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Rhetorical Strategies that Work

AP Language and Composition
by

Jessica Stevens

on 26 August 2014

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Transcript of Rhetorical Strategies that Work

photo (cc) Malte Sörensen @ flickr
Rhetorical Strategies that Work
Aristotle says it's "the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion."
Rhetoric
fancy word for "issue"
it's the topic, situation, event, etc. that is bugging the author
it's the thing that causes the author to write/speak
Exigence
Sort of self-explanatory, right?
the person or people who need to hear this message because they have the power to do something about it
Audience
the reason the author is writing/speaking
the desired effect of the rhetoric
the goal that the speaker or writer wants to achieve
Purpose
a.k.a.: ethical appeal
the author uses his/her own credibility to convince the audience
the author is sensible
the author has high moral character
the author is benevolent
Ethos
a.k.a: emotional appeal
uses examples of basic human needs and/or suffering to evoke emotions from the audience
may appeal to an audience's biases or prejudices
Pathos
Logos
The audience realizes that they should follow their emotions (or their "hearts") to guide them in the decision to be persuaded.
Effect on Audience:
Pathos very rarely stands on its own in an argument. It is considered fairly weak by itself, as it is often perceived as propagandistic.
a.k.a.: logical appeal
the author convinces the audience that his/her call to action "makes sense" and is the most rational choice
usually based on concrete evidence and examples
might involve pointing out the weaknesses in the opposition's position by noting faulty logic
Logos
The audience understands that agreeing with this author is the logical, rational thing to do.
Effect on Audience:
The audience is more likely to accept the ideas of a speaker that they perceive as credible, trustworthy, or similar to them.
Effect on Audience:
There's a reason that you don't ask me for help with your physics homework. I have no ethos in that situation; I would be a terrible resource for help with physics, and you would never want to take my advice about how to be successful on a physics test.
What issue(s) led your author to write this book?
Who is the intended audience of this book?
What purpose(s) could this book have?
Talk with your book group:
You should be able to come up with at least 5 answers to each of these questions!
Sports Illustrated, Letters
December 12, 2005

In addition to top-ranked Duke, why were the Nos. 3, 4 and 6 teams given cover appearances, rather than No. 2 Texas? I am not a Longhorns fan--I'm a TCU graduate going to grad school at Texas A&M--but with Texas contending for championships in football and basketball, is that just too much burnt orange for SI?

Courtney Wellmann
College Station, Texas
Consider the issue, audience, and purpose of the following letter to the editor:
How many audiences, issues, and purposes can you think of?
Sports Illustrated, Letters
December 12, 2005

In addition to top-ranked Duke, why were the Nos. 3, 4 and 6 teams given cover appearances, rather than No. 2 Texas? I am not a Longhorns fan--I'm a TCU graduate going to grad school at Texas A&M--but with Texas contending for championships in football and basketball, is that just too much burnt orange for SI?

Courtney Wellmann
College Station, Texas
Consider the
ethos
,
pathos
, and
logos
at work in the following letter to the editor:
a comparison of two things that aren't usually alike
both metaphors and similes fall into this category
Analogy
The audience understands the issue because it's like something else they're familiar with.
Effect on Audience
a reference to a work of literature or an historical event
Allusion
Um, really?
The repeated use of a word, phrase, or idea
Repetition
The audience is reminded of something they've heard about or read in order to increase their interest in the issue.
Effect on Audience
The audience holds onto the repeated idea longer and is more likely to remember it later.
Effect on Audience:
a question that doesn't require an answer because the answer is obvious or implied
Rhetorical Question
Each person in the audience is supposed to think about the answer to the question and realize that he/she already knows the answer.
Effect on Audience:
a respectful acknowledgment of the opposing party's opinion
Concession to the Opposition
The audience understands that the speaker is reasonable and respectful, even to those who disagree.
Effect on Audience:
using the same pattern of words to show that two or more ideas have the same level of importance
Paul Ryan said,
"We can get this country working again. We can get this economy growing again. We can make the safety net safe again. We can do this.”
Parallelism
The audience understands that the ideas are closely related, if not equal.
Effect on Audience:
a deliberate exaggeration
Hyperbole
The audience's attention is caught by the drama of the exaggeration.
Effect on Audience:
Watch/read closely and annotate the following persuasive speeches from 300, Mark Bezos's TED talk, and Angelina Jolie's World Refugee Day Speech. Note the rhetorical strategies used, and think about HOW the use of these strategies strengthens the rhetoric of the speeches and helps convey their messages.
Analyzing the Use of Rhetoric in Media
*Too much hyperbole can make the speaker seem out of touch with reality.
**These can be overused. If a speaker asks too many questions, the audience may start to wonder whether or not the speaker actually knows what he/she is talking about . . .
Maybe a better way to say it is "a thoughtful, reflective activity leading to effective communication, including rational exchange of opposing viewpoints."
Full transcript