Introduction to Rhetoric 4th century B.C Aristotles definition rhetoric is discovering all available means of persuasion on a topic Rhetoric has a clear persuasive function and epistemic function, a way to discover what is known and what can be known about a subject.
Rhetorical Exigence something which motivates us to engage in the act of communicating Modern definition - rhetoric is the intentional use of language to influence an audience 5 Canons of Rhetoric Invention - from Latin, inventio, "invention" or "discovery. - Systematically discovering arguments about a given
topic - Includes research and prewriting Arrangement - from Latin, dispositio, "disposition" or arrangement - Arranging parts for greatest effect - Often referred to as "structure" or "organization." 5 Canons of Rhetoric (contd.)
Style - from Latin, elocutio, emphasis on spoken language - Elements include: word choice (diction) sentence/paragraph length and arrangement (syntax) figurative language
5 Canons of Rhetoric (contd.) Memory - from Latin, memoria - Greater emphasis in Aristotle and Plato's day - Paper and ink were much harder to come by - Plato distrusted writing - believed it became a crutch, allowing for dependence on the written text rather than developing mental skills. - Today, we rely on notes--or PowerPoint slides!
5 Canons of Rhetoric (contd.) Delivery - from Latin, pronuntiatio - Focus on oral presentation - Internet allows for self-publishing - Color, graphics, and other visual elements Rhetorical Context
Rhetorical Context Aim - The speaker or writer's goal--the effect you want to have on a specific audience. Audience - The specific person or group of people you are addressing. Medium
- The method of delivery--newspaper, flyer, radio or television broadcast, poster, letter, speech, academic paper, etc. Subject Rhetorical Appeal Rhetorical Appeal Ethos
- Greek for "ethics" - Ethos = credibility, reliability, and authority as a speaker or writer - Ethos is your reputation and the strategies used to convince your audience that you should be believed and taken seriously Rhetorical Appeal Logos
- Greek for logic - focuses on the text itself--the data, examples, statistics, facts, reasoning, etc. - "support material Rhetorical Appeal Pathos - Greek root in medical terms such as pathology, pathologist, psychopath, etc.
- Pathos = appealing to feelings or emotions - Focus is on the audience Aristotle believedand still true - Most significant of the appeals is ethos -- Reputation or charisma lead to belief even if the facts are weak. - Ideally, people are persuaded by logos --But most people are more swayed by what
we feel and care about than by what we believe to be factual. - All three appeals work together to accomplish rhetorical aim. Visual Elements Internet Impact Language & Image - Language = diction, syntax, and imagery
- Image = graphical elements - font size and color - white space on a page - layout and arrangement - graphics to illustrate and explain Visual literacy - decoding information based on the graphical elements we see and read
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