rhetoric for prep session - Barren County School District

The art and study of using language
Letitia Hughes
AP Language
Barren County High School
Defining “Rhetoric”
 Aristotle
defined rhetoric as “the faculty of
observing in any given case the available means
of persuasion.”
 Rhetoric
is “the art of communicating ideas”
What are rhetorical strategies?
Rhetoric may be described as
“persuasive use of language”
and rhetorical strategies are
techniques by which writers
persuade readers.
Anything a writer does is a
rhetorical strategy— any
choice at all.
 The
art and practice of rhetoric dates to the
Greeks—to Aristotle in particular.
 Essentially, rhetoric addresses the
relationship/conversation among audience,
purpose, and speaker/writer.
Speaker or writer
 The
speaker/writer adopts a persona,
which is not a negative term, but rather
refers to the role he or she deems most
effective for purpose and audience.
Speaker or writer
 Audience,
purpose, and persona affect
the appeals that the speaker/writer uses.
writer’s primary responsibility in a text is to
appeal to logos—to the audience’s inherent
need for a meaningful, purposeful, and
effective text. In appealing to logos, writers
establish and support their
 character and credibility (appeal to ethos)
 invigorate the audience’s emotions and
interests (appeal to pathos)
 Note the language the author uses to appeal
to pathos, ethos, and logos.
Persuasive Appeals in Rhetoric
 Ethos
(Ethical Appeal)
Appeal to character
Emphasizes shared values between the speaker and
the audience
Purpose: demonstrates speaker is credible and
Speaker’s ethos include expertise and knowledge,
experience, training, sincerity, etc.
Persuasive Appeals in Rhetoric
 Logos
(Logical Appeal)
Appeal to reason (“logos”=“embodied thought”
Emphasizes main idea using specific details,
examples, facts, statistical data, expert testimony,
Purpose: supporting point(s) on the basis of logic
Sophisticated appeals will acknowledge a
counterargument and either concede or refute the
opposing argument
Persuasive Appeals in Rhetoric
 Pathos
(Emotional Appeal)
Appeal to emotion
Purpose: engage the emotions of the audience
Usually include vivid, concrete description,
figurative language, and visual elements
Appeals to pathos are rarely effective in the long
term. Why? It’s usually…
Propaganda- a negative term for writing designed to sway
opinion rather than present information
Polemic- an argument against an idea, usually regarding
philosophy, politics, or religion
Not always separate sections.
The rhetor does not necessarily make these appeals
in separate sections of a text.
A single sentence can appeal to logos, the audience's
interest in a clear cogent idea; ethos, the audience's
belief in the credibility and good character of the
writer; and pathos, the audience's emotions or
interests in regard to the topic at hand.
In analysis…
Remember to address ethos, logos,
pathos as appeals!
ethical appeal instead of ethos
emotional appeal instead of pathos
logical appeal instead of logos
is the Speaker?
What is the Occasion?
Who is the Audience?
What is the Purpose?
What is the Subject?
What is the Tone?
 Speaker:
the individual or collective
voice of the text
 Occasion: the event or catalyst causing
the writing of the text to occur
 Audience: the group of readers to whom
the piece is directed
 Purpose: the reason behind the text
 Subject: the general topic and/or main
 Tone: the attitude of the author
Can you describe the rhetorical
triangle to someone else?
 Consider
what you would say to a classmate who
could not attend the prep session today, write down
one or two major points you would use to explain
the rhetorical triangle.
 How would you compare this to SOAPSTONE?
Putting it all together…
 Writers
always write in response to a
rhetorical situation—a convergence of
time, place, and circumstances that leads
them to make decisions about who their
audience is, what purpose their text
might accomplish, and what genre it
would be most appropriate for them to
Putting it all together..
 All
of these goals and appeals—everything
writers do to identify an audience, accomplish
a purpose, create an appropriate genre,
embody a reasonable and convincing set of
ideas, establish their character and credibility,
and enliven the audience’s emotions and
interests—all of this work is accomplished
simultaneously by choosing to write or speak
the words, phrases, and sentences, and by
creating textual structures that are appropriate
and effective for the rhetorical situation at
Rhetorical Modes:
Patterns of Development
 Narration
Telling a story or recounting a series of events
Narrating for a purpose
 Process
Explaining how something works, how to do
something, or how something was done
Rhetorical Modes:
Patterns of Development
 Description
Providing sensory details; describing by
emphasizing the senses of sight, sound, smell,
taste, feeling
Closely allied with narration because it provides
specific details. However, description emphasizes
the senses.
Rhetorical Modes:
Patterns of Development
 Exemplification
Providing a series of examples-- facts, specific cases,
or instances– to turn a general idea into a concrete
Induction=a type of logical proof in which a series of
specific examples lead to a general conclusion (triangle)
Deduction= a generalization relating many pieces of
information is used to draw a conclusion about a specific
piece (inverted triangle)
Types of Exemplification:
(1) Multiple examples (many examples)
(2) Extended examples (one example examined in depth)
Rhetorical Modes:
Patterns of Development
 Comparison
and Contrast
Juxtaposing two things to highlight their similarities
and differences
Types of Comparison and Contrast:
(1) Subject-by-subject: writer discusses all elements of one
subject, then turns to another
(2) Point-by-point: writer organizes analysis around specific
points of a discussion
Rhetorical Modes:
Patterns of Development
 Classification
and Division
Sorting materials or ideas into major categories
Answering the question, “What goes together and
Sometimes categories are ready-made, sometimes
writers must develop their own
Rhetorical Modes:
Patterns of Development
 Definition
Defining a term crucial to an idea or argument
Often the first step in a debate or disagreement
May take only one sentence or paragraph, although
sometimes it is the purpose of an entire essay
Rhetorical Modes:
Patterns of Development
 Cause
and Effect
Analyzing the causes that lead to a certain effect or,
conversely, the effects that result from a cause
Depends on crystal clear logic
Often signaled by a “why” in the title or opening
paragraph (Ex: “I Know Why the Caged Bird Cannot
Sing” by Francine Prose)
Shift and Contrast
 Every
piece, regardless of
the mode used, will
contain either a SHIFT or a
 To
accurately analyze the
rhetoric, you have to find
the shift or contrast.
Finding Shifts
A shift is a change in the author’s tone (attitude).
A change or shift in tone is often signaled by the following:
Transitions (e.g., but, yet, nevertheless, however, although)
Note: Transitions may serve to…
 Provide alternative
 Add
 Compare
 Contrast
 Show result
 Summarize
 Emphasize
 Provide an example
 Intensify
 Show time
 Stanza and Paragraph divisions
 Changes in line and stanza or sentence length
Finding Contrast
Contrasts usually boil down to…
- the ideal world
- how it really is
- the perfect world
- the seedy, gritty, mechanized
- the beautiful
- the ugly
- the true
- falsehood
- the pure
- the exploited
- the innocent
- the experienced
- the pastoral
- the urban
Author’s Style
 Style
is the way someone writes as opposed
to what he/she writes. It results from things
like word choice/ diction, tone, use of
figurative language, imagery, detail and
allusions, and syntax.
 Even something as simple as a grocery list
can show an author’s writing style
So how do you analyze
 Consider
the following:
(1) Context and purpose
(2) Interaction between the subject, speaker, and
audience (Aristotelian triangle)
(3) Persuasive appeals (Ethos, Logos, Pathos)
(4) Rhetorical Mode (pattern of development)
(5) Style (rhetorical devices-tone, sentence
structure/syntax, diction/vocabulary, use of detail
and figurative language, allusions, etc.)
So how do you analyze
 Think
about the big umbrella of Rhetoric
 Focus on the EFFECT…
SO WHAT?????
Writing Thesis statements for
Rhetorical Analysis
Thesis Framework:
In (title of work ), (author/persona/speaker)
uses (rhetorical devices, mode, appeals, etc)
to (action verb - show, reveal, explore,
portray, convey, emphasize, suggest, etc.)
(direct object - theme, tone, purpose).
Tip: This is only to get started until you are
confident enough to develop a thesis on your
own. Think of the framework as training wheels
on your AP Language bike.
Developing the Essay…
 Now
take your thesis and make each
rhetorical strategy you selected
(preferably two or three) be a section of
your essay.
 Make a claim about the strategy and its
effect on something under the big
 Carefully select data from the passage
that supports your claim.
 Offer warrant/commentary/insight on
how the data illuminates the claim you
are making about the effect on the area
you chose from the big umbrella.
C laim
D ata
W arran t O R
C om m en tary
Th esis S tatem en t
Top ic S en ten ces
(W h at you wish
to p rove.)
D irect Q u otes
S u m m ary
P arap h rase
D etails
op in ion , in sig h t,
an alysis, reaction
exp lication , feelin g s,
Rhetorical Analysis
Let’s Practice with a real AP
Language question!
 Read
and annotate the 2003 Form B AP
Language Rhetorical Strategies Question
 John Downe’s letter to his wife
 As you annotate look for the things we have
discussed… like SoapsTONE, shift, appeals,
diction, etc.
 Afterwards, we will share our findings and look
at some sample essays that earned upper level
scores on the AP scale.
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