11 Dec 2010
C02- LECTURE 05- Rhetoric in scientific communication: how to argue
without arguing
its the use of language well, in an attempt to persuade
in theory youre just writing what you found- but in science still using
language therefore rhetoric is involved
lang represents truth
we have many options in word choice, order of presentation, publication
outlets media; etc
even when not using words, still saying something ( the choice to NOT
speak to prove a point)
rhetoric doesnt imply intent
we want audience to read or listen to the entire thing
want audience to believe what you are saying
take place in scientific community
want to situate self in current dialogue
want to learn to be a better communicator overall
learn to recognize rhetoric in what you read/hear
Options in presenting data
-visual vs words- diff rhetorical value
- using passive rather than active voice (obscuring human agency), not using
personal pronouns
- making a non thing into a thing
ex: nominalization: nouns derieved from verbs (observe Observation)
long noun strings
gives permanence
story telling (order in which parts of the study are laid out)
Features of rhetorical discourse
1)for a specific audience
a.academic- depends on journal
2)popular press
a. time
d.in response to some sort of problem
4)shaped by human motives
a.generate interest in your research
b.adding to an ongoing debate
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