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Elements of Rhetorical Action
Transcript of Elements of Rhetorical Action
photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli
Some purposes are "instrumental;" they seek overt action from the audience.
Some purposes are "consummatory;" they seek appreciation, contemplation, or conferring honor or blame.
The conclusion argued (thesis) and the response desired by the rhetor.
The receivers of a rhetorical act.
"Target audience"- a role created by the
rhetor for the audience, or specialized
audiences (VIPS) with social and political
power to effect change.
The role(s) adopted by the rhetor
in making the argument (e.g., teacher,
preacher, reporter, prophet, mediator,
The rhetor's attitude toward the subject
(detached, emotional, satirical, etc.)
Rhetor's attitude toward the audience (
personal/impersonal, authoritative/egalitarian, etc.)
The different kinds of materials used to support arguments.
The way the materials are organized
to gain attention, develop a case, and
The adaptation of all the above, including diction, appeals, and arguments.
How is language used to accommodate the rhetor's purpose or overcome challenges faced?
What specific stylistic devices are used and with what effect?
What will be necessary to induce the audience to act?
What does the subject /purpose demand of the audience ?
What demands are made on the credibility of the rhetor by the subject/purpose & the audience?