LangTextChapter1 - AP English Language and Composition


Chapter One An Introduction to Rhetoric: Using the “Available Means”


Reading, Writing, Rhetoric

What is Rhetoric?

 Defined by Aristotle as “the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion.”  Leads to effective communication  And it’s important because…  use the “available means,” acquire a position of strength

Key Elements of Rhetoric  Rhetoric can be studied in relation to both spoken and written words July 4, 1939 – Lou Gehrig delivers a speech to baseball fans ** Alt version of audio

Key Elements – Context / Purpose  What is context?

 What was Gehrig’s context?

   - between double header - contrast between celebration and “bad break” What was his purpose?

- remain positive - is straightforward, honest, focused Other general purposes? Beware of contextual bias

Key Elements – Thesis / Speaker  Claim, Assertion, Thesis: clear and focused  Gehrig: “luckiest man on the face of the earth”  Subject: baseball! Gehrig knows it well  Speaker: common man, baseball player, modest, courageous, not orator… he explicitly showed these traits of himself  All of theses elements combined to make Gehrig’s speech one of the most famous of the early 20 th century

Rhetorical / Aristotelian Triangle   Shows interaction Interaction determines structure and language of “argument” Speaker Audience Subject

Rhetorical / Aristotelian Triangle  Subject: topic, background, evidence  Speaker: sometimes author, sometimes persona  Persona examples: student, concerned citizen, activist, expert, etc.

 Audience: knowledge? attitude? bias?

 How do these interactions affect the argument?

Rhetorical Appeals - Ethos  Ethos is the appeal to the character of the speaker, to demonstrate that they are credible and trustworthy  Sometimes reputation is enough  Sometimes tone is enough  Often an appeal to ethos is found explicitly within the argument  Ethos gives the audience a reason for listening

Rhetorical Appeals - Logos  Logos is an appeal to reason (logic) by offering clear, rational ideas  Achieved through clear thesis with specific and sufficient support  Based on an assumption or underlying belief (Gehrig example: Bad breaks are natural and inevitable)  Logos includes counterargument: concession and refutation

Rhetorical Appeals - Pathos  Pathos is the appeal to emotions of the audience  Not often effective by itself  Accomplished through choice of language, personal anecdotes… whatever engages emotions of audience  Language = connotation  Visuals can add to pathos  Propaganda – relies almost wholly on pathos… unique situation because of audience

Ethos, Pathos and Logos in Practice

Read aloud: Article “We Can Afford to Give Parents a Break” on Page 6-8

Ethos, Pathos and Logos in Practice


 “Our government” – she is part of it, she is critical on behalf of audience  Her credentials as researcher  Location (context) of publication/audience establishes ethos

Ethos, Pathos and Logos in Practice


Her frame as an economic issue is appeal to logic Uses cause/effect examples Addresses the opposition – “myths”

Ethos, Pathos and Logos in Practice


 Occasion of Mother’s Day– even though she doesn’t ID herself as a mother

Synthesizing our learning… If time allows: Article on Twitter, in pairs Collected Homework: Assignment, pg 9 (Albert Einstein letter) – follow instructions in book.

Visual Rhetoric  Elements of Rhetoric can also be applied to visual texts  Political cartoons, advertisements, visual aids  Sometimes satirical, not always  Rosa Parks cartoon, pg 11: subject, speaker, audience, context, purpose, ethos, pathos, logos

Rhetoric from Literature  Literature is also persuasive  Example: Julius Caesar speech  How does Antony appeal to ethos, pathos and logos??

Arrangement  Organization of a piece is also part of rhetoric  Beginning, middle, end - - intro, body, conclusion  Arrangement depends on purpose and intended effect  Not always conscious, but should be considered

Classical Model 1.





Introduction – Any number of paragraphs. Piques interest in some way. Establish ethos.

Narration – Factual and background material. Establishes the “why.” Appeal to logos OR pathos.

Confirmation – Development of proof. Examples. Appeal to logos. Refutation – Addresses counterargument. Can appear anywhere within argument. Appeal to logos.

Conclusion – Answers the question “so what?” Brings it all together. Appeal to pathos and ethos (reminder)

Patterns of Development  Arrangement according to purpose  Author’s purpose suggests a particular method of arrangement  Organize an entire text, or paragraphs within one

Narration  Telling a story or recounting events  Based on personal experience or observation  Usually chronological, detailed  Has a point of view and sometimes dialogue  Think of it as crafting a story… that supports your thesis!

 Often used as a way to introduce topics

Description  Often with narration  Emphasis on details, not story  Establish a mood or atmosphere  Not used alone… ineffective  Vivid description can make your writing more persuasive  Examples: Ehrenreich and Orwell

Process Analysis  Explains how something works, how to do something, or how it was done  Clarity  Logical, chronological, thorough  Ex. Writing about a scientific experiment or survey. In Psych, papers start with methodology

Exemplification  Providing a series of examples: facts, specifics  Makes argument clearer and more persuasive  Inductive reasoning: a series of examples leads to a conclusion  A few very thorough examples can be just as convincing as several brief ones

Comparison and Contrast  Juxtaposing two things to highlight similarities and difference  Use to analyze information, to reveal insights  Some AP prompts are like this! Analyze differences in style  Subject by subject: discuss all elements of one, then the other ORRRR  Point by point: organized around specific ideas of comparison

Classification and Division  Sorting material into major categories  Writer’s task is to develop own categories, find a way to break it down into parts  Example: Amy Tan’s “Englishes” classification

Definition  Lay common ground in an essay  Ex: define “successful” if that’s what your essay is addressing  Can be a simple paragraph, or the point of an entire paper  Ex: essay defining family

Cause and Effect  Be wary of establishing factual causes: not every “cause” directly causes an effect (logic flaws)

Patterns of Development  Assignment: pg. 26 – examine arrangement / patterns of development in “We Can Afford to Give Parents a Break”