break”
• Past luck and positive outlook
• No plea for sympathy, no blame, no self-pity

Although Lou Gehrig isn’t an accomplished writer or orator; he presents himself as a common man who’s glad for the life he’s lived

Audience is his fans and fellow athletes

Gehrig’s understanding of subject (He’s the luckiest…), speaker (A common man…), and audience (his fans and fellow athletes) sets the tone for his speech

 A plainspoken, positive appreciation for what he has, and a champion’s courageous acceptance of the challenges that lie before him

A commentator wrote “Lou Gehrig’s speech almost rocked Yankee Stadium off its feet”

The Famous Address by "The Iron Horse" In Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1939
why is his speech effective?
he makes it crystal clear that “he’s the luckiest
man on the face of the earth.”

Who you are
The Rhetorical Triangle or Aristotelian triangle
• Describes the interaction among subject, speaker, and audience
o Evaluate what they already know about it

o What others have said about it

o What kind of evidence or proof will sufficiently develop their position

Persona (Speaker)
The character a speaker creates when he or she writes or speaks

Depends on context, purpose, subject, and audience.

Speaking as a:
Poet, Comedian, Scholar, Expert. Literary critic, concerned citizen?


o Think about the audience with these questions
 What does the audience know about the subject?
 What is the audience’s attitude toward it?
 Is there common ground between the writer’s and reader’s views on the subject?
 Who will read it?
 What will they be expecting
 What is likely to impress them?
 How big or small is your audience?

o Each audience requires the speaker to use different information to shape your argument effectively

Appeals to Ethos, Logos, and Pathos
Ethos (Character)
o Speakers demonstrate that they are credible and trustworthy
 Ex. A speech discouraging children from using alcohol
• Speaker might be a concerned parents, psychologists specializing
in alcoholism or adolescent behavior, or recovering alcoholics

o often emphasize shared values between the speaker and the audience
 Ex. Parents speak to other parents in the same community
Share a concern for their children’s education or well-being

 speaker’s reputation sometimes immediately establishes ethos

could also establish ethos by making a good impression

gives the audience a reason for listening
• Logos (Reason)
o Speakers appeal to logos by offering clear, rational ideas
 Means having clear main ideas with specific details
 Idea must be LOGICAL

o Another way is to acknowledge a counterargument (anticipate objections or opposing views)
 Speaker will be vulnerable if you ignore ideas that counter to your own
 You concede (agree) that an opposing argument may be true, but then you refute (deny) the validity of all or parts of the argument
 strengthens your argument
 Demonstrates that you considered your subject carefully before making your argument.

• Pathos (Emotion)

o Choosing language (such as figurative language or personal anecdotes) that engages the emotions of the audience can add an important dimension
 Lou Gehrig used words with strong positive connotations such as "greatest' and "tower of strength"

o An argument based only on emotions is weak; It’s generally propagandistic in purpose and more polemical than persuasive

• Emotional appeals are usually vivid, concrete description and figurative language.

• Visual elements often carry a strong emotional appeal
• Advertisers certainly make the most of photos and other visual images to entice or persuade audiences.

Lou Gehrig’s speech may seem
emotional but is based on “logic”

 Main Idea: “He’s the luckiest man on the face of the earth”
 Supporting points
• His seventeen years of playing baseball
• Belief that he has “never received anything but kindness and encouragement from his fans.”
•Worked with good people on the baseball field
• Been a part of a great team
• The “blessing” of a supportive family
 All of these come together to make an assumption (underlying belief) that Gehrig is lucky even though he’s had a bad break.
Ethos, Logos, and Pathos in Practice

o “Our government” – Even though she’s being critical of the government, she’s being critical on the behalf of the audience

o “collected data – for Harvard University’s Project on Global Working Families and at McGill University.” – Working with 2 prestigious universities gives her strong credibility to the subject

o In the biographical notes, it states that Heyman was the director or founder of each project and indicates she has written a book on the topic at hand.

o Her piece was published in the Washington Post
 Well-respected publication
 Newspaper is associated with more liberal than conservative views
• Audience will be more receptive than hostile
• Readers will likely begin to consider her views regarding family leave

o Her decision to frame her viewpoint as an economic view instead of a woman’s rights view.
o She develops her argument in several paragraphs with facts and figures
o Cites policies in foreign countries
o Carefully analyzes cause and effect
o After appealing to logos, she focuses on what she expects to be the central objection to her call (The 3 myths) and disproves them
Visual Rhetoric

o Example: A political cartoon drew by Tom Toles after death of civil-rights icon Rosa Parks.

 Subject: death of Rosa Parks, loved by many people
 Speaker: Tom Tales, award-winning political cartoonist
 Audience: readers of Washington Post and other newspaper (broad audience)
 Speaker can assume audience shares his admiration with Rosa Parks
 Context: memorial for a well-loved civil rights activist
 Purpose: to remember Parks as an ordinary citizen whose courage and determination brought extraordinary results

• Political cartoons are satirical, but they comment without any hint of sarcasm or criticism
o Not uncommon for one passage/image to use more than one appeal.
 Reader’s familiarity with Toles & his respect for his subkect establishes his ethos.
 Image appeals to pathos
• Toles shows Parks, who was a devout Christian, about to enter heaven through pearly gates, attended by an angel reading a ledger

• An Example of Rhetoric
Book 24 of Homer’s epic "The Iliad", story ofTrojan war
• Context
o Greek Warrior Achilles defeated Trojan prince Hector.
o Achilles refused to return his rival body for burial, also dishonored it by slashing it to a chariot and pulling it through the dirt.

• Purpose
o Priam, king of Troy and Hector’s aged father, wants to reclaim his son’s body from Achilles
 Knows his success depends on the strength of his rhetoric
o Old meets young
o Defeated meets conqueror

• Appeals to Achilles by persona of aging and grieving father by beginning “remember your own father”
• Pathos appeal

o Reminds him of “warrior” that his father’s “years / like mine are many , and he stands upon/ the fearful doorstep of old age”

o Repeats pathos as he asks for pity, reminds the audience that Achilles’ father can still hope to see his son alove, while Priam cannot

• Logos appeal

o Priam offers “ransom” and reminds him to “be reverent toward the great gods”

 Saves this point for last after he’s engaged Achilles’ emotion.

Arrangement of a Text
• Arrangement: another element of rhetoric, organization of a piece
• Writer structures the argument depends on his intended purpose & effect

The Classical Model:
a five-part structure for oratory or speech
1. Introduction (exordium)
 Introduces reader to the subject
 Draws the readers into the text
 This is where writer usually establishes ethos

2. Narration (naratio)
 Provides factual information and background material
 Beginning the developmental paragraphs
 Often appeals to pathos because the writer attempts to evoke an emotional response about the importance of the subject

3, Confirmation (confirmatio)
 Major part of the text
 Contains the most specific and concrete detail in text
 Strongest appeal to logos

4. Refutation (refutatio)
 Addresses the counterarguement
 A bridge between proof and conclusion
• To anticipate objections to the proof given in the confirmation section
 Largely logos appeal

5. Conclusion (peroration)
 Appeals to pathos
 Reminds the reader of the ethos established earlier
 Brings all the writer’s ideas together
 Answers the question “so what?”

Patterns of development
o Another way to represent arrangement is according to purpose
o Narration
 Refers to telling a story or recounting series of events
 Can be based on personal experience or on knowledge
 Chronology governs narration
• Includes:
o Concrete detail
o Point of view
o Sometimes elements like dialogue
 Writers use narration to enter into their topics

o Description
 Closely similar to narration because both include many specific details
Unlike narration, description emphasizes the senses by painting of how something looks, sounds, smells, or fees.
 Often used to establish a mood or atmosphere
 Asking the reader what you feel and see makes it easier for them to empathize with you.

o Process Analysis
 Explains how something works or how to do something
 Key to successful process analysis is clarity

o Exemplification
 Providing examples (facts, specific cases, instances) turns general idea into a concrete one
 Makes your argument both clearer and more persuasive to a reader
 Induction: logical proof
• Examples are a type of induction

o Comparison & Contrast

 Juxtapositioning two things to highlight their similarities and differences
 Writers use this method to analyze information carefully
 Reveals insight into the nature of the information being analyzed

o Comparison & Contrast

 Juxtapositioning two things to highlight their similarities and differences
 Writers use this method to analyze information carefully
 Reveals insight into the nature of the information being analyzed

o Definition

 Defining a term is often the first step in a debate or disagreement
 Definition can be a paragraph that clarify terms
 Or the entire purpose of the essay is to establish a definition

o Cause and Effect

 Casual analysis depends upon crystal clear logic so it is important to trace a chain of cause and effect to recognize possible contributing causes
 Often signaled by a “why” in the title

When Rhetoric Misses the Mark
o Not every attempt at effective rhetoric hits its mark

o Often a matter of opinions when a speech or letter is rhetorically effective or not

Analyzing Style
Examining tone, sentence structure, and vocabulary allows us to better understand text.
Tropes : artful diction
Schemes: artful syntax
When analyzing diction look for:
1. Which important words are general and abstract, specific and concrete?

2. Are the important words formal, informal, colloquial, or slang?

3. Are the same words nonliteral or figurative?
When analyzing syntax you might ask:
1. Is the sentence in regular or inverted order of the parts of speech?

2. Are nouns or verbs more prominent?

3. Are the sentemces periodic or cumulative?

4. How does the sentence connect its words, phrases, and clauses?
Talking with the Text

figurative language
each ideas & section that appeal to you for any reason

Create 2 columns in your dialectical journal where you write :
important texts on left
comments about the text on right

Dialectical Journal
Graphic Organizer:
allows you to restate what an author has said in your own words so that you may analyze the point he/she is trying to make and how it affects the reader.
Annotate for:
Analyzing a Visual Text
Analyze a visual text through the understanding of pathos, logos, and ethos.
From Analysis to Essay: Writing about Close reading

Start with the larger meaning you've discovered
Use the small details to support your interpretation

Analyze a text the same way you instantaneously analyze a conversation thought
Body language
facial expression
tone of voice
sentence structure
Types of Support
make position more specific/more convincing – add details and examples/anecdote (a brief story that illustrates a point)
develop your ideas with FACTS
use quantities data especially “statistical" information
document your source
expert testimony – talk to someone who knows more about the subject than you do

Writers at Work

An anecdote supports the argument
the facts and quantitive data appeal to logos
Make sure to give a personal viewpoint, it makes it more persuasive (but never say “I think/believe/feel, ect”)
Providing sources fights against people who will accuse of plagerism
sources should enhance, not replace, your argument (what YOU have to say is the main argument
The Relationship of Sources to Audience

A writer must analyze the rhetorical situation in order to determine what is appropriate, even when it comes to sources and documentation.
General audience/ casual readers – personal information.
Have sources that relate to you
Formal audience – sources that prove facts, dates, titles
Scholar audience (teachers/authors/students ect) – choose other scholarly works

**The type of evidence and the way it is documented depends on the audience and situation

The Synthesis Essay

You must document sources to give credit when credit is due.
Sources can be used effectively even with personal information
Entered the conversation as an informed and reasonable voice
Conversion with a focus on community service
Sources can illustrate or support your own ideas (ex: if you think that community service requirements are worthwhile then you can look to your sources to help you make a point.)
But do NOT reject texts that do not support your position or are not directly relevant to it.
*keep an open mind while you read the sources so your thesis shows that you understand the complexity of the subject

Conversation with focus on Community Service

Sources can illustrate or support your own ideas (ex: if you think that community service requirements are worthwhile then you can look to your sources to help you make a point.)
But do NOT reject texts that do not support your position or are not directly relevant to it.

*keep an open mind while you read the sources so your thesis shows that you understand the complexity of the subject

Identify the Issues: Recognizing Complexity

To engage your audience, present your position as reasonable or even valuable
Go for something compelling that leaves the reader thinking.
A written argument will not change anyone’s mind, as their first instinct would be to fight

Formulating Your
Question illustrates the complexity of the issue and ensure that you do not develop an argument that is one-sided or even polarized between yes and no.

Write a thesis that suggests a clear focus while acknowledging the complexities of the issue

Incorporating Sources: Inform Rather than Overwhelm
Once the thesis in finished, develop ideas by incorporation sources into your essay.
*don’t summarize but QUOTE SOURCES DIRECTLY
Rhetorical Triangle: the traditional appeals to logos, pathos, and ethos

o Identifies herself as a mother
Uses the occasion of Mother’s Day to appeal to the audience’s emotions
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