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Introduction to Rhetoric

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Nicole Meehan

on 4 February 2014

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Transcript of Introduction to Rhetoric

Who is the intended audience? How do you know?
How does the author position themselves in relation to the audience?
What is the author's attitude towards to audience and what does the author assume is the audience's attitude towards him or her? How do you know?
From Literary Analysis to Rhetorical Analysis
Rhetorical analysis focuses on
a text works to persuade its audience toward a specific argument or to communicate a certain veiwpoint to its audience
The art and study of adapting language to effectively persuade--any type of communication that seeks to move an audience toward a specific position, understanding or action.
Defining Rhetoric
and Rhetorical Analysis

The Rhetorical Situation
Advertising and Audience
Analyzing the
Rhetorical Situation
(SG 182-186)
What is Rhetoric
and Rhetorical Analysis?

Broad understanding of what constitutes a "text"
Visually driven and multi-genre
Broad relevance for varied disciplines and purposes (professional and personal)
Any situation in which communication occurs or a situation in which one person (author/speaker) attempts to communicate some message to another person (audience) for a specific
reason (purpose)
Message and
Who is the author?
What organizations, viewpoints
or interests does this author represent?
What kind of character does the author
What response does the author
intend for the audience to have?
What message does the author intend for the audience to understand?
Are the message a purpose different and why?
Message and Purpose
What are the cultural backgrounds of the audience?
Date, medium, contemporary events, physical and material surroundings of the text?
Where and when does this argument or image appear?
Rhetorical Strategies
Taking their rhetorical situation into account, authors/speakers then use rhetorical strategies to make their argument effective/persuasive.
If the message is what they want to convey then rhetorical strategies can be thought of as
they do so.
These are deliberate choices, moves, devices that the author uses to produce an intended effect.
Rhetorical Appeals
Logos: persuading by the use of reasoning; clarity of argument, the logic of its reasons, and the effectiveness of its supporting evidence.
Ethos: refers to the trustworthiness or credibility of the writer or speaker.
Pathos: appeal to the audience's sympathies and imagination.
Rhetorical Strategies Differ by Type/Genre
Psychology and Purpose of Visual/Spatial Analysis
We shape, interpret, and participate in multiple forms of meaning-making based on the things we see and the spaces we inhabit
The visual/spatial analytical lens, aims to uncover the ways we are persuaded by various kinds of visuals or physical spaces, addresses various visual elements (composition, cohesion, visual rhetorical situation) and looks at how those deliberate choices affect an audience’s perceptions or ideas about that visual/space.

word choice
sentence structure
use of secondary sources
types of examples
use of stories or anecdotes
use of statistics
use of graphs or charts
tone of voice

Written Texts
Contrast: what is emphasized, highlighted?
Repetition: what is repeated, reiterated?
Arrangement/organization: what do we
see first, second, etc.?
Proximity: what is near to the viewer and behind/outside the field of vision?
Focus: what is in and out of focus?
Technique: what type of medium is used
(photography, painting, film)?
Point of View: what is the vantage point,
who do we identify with (subject or creator)
Balance: is there a sense of unity or disunity/asymmetry and what may this be used for?

Visual Texts
*Note: consider multiple audiences and purposes
and narrow it down (no "general american audience")
With a partner, take an accounting of the
strategies you see at work in your print ads (make a list).
How are the types of strategies you notice recurring related to this type of text (medium/genre)?
Make an inference about how this particular type of text
persuades its audience.
Rhetoric is Everywhere
Small Group Work
Full transcript