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Understanding Rhetoric: Book Summary

Exactly what it sounds like... (Issue 1 - 6)

Mohammad Izzid Deen Janoudi

on 15 October 2013

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Transcript of Understanding Rhetoric: Book Summary

Issue 1: Why Rhetoric?
Issue 2: Strategic Reading
Issue 3: Writing Identities
Issue 4: Argument Beyond Pro And Con
Issue 5: Research: More Than Detective Work
Issue 6: Rethinking Revision
Book Summary:
By Gregg Alverez-Parris, Mohammad Janoudi, Greg Peterkin, Sarit Shah & Sheridan Williams

- Not only fixing mistakes but looking at the paper with a different vision.
- Looking at new ways to add or fix problems of a paper.

Basic Revision
-Fixing the errors seen at the surface of a paper, "surface-errors"
-These errors can be distracting, and can turn off an audience.
-Basic Revision doesn't address the overall problems of the paper, it just makes it look more presentable

-Novel by Jane Austen, used as an example to show bigger-picture revision.
-She started with a happy ending which was uncharacteristic of her usually witty dialogues.
-A new scene is made where the Heroine and Hero have a sophiticated conversation, a debate on who is more faithful, a man or woman.
-However this was an elaborate solution. Simpler solutions can be better.
-Important to have enough time to revise.
There are two main types of sources:

1. Primary Sources:
The creator witnessed or participated in the events

2. Secondary Sources:
Source that describes, analyzes, or interprets a primary source.

Note: A Secondary Source can be a primary Source in a different case.
Kirkpatrick Sale's book would be a secondary source about his topic but a primary source about him.

-Consulting other writers to help with major revision.
-The book uses Wiliam Henry Seward, Abraham Lincoln's secretary of state, as an example.
-Seward was able to see the big pictures that Lincoln didn't, such as the possibility of secession if there was a bad tone.
Wall painting found in Pompeii is a Primary Source about the people of Pompeii in Roman times.
A book about a famous discoverer and event (by someone not related) would be a secondary source

In research, organization means being able to find material again when you need it for your argument. It's a strategy for presenting evidence.

You can achieve this by:
-Having keywords for labels.
-Keeping track of file structure.

Organization is perhaps the most important aspect in research and is needed for your sources.

Source Credibility

Determine the credibility of your sources by:

-Examining a variety of primary sources
-Making sure you understand all the points of view of the secondary sources to get a better picture (be careful about drawing conclusions).
-Reading about the author and knowing certain information about him such as depth of knowledge and personality.
-If it's a news report, check their sources.

Making Sources Talk

Ways to Revise
-Encouraged to revise radically.
-Physical Manipulation of a work by printing, cutting, and rearranging, Also useful to have a peer do the same.
-Follow the advice given in the Understanding Rhetoric book
-Get different opinions on your work.
-Have an identity.
Summary/Summarizing- Setting up context and providing background information. [Cite]

Paraphrase- Give a sense of the author's argument. [Cite]

Quotation/Quote: Draw attention to something particularly insightful in the author's own words. [Cite]


Plagiarism is presenting another's ideas and thoughts as your own.

Plagiarism can destroy your student and professional reputation.

Cite your sources people!
Ways to Revise Continued...
-Reread prompt/assignment and make sure it is answered.
-Answer any questions posed by your writing.
-Check over citations.
Turnitin Sees All!!

diction allusions themes


imagery ethos logos pathos implicit messages
Putting the pieces together with synthesis

- Analyzing components such as writing style, imagery, implicit messages, and use of ethos.
- Making meaning from multiple sources.
- By assembling information from multiple sources, we can really say something about a work and how to read it critically.

Using reading strategies

-Skim the reading first, then go back and read more closely, writing down annotations and questions. Then, read through everything and try to answer the questions you posed.
- The most important thing to understand is that critical reading is a process.
Think about ideal readers when examining a text. They understand every phrase, word, and sentence when in a literary work.
Reading critically means more than just imagining things when you read, it means you have to analyze the choice of individual elements in the text and how they fit together in ways that might not be immediately obvious.

Academic Argument
An Academic Argument is a conversation with one person actively trying to convince another to consider his/her view point. It's built on firm grounding that carefully considers all dimensions being discussed.

An argument requires ground/evidence to develop a position.

In an Argument we present, based on evidence, the following:

-Facts, answer the question "what?"
-Circumstances, answer the question "How?"
-Relationships, answer the question "who?"
-Reasons, answer the question "why?"

A claim comes from evidence and drawing conclusions. We have to be sure there is a strong and clear connection between the two.

For the claim(s) presented, we need:

1. Evidence
2. Analysis
3. Implications
4. Context

Presenting the claim has to be well organized so that it can be clear and persuasive for the reader/listener.

The organization should be close to:

1. Intro/Claim
2. Context and background
3. Evidence
4. Analysis
5. Implications
6. Conclusions/concluding claims

Various Identities
Writing identities is centered upon the author’s ability to capture the attention of the audience. One article may have several different demographics that are reading the subject matter and again the writer must reach everyone. The writer does this by “metamorphosing” the information and him/herself.

Displaying your authority or credibility based on the position you are writing from can influence the audiences’ perception and acceptance of your writing. Whatever position you take, as the author you would want to demonstrate experiential knowledge or intimate relationship with the subject matter. Sometimes both roles can be adopted within the same article or piece, which the author is writing about. As always the writing must be truthful without fictitious enhancement.

The article must be tangible for the audience and have a call to action. There must also be supporting information. In other words the article must “perform” deliver something to the audience. There must also be an end or conclusion which ties the various components together tugging at the logos and pathos of the reader.

- The techniques and rules for using language effectively.
- Essential to participation in democracy.
Main Figures
Aristotle - considered Rhetoric a foundation of education
Plato - believed rhetoric diminished our ability to speak the truth
Cicero - lawyer and statesman responsible for promoting rhetoric.
Concepts of Rhetoric
Ethos - credibility of the speaker.
Pathos - use of emotion in debate
Logos - appeal to reason
Kairos - timing
Rhetorical Analysis
Intended audience
Purpose of the text
Credibility of the author
What emotion is evoked
Is it organized logically
Is it relevent
Full transcript