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Contemporary Rhetoric 2013

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Eric Dunning

on 23 August 2013

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Transcript of Contemporary Rhetoric 2013

The process of analyzing a text, given source or artifact through exploring:

What everything means in the source (content)

Why the author wrote about it (purpose)

Who the author is (background)

How the piece is organized (structure)

When/where it was published (forum)

Intended message conveyed to the audience (topic)
What can be rhetorically analyzed?
Some initial steps....
Critical Reading
Some definition of contemporary rhetoric
"All the ways in which symbols of any sort may be used to influence behavior."
Purpose of Rhetorical Criticism













TV Programs

Public demonstrations
A Rhetorical Analysis is?
What methods does the writer use to develop his/her ideas? Narration? Description? Definition? Comparison? Analogy? Cause and Effect?

Why does the writer use these methods? Do these methods help in his/her development of ideas?
Are there any repetitions of important terms throughout the text?
Are these repetitions effective, or do they detract from the text?
Are there any other devices such as humor, wordplay, irony, sarcasm, understatement, or parody that are used in the text?
Is the effect comic relief? Pleasure? Hysteria? Ridicule?
What pattern does the author use for the arrangement of ideas?
Particular to general, broad to specific, spatial, chronological, alternating, or block?
Does the format enhance or detract from the content? Does it help the piece along or distract from it?
What is the writer's purpose?
To explain? Inform? Anger? Persuade? Amuse? Motivate? Sadden? Ridicule? Attack? Defend?
Is there more than one purpose? Does the purpose shift at all throughout the text?
"The principles, theories, laws and hypotheses which govern and explain the making and functioning of communicative efforts through which humans direct and control each other's beliefs, convictions and behavior."
"Adjusting people to ideas and ideas to people."
"The systematic process of illuminating and evaluating products of human activity."
1. "Rhetorical criticism documents social trends," calling attention to unnoticed persuasive features (33);

2. Insights gained in examining a few examples applied to the general communication process aids understanding (34-35);

3. Produces meta-knowledge or “explicit understanding of implicit realizations“ (35);

a. It helps explain "how we know what we know" (35-36)
b. Such criticism encourages an active participation with the messages we receive every day (37);
4. Rhetorical criticism is a "way to get outside of oneself“ (Hart, 39)

a. It assumes that we cannot understand others unless we understand how & why they act as they do

b. It brings us face to face with experiences & perceptions that are not our own (39)
Hart, Modern Rhetorical Criticism, 1990
Analyze This!
Analyze That!
Rhetorical Theory

This One?
Discourse Analysis
Analyzing written, vocal, or sign language use or any significant semiotic event.

Objects of discourse analysis: discourse, writing, conversation, communicative event, etc.

The various levels or dimensions of discourse, such as sounds (intonation, etc.), gestures, syntax, the lexicon, style, rhetoric, meanings, speech acts, moves, strategies, turns and other aspects of interaction

Genres of discourse (politics, the media, business, etc.)

The relations between discourse and the emergence of syntactic structure

The relations between text and context

The relations between discourse and power

The relations between discourse and interaction

The relations between discourse and cognition and memory
Genre: Communication Purpose

Register: Formality, technicality

Modality: Monologic, dialogic, etc.

Function: Transactional or Interactional
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