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Archive for January, 2016

Post #2: Looking for Rhetoric

Due by 5 p.m. on Monday, January 25th

Our syllabus states that “Rhetorical criticism is a systematic analysis of rhetorical tools as they are used by a rhetor; 2) the examination of how those tools help to convey meaning; 3) and an examination of the effects, as far as they can be determined, of a rhetorical artifact under consideration.”

In order to identify the rhetorical strategies a rhetor is using in a text (speech, video, article, etc), we should first identify our definition of rhetoric and identify our “units of analysis” to guide our examination of the text. Review the definition assigned to you below. If this were the definition to guide your rhetorical analysis, what would your unit of analysis be? In other words, what would you be looking for in the text to help you identify the rhetor’s rhetorical strategies/tools/etc? Feel free to contemplate about this in any way you want–this is just to get our discussion started, so don’t worry so much about getting it right. Just think and freewrite about it.

Garrett Badgley>>Quintilian:  “Rhetoric is the art of speaking well” or “…good man speaking well.”

Tracey Burnham>>Plato:  [Rhetoric] is the “art of enchanting the soul.” (The art of winning the soul by discourse.)

Zachary Carmon>>Gerard A. Hauser: “Rhetoric is an instrumental use of language. One person engages another person in an exchange of symbols to accomplish some goal. It is not communication for communication’s sake. Rhetoric is communication that attempts to coordinate social action. For this reason, rhetorical communication is explicitly pragmatic. Its goal is to influence human choices on specific matters that require immediate attention.”

Chris Crider>>John Locke: “[Rhetoric,] that powerful instrument of error and deceit.”

Colin Deans>>Francis Bacon: The duty and office of rhetoric is to apply reason to imagination for the better moving of the will.

Laikyn Farmer>>Erika Lindemann:  “Rhetoric is a form of reasoning about probabilities, based on assumptions people share as members of a community.”

Jake Hull>>Philip Johnson: “Rhetoric is the art of framing an argument so that it can be appreciated by an audience.”

Shelby Shelton>>A. Richards:  Rhetoric is the study of misunderstandings and their remedies.

Chelsea N. Smith>>Kenneth Burke: “The most characteristic concern of rhetoric [is] the manipulation of men’s beliefs for political ends….the basic function of rhetoric [is] the use of words by human agents to form attitudes or to induce actions in other human agents.”

Lacey Sullivan>>George Kennedy: Rhetoric in the most general sense may perhaps be identified with the energy inherent in communication:  the emotional energy that impels the speaker to speak, the physical energy expanded in the utterance, the energy level coded in the message, and the energy experienced by the recipient in decoding the message.

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Post #1: Personal Introduction

Due by 12:00 p.m. on January 25

1) Watch this video and create your own Longwood course blog for our course: [youtube][/youtube]

You need to make your blog “public” so please leave the boxes by privacy settings unchecked. One you create a blog, you may go to Dashboard and/or Customize you individualize its theme and other features. Have fun with it!

2) You should also share your blog URL with me by submitting it on Canvas. To submit your URL, go to Canvas>Course Blog>Post #1 as click “Reply” to submit your URL as a discussion response so we can all see it.

Please make sure to submit the right link. My course blog URL is

Yours should also begin with but will have the URL name you choose after the last slash; you will enter this in the form for creating your blog. The URL extension can be anything you choose or something about rhetoric or rhetorical criticism (e.g., mine is “rhetcrit”).

3) Please title your posts in the same way I title mine (Post #1: Personal Introduction, and so on) so that I can clearly identify your respective posts for evaluation.

4) Now, it is time to make your first blog post! The main purpose of your first blog post is to clarify why your blog exists and other related questions that your readers might have upon stumbling upon your blog. Therefore, in your first blog post, please clarify the “rhetorical situation” for your blog (which is a rhetorical artifact): writer, purpose, message, audience, context.

-Who is the writer/blogger (brief info about you)?

-What is the writer/you writing about? What is the purpose of your blog (include the course information but you may also include a purpose of your own)? Who is your intended audience (write one or two sentences about who might make use of this blog or would like to check it out, etc)?

-What is the context for this blog (you can think about the classroom and beyond)? Since you will want to mention our Rhetorical Criticism course, it is also appropriate to give some information about your reasons for taking the class, any past rhetoric/writing classes you have taken, etc.

There is no one way of answering these questions, so be flexible and use your creativity. Feel free to make your posts more colorful and interesting with media (images, video, etc); cite your images and try to use ones that are in the public domain (not copyrighted), but you should be fine sharing any YouTube videos. You may also create your own images (take photos, etc) and add them to your blog, too.

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Welcome to ENGL 301: Rhetorical Criticism!

Welcome to our course blog! This blog will serve as a medium for us to communicate about our course, which will allow you to study various methods of rhetorical criticism and use them to examine examples of verbal and nonverbal communication.


Gallery of Views of Modern Rome, Giovanni Paolo Panini, 1759 — Image courtesy of WikiArt

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