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Rhetorical Situation

An overview of the rhetorical situation

Rosalyn Eves

on 26 August 2014

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Transcript of Rhetorical Situation

What is Rhetoric?
Mere words?
Insincere political talk?
Purposeful use of language and symbols
The study of how discourse gets things done in our social world (Keith and Lundberg, The Essential Guide to Rhetoric)
The study of how, when, and why discourses are persuasive (Keith and Lundberg)
The faculty of observing in any given situation the available means of persuasion (Aristotle)
Whenever we use rhetoric, we engage with the rhetorical situation
The rhetorical situation begins when something motivates us to communicate
This motivating factor is our EXIGENCE
Exigence involves seeing an opportunity for change, recognizing a problem that can be resolved through discourse.
Rhetorical Situation
What do I want to achieve? (Purpose)
How am I going to respond? (medium/genre)
Who do I need to persuade? (Audience)
What resources do I bring to the table? (Speaker)
Where is this exchange taking place? What else is going on? (Context)
Rhetorical Audience
How can I match my goals with my audiences beliefs and values?
How can I move my audience? How can I affect their mood? (PATHOS)

Audience must be capable of responding AND acting on message.
What responses are fitting for this occasion?
What medium and/or genre will best meet my audience's needs?
What information and presentation will best convince my audience? (LOGOS)
What common ground do I share with my audience?
How can I convince my audience to trust me? (ETHOS)
An appeal to the audience's emotions and/or values
An appeal based in the speaker's credibility.
Aristotle said a speaker should demonstrate:
Good will, good sense, good moral character
Appeal to reason. According to Aristotle, logos primarily involved the use of logic and sound reasoning, although it can also include the use of facts and statistics.
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