(1) RHETORICAL STRATEGIES:
"He who does not study rhetoric will
be a victim of it."
(graffito found on a wall
in Greece from the 6th century BC)
- Aristotle defined rhetoric (in his famous book, Rhetoric)
as the art, faculty, or "ability, in each particular case, to see
the available means of persuasion" (Bk.
I, Ch.2, emphasis mine).
- The failure to understand how others utilize rhetoric or the
inability to use rhetoric properly in our own work often leads to the
victimization the above graffitist refers to:
- We cannot defend
against their claims or
- We cannot effectively support our own.
- RHETORICAL STRATEGIES:
- For us, then, Rhetorical Strategies are the "means" Aristotle
speaks of, the methods for "finding all the available arguments"
(Bk. I, Ch.2) on
a particular issue,
- those methods that allow us to convey
convincingly our point on a given topic.
- In other words, Rhetorical Strategies assist us writers in
organizing our compositions for the
best effect as we attempt
- to describe, to relate a story, to illustrate a point
- to divide or classify, to analyze a process,
- to compare or contrast,
or to define
- Thus, in short, Rhetorical Strategies are ways of
presenting our material on a subject
- in essay writing
- in speech writing
- Gaining familiarity and skill with these Rhetorical Strategies will
- not only
- present our arguments in the most convincing and explicit way
- but also
- understand another's argument
- critique another's argument
- AKA (Also Known As):
- rhetorical strategies
- rhetorical modes
- rhetorical methods
- rhetorical devices
- modes of discourse
(2) THE RHETORICAL STRATEGIES:
- Below are some of the more common Rhetorical Strategies, but
there are others - many others.
- A few not included in the
following list are Analogy, Argument, Persuasion, and
- Utilize sense details and figurative language
- to support a
dominant impression concerning an object or person.
- Relate a story in chronological order
- to support a moral.
- Illustrate a thesis of your own opinion
- with three specific
examples taken from a broad base of support.
- Explain the process one might go through to achieve a
- Write in sentence and paragraph format.
- No lists! No "recipe cards."
- Break down a broad category into at least three
sub-divisions and give the general characteristics and one
specific example of each.
- Categorize elements from a large group into at least three
types and give the general characteristics and one specific
example of each.
COMPARISON and CONTRAST -
- Show the similarities and differences between two subjects
- often with the purpose of demonstrating a superiority or preference.
- Explain the meaning of a term as you understand it.
- Discuss at least three of its fundamental characteristics
and support each with examples.
- Utilize the other rhetorical strategies to support your
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