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Transcript of Procatalepsis
Rhetoric Device #7: Procatalepsis
AP Language & Composition
Dove - 1st Block
What exactly is procatalepsis?
I know it sounds scary, but trust me, it's not!
So...why should I care about this?
Procatalepsis can be extremely useful for argumentative essays!
Wow, this procatalepsis thing sounds great! How can I use this magical device?!
You (yes, you!) can use procatalepsis in one of three ways:
Procatalepsis can best be described as prebuttal!
prebuttal: countering an opposing argument before it has even been brought to attention
So, for example:
Some dieticians may claim a healthy diet alone will whip you into shape. However, the combination of a healthy diet and moderate exercise will not only give you lasting results, but also increase the amount of endorphins your body produces, which will make you happier!
(and happy people just don't shoot their husbands, they just don't.)
It shows that the writer or speaker is well-prepared, having already thought of potential problems and having a response ready for them. It also gives the author more credibility, for recognizing there are potential faults with their argument!
Offer strong answers to common objections. So if you know there are obvious problems with your argument, address them and suggest your solution!
Come up with your own objections, as well as answers to strengthen your argument. This shows the reader that you have really considered both points of view on the subject!
Come up with your own objections, but imagine these objections are suggested by a specific group of people. This can be very powerful; however, you have to make sure the character is believable or else it can weaken your argument!
I'm still confused... Can you give me some examples?
Who needs ice removal in a warm climate? Well, the night can get very cold, and of course when it's hot every day, you may want to head for the cooler hills!
This is a great example of an obvious potential problem!
The argument that wiretapping and satellite photography violate citizens' privacy holds no validity since the Bill of Rights offers no specific protection of a "right" to privacy.
This is a great example of an objection the author themselves would come up with!
Naysayers and prophets of doom will no doubt want proof that this new product is both safe and effective, but the proof will be in the product's success. How can the future be proven?
This is a great example of imagining how a specific group of people would react to your argument!