The art and study of using language effectively 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 audience subject 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 (Ethos) Audience (Pathos) Audience, Subject (Logos) purpose, and persona affect the appeals that the speaker/writer uses. A 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) and 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 trustworthy Speaker’s ethos include expertise and knowledge, experience, training, sincerity, etc. Persuasive Appeals in Rhetoric Logos (Logical Appeal) Appeal to reason (“logos”=“embodied thought” [Greek]) Emphasizes main idea using specific details, examples, facts, statistical data, expert testimony, etc. 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. o o 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! Say… ethical appeal instead of ethos emotional appeal instead of pathos logical appeal instead of logos Who 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 idea 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 produce. 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 hand. Rhetorical Modes: Patterns of Development Narration Telling a story or recounting a series of events Narrating for a purpose Process Analysis Explaining how something works, how to do something, or how something was done Rhetorical Modes: Patterns of Development Description o 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 one 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 why?” 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 CONTRAST. 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 Punctuation Stanza and Paragraph divisions Changes in line and stanza or sentence length Finding Contrast Contrasts usually boil down to… THE ROMANTICS vs. THE REALISTS - 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 writing? 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 writing? Think about the big umbrella of Rhetoric Focus on the EFFECT… SO WHAT????? Theme Tone Purpose 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 umbrella 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. Chunk 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, reflection 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.