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Rhetorical Essay Notes

Writing essays using Rhetorical Tools

Mikeal Basile

on 2 May 2018

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Transcript of Rhetorical Essay Notes

This is where you introduce the topic, but perhaps most importantly this is where you establish credibility as well. Often neglected, but without it we have no reason to listen to what you have to say.
Statement of Facts:
Basically the background context. Good time to
provide facts that support your goals and beliefs that you will eventually try to prove.
This is communicating what your outlined
discussion is going to say. Basically stating what your purpose and point will be.
This is like the body paragraphs. This is where you will explain and prove ideas based on textual evidence and other facts. Be certain to use good, clear logic.
Point out the weakest parts of your argument and explain why opposing view points might not agree...and why it is wrong for them to do so. This acts as a preemptive strike against counter-arguments and wins people over to your side that may have had those exact doubts. This approach also helps win over people emotionally, because you are admitting that you have weakness...which is human!
Simply restating opinions and facts from earlier is boring. If you want to win people over you do it here...you do it now...and you do it with conviction! Use emotional appeals here to get people excited about your ideas and let them remember the emotions you leave them with, and not some same old same old facts.
Know who you are writing for. Tuyalor your ideas and words to fit your audience's needs, desires, fears.
What are you using to support your points?
Facts, statistics, quoted sections?
There are three main ways to persuade:
Logic (reasoning) [Logos]
listed first because it is awesome!
Emotions (your audiences) [Pathos]
Ethics (your own authority) [Ethos]
Length of your piece
The delivery (some times are better than others)
What shape or form will your argument take?
Originally Broken into
discovery of relevant material
organization of relevant material into
sound structural form
consideration of appropriate manner for
the matter and occasion (grand/middle/low)
guidance on how to memorize speeches
elaborations on techniques for actually making a speech
Aristotle's students broke this down into parts...
If you want to increase your authority in speech...memorize. We feel like someone that isn't looking at notes is speaking from the heart--even if s/he is speaking from their mind (for the 50th time). The loci method is a great place to start your memory training (it's been used for thousands of years).
It's not how the words move, but how you move with the words.
The art of using language for persuasion, in speaking and writing; especially in oratory (Cuddon 794).
Primary Sources: Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory- J.A. Cuddon
Brett & Kate McKay's Website: http://www.artofmanliness.com/2010/11/14/classical-rhetoric-101-an-introduction/
Help Me!!
Forming an argument:
Stasis. It helps you determine what form your argument should take.
1. Questions about facts: What? Who? Idea or problem? Real/Imagined? Facts to support truth of opinion (factualize opinion)?
2. Questions about definition: Best way to define the idea/item/act. Parts of thing? Similarities to others?
3. Questions about quality: Good/Bad? Right/Wrong? Silly/Serious?
4. Questions about procedure: Best place to do this? Goal for audience at conclusion of piece.

Definition: Whoever controls what concepts, words, and context mean, controls the debate. Classifying the idea, determine what its essence is, and how much it matters

Comparison: This is mostly a focus on metaphors and analogies that create lasting images and correlations for your audience. It can also be the age-old compare and contrast.

Cause and Effect: (Hurray Global class!) When you argue against things based on the how it is the cause of various detrimental effects (backed by sound research).

Circumstance: The possible vs. the impossible. This can be rooted in what has occurred in the past and how that can help draw conclusions about the future.
Topoi (Topics) (courtesy of Aritotle's "The Art of Rhetoric"
It's not just a choice of flowers!
Statement of Facts
It's not only what you say...it's how you say it!
Using proper language to create a sense of credibility: proper grammar says you are educated and doesn't needlessly call your authority into question. If you write and speak like an educated and rationale person we are inclined to believe your argument is crafted in a likewise manner!
Simple, concise writing is the best. The more complicated and convoluted your writing the less intelligent it actually sounds. We can't believe you if we can't follow you. Don't believe me? Check out this Princeton University research study at the end of this presentation. Also, avoid being too lengthy in your sentence and paragraph structure. Simple is better, but too simple is just as it sounds.
No, not the textual evidence again. This time we are concerned with how well we are describing our pieces of evidence. Did you use sensory details whenever possible? Doing so helps appeal to people's emotional sides and thus expand the reach of your argument.
The right words for right audience at the right time. So when writing choose wisely and carefully. If you are writing for a college admission it probably isn't a good idea to use slang words and inside jokes only you and your friends know.
This is how you fancy up your point--by using literary terms like alliteration, simile, metaphor, onomatopoeia, and others! This makes your points a bit more interesting to read/listen to. Try them out! Check out the example by Bill Clinton coming up next.
“Somewhere at this very moment a child is being born in America. Let it be our cause to give that child a happy home, a healthy family, and a hopeful future.” — Bill Clinton, 1992 Democratic National Convention Acceptance Address
Make an Impression:
Use lasting images and repetition to help your audience remember your points. Using specific details in your writing helps people to remember your points as each is tied to some idea, image, or evidence. When speaking you should provide mini-summaries and road-maps as you transition between major points. Repetition can be your friend when it is used creatively.
Stockpile Evidence:
Use a journal to collect useful points, ideas, anecdotes and other helpful things that you could use to help make your future points. These can be ideas, quotations, or even stories you've heard. This is especially helpful when writing or speaking on-demand.
This is primarily a skill used with reference to body language and voice. You need to vary your movements, try to sound genuine, and avoid seeming like you don't know what you're talking about because we can't hear what you're talking about. Use hand gesture that feel natural--not theatrical. Don't be afraid of the power of pause: emphasis can be given with silence. Try to vary your tone and speed to match your points:
Rapid: haste, alarm, confusion, anger, vexation, fear, revenge, and extreme terror.
Quick or brisk: joy, hope, playfulness, and humor.
Moderate: good for narration, descriptions, and teaching.
Slow: gloom, sorrow, melancholy, grief, pity, admiration, reverence, dignity, authority, awe, power, and majesty.
Very slow: used to express the strongest and deepest emotions.

(from: A Natural System of Elocution and Oratory)
THE END...for now!
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