We have begun what is probably the most important unit that you will study in this class – rhetoric. Rhetoric is ‘the art of speaking and writing well to achieve a purpose’, and it is all around you, all the time. Advertisements use rhetoric to persuade you to by their merchandise, organizations use rhetoric to garner your support and to recruit you as a follower, politicians use rhetoric to convince you to vote for them or their party, and so on. Once you learn how to identify and analyze rhetoric, you become very powerful – you can look behind the language that people or organizations use on you and figure out WHY and HOW they use language to persuade you – ultimately allowing you to make more informed choices.
The first aspect of rhetoric that we learned about today were the rhetorical appeals: ethos, pathos and logos. Remember, we represent these appeals in the form of an equilateral triangle because good rhetoric should use an even mix of all three appeals.
Please watch the video below from class today to review what exactly the appeals of ethos, pathos and logos are:
Remember, we will be examining advertisements, propaganda and speeches this week for their use of rhetoric, so make sure you are familiar with these concepts!