We must ask questions about how the text conveys a persuasive message or argument, how it addresses a specific audience, and how the writer operates within a specific context
Why is it important for us to understand texts rhetorically? Because recognizing gives us greater power to choose and to make informed decisions For example, “once you see how texts try to shape your mind about the world, then you can decide whether or not to agree with the many messages you encounter on a regular basis” EID, Ch. 1, p. 3
What is rhetoric? Rhetoric is defined by Aristotle “as the ability to discern the available means of persuasion in any given situation” In others words, it is “knowing what strategies will work to convince your audience to accept your message” and then using those strategies to convince or persuade others of your argument EID, Ch. 1, p. 4
Common examples of rhetoric editorials song lyrics cover letters essays… Can you think of any others?
Visual Rhetoric Strategies of persuasion that occur through images combined with words Study of visual rhetoric involves analyzing choices such as formatting, use of text, choice of graphics, use of color, etc. Examples of visual rhetoric: movie trailers, advertisements, commercials, etc. Can you think of any others?
The Rhetorical Situation“We do not write in isolation but rather to communicate with others who have an interest in our message.” In order to discern the best available means of persuasion, you must look at and assess the rhetorical situation—that is, the relationship between writer, text, and audience
In constructing arguments, you must first evaluate your rhetorical situation. For example, when you apply for a job, would you most likely send a formal cover letter or a hasty email?
Analyzing Visual Texts Rhetorically Enables you to understand how and why certain choices are made and the effect of these choices on the message and how it’s received by the audience Involves looking closely at “the choice of words, the composition of the image, the particular colors, character placement, and design” which enable you to gain a deeper understanding of a text’s message and its audience