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Intro to Rhetoric

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Josh Aldrich

on 30 September 2014

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Transcript of Intro to Rhetoric

Please read the four articles related to the death of Princess Diana on Moodle
Type a response to each article based on the prompt and the rhetorical patterns and tropes that we have discussed in class.
Minimum of one paragraph per text
Please share with jaldrich@wellspringprep.com
Due at the beginning of class on Wednesday, February 27
Key Elements of Rhetoric
Introduction to Rhetoric
Rhetorical Triangle
Pathos, Logos, and Ethos
Don Draper, Robin Williams,
and the Kid President

Patterns of Development
Lou Gehrig's Farewell Speech
Lou and the Triangle
What is Gehrig's main idea?
Who are You?
When you sit down to write, you assume a "persona" (i.e. the speaker aspect of the triangle)
Your persona will change with each essay
Greek word for "character"
Greek for "embodied thought"
Greek for emotion
Don Draper's Sales Pitch to Kodak
Kid President Motivates You
Carpe Diem
He maintains his focus throughout the entirety of the speech
To remain optimistic and downplay the bleak outlook
Gehrig's purpose is:
Between games during a doubleheader
Contrast between the celebration of his athletic career and the life-threatening diagnosis of ALS
Gehrig's context is:
Gehrig also has a purpose
The occasion or the time and place it was written or spoken
Gehrig's speech has a context
Why is this an effective speech?
Always consider these three points when you sit down to write
You know your audience (Mr. Aldrich) and your subject (essay prompt), but what about the "speaker" aspect?
Gehrig perfectly understands the three points on the rhetorical triangle:
His audience include baseball fans and fellow athletes
He is not the most eloquent speaker, so he presents himself as the "everyman"
He's the "luckiest man on the face of the earth."
This is his thesis (aka claim or assertion)
What is likely to impress them enough to admit you to Unibetsedat Guahan?
What will they be expecting?
Who is your audience?
When you sit down to write your college entrance exam for the University of Guam...
If so, you're weird.
Or are you speaking as an expert on Norse heathen poetry?
Are you speaking as an expert on rock music in post-war Europe?
Are you a poet? A comedian? A scholar?
Lou Gehrig establishes ethos because he is an "everyman" who experiences the same good luck and bad breaks that his audience experiences in daily life
Dr. Bill Cosby
President Barack Obama
Secretary of State John Kerry
Reputation can carry with it ethos
Speakers might include concerned parents, psychiatrists specializing in adolescent behavior, or recovering alcoholics
Think of an anti-drunk driving speech that you've heard
Speakers and writers appeal to ethos to demonstrate that they are credible and trustworthy
All logos and you have the world's worst term paper
Your concessions and refutation paragraph addresses the logos at the foundation of your argument
Support: Belief that he has "never received anything but kindness and encouragement from his friends"
Support: 17 years of playing baseball
Thesis: He is the "luckiest man on the face of the earth"
Logos in Gehrig's speech?
Arguments need to appeal to logic as well as emotion
Imagery (tower of strength)
Uses words with positive connotations (greatest, wonderful, honored, grand, blessing)
Uses first person (I)
Pathos in Gehrig's speech?
If an argument that appeals to only logos is the world's most boring term paper, an argument that relies solely on pathos is a soap opera (or Soviet propaganda)
Ethos, Pathos, and Logos in Practice
Take 5 minutes to read Jody Heyman's essay "We Can Afford to Give Parents a Break" on Moodle
In your journal, note how Heyman uses ethos, pathos, and logos in her editorial.
Which does she appeal to most throughout the editorial?
How does Don Draper appeal to ethos, pathos, and logos in his sales pitch?
How does the Kid President appeal to ethos, pathos, and logos in his speech?
How does John Keating appeal to ethos, pathos, and logos in his lecture?
AP Language and Composition

When you analyze a text, it is important to consider how the essay and its individual paragraphs are arranged.
Classical Model
Five part structure
Not by Math Alone
Take 3 minutes to read "Not by Math Alone" by Sandra Day O'Connor and Ray Romer
Do O'Connor and Romer follow the classical model?
If so, outline the five-part structure in your journal.
Also, please mark in the margins where the authors appeal to ethos, pathos, and logos
Is this an effective essay? Why or why not?
Patterns of Development
Another way to consider arrangement is according to purpose
Is the writer's purpose to compare and contrast, to narrate an event, or to define a term?
Patterns of Development
3. Process Analysis
Explains how something works, how to do something, or how something was done
Read excerpt from "Transsexual Frogs"
What does Royte seek to accomplish in this passage?
Patterns of Development
6. Classification and Division
Readers and writers need to sort material into major categories
What goes together and why?
How does Amy Tan use this strategy in "Mother Tongue"?
How a writer structures the argument within that framework depends upon his/her intended purpose and effect
Every essay has a beginning, middle, and end (introduction, developmental paragraphs, and conclusion)
Is the text organized in the best possible way to achieve its purpose?
Conclusion (peroratio) - appeals to pathos and reminds the reader of the ethos established earlier
Answers the question, so what?
Refutation (refutatio) - address the counterargument
Bridge between writer's proof and conclusion
Appeals to logos
Confirmation (confirmatio) - usually the major part of the text
Includes development or proof needed to make writer's case
Strongest appeal to logos
Narration (narratio) - provides factual information and background material on the subject at hand
Often appeals to pathos because the writer attempts to evoke an emotional response about the issue
Introduction (exordium) - introduces the reader to the subject under discussion
"Beginning a web"
Often the introduction is where the writer establishes ethos
2. Description
Closely aligned with narration because both include many specific details
Establishes a mood or atmosphere
Emphasizes the senses by painting a picture
Read Nickel and Dimed excerpt
What is Ehrenreich's primary purpose?
1. Narration
Refers to telling a story or recounting a series of events
Narration is not simply crafting an appealing story; it is crafting a story that supports your thesis
Read Putting Down the Gun excerpt by Rebecca Walker
Walker tells a story about her son to lead into an explanation of why she put together her anthology
5. Comparison and Contrast
Juxtaposing two things to highlight their similarities and differences
Can be organized subject by subject or point by point
How does Arviso use compare and contrast in "Walking the Path between Worlds"?
4. Exemplification
Providing a series of examples - facts, specific cases, or instances - to turn a general idea into a concrete one
Induction - a series of specific examples leads to a general conclusion
Read the first excerpted paragraph of "I Know Why the Caged Bird Cannot Read"
What is Prose's purpose in this paragraph?
Read the second excerpted paragraph
Why does Prose examine Huck Finn so closely?
8. Cause and Effect
Analyzing the causes that lead to a certain effect or, conversely, the effects that result from a cause is a powerful foundation for an argument
Often signaled by a "why" in the title or opening paragraph
Prose writes, "Give the dreariness with which literature is taught in many American classrooms, it seems miraculous that any sentient teenager would view reading as a source of pleasure."
What argument does she make in the final excerpted paragraph?
7. Definition
Defining a term is often the first step in a debate or disagreement
How does Tan use this pattern in "In Search of a Good Family"?
Full transcript