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any PUBLIC symbol expression that creates meaning in society which, in turn helps us: makes sense of our experiences, construct our identities and live our public lives.

Rhetorical Situation: 5 components

1. Context-political, social, historical atmosphere.
>exigence-urgent problem or obstacle that call for rhetorical response
>relevance of occasion/physical place
>constraints of the rhetor
2. Rhetor-person who constructs/delivers the discourse
3. Audience
>empirical- who actually experiences the discourse in real time
>target- audience rhetor is trying to address
>oppositional- audience most likely to disagree
>ripple- audience impacted overall and over time
4. Primary Discourse- rhetorical text itself
5. Effect- how the discourse impacts the community or achieves its goal

Rhetorical Types:

1. Deliberative- future based discourse that seeks to make a decision or to solidify a way to act.
ex: congress passing laws, a church group trying to decide on a mission trip
2. Forensic- past based discourse that attempts to reconstruct events
ex: law court trying to reconstruct past events to determine the truth
3. Epidictic- discourse that praises or blames through commemoration
ex: a eulogy at a a funeral praising the life of a deceased person

Rhetorical Appeals:

1. Ethos- rhetor establishes credibility
2. Pathos- rhetor appeals to audience's emotions
3. Logos- how rhetor makes logical arguments

Rhetorical Cannon:

1. Invention- how the rhetor chooses to construct the message
2. Arrangement- how a piece of discourse is designed
ex: chronologically, problem/solution
3. Style- how a rhetor uses ornamental language, metaphors and language devices to help discourse
4. Delivery- how piece of discourse is delivered
5. Memory- how oral discourse is memorized


radical/intense approach, right now


slow approach to situation, accomodationsists
ex: "Liberator" -William Lloyd Garrison

Familial Appeal

uses reference to family to establish common ground

Moral Inheritance

uses the past to justify action for the future

Collective Memory

the way the past is relied upon in the present to make sense of contemporary conditions and social life to move society into the future


start and end a piece of discourse with the same appeal


borrows terms, concepts, etc from dominant group to get point across

Rhetorical Questions

asking questions, not particularly expecting/wanting an answer in return




repeating a phrase to make point clear


challenge manhood


appeal to audience throuh sympathy


need to show strength, we will prevail

Construction of Enemy

telling what the enemy is about, who are they?

Flag Individual

use a person to explain scenario
ex: Bush uses this to explain why we are fighting(9/11)


importance of rhetor's ideas, boasting to audience

Call to Action

rhetor's "charge" to the audience to do something or move forward

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