Act of interpreting our experiences through symbols for the purpose of making sound practical choices
“The art of producing discourse intended to induce social action…The search for persuasive action”
o Once seen as deceptive, but more recently recognized as persuasion.
o In a court, a lawyer must ‘pack’ a message in different ways, not just 1,
Rhetorical situation: The message alone is inadequate for effective communication. The speaker and
the audience are also essential part of the rhetoric.
o Audience: those who are going to use your documents
Simple: When you can easily identify the knowledge and attitudes of your audience
Multiple: People with different backgrounds who read the same document for
different reasons (Ex. Readers of newspaper)
o Purpose: What you want your document to accomplish
1. Establish ethos
2. Anticipate the objections
(Helps build your ethos because you raise and address other viewpoints)
o Context: The circumstances in which the reader will use or encounter your documents
Rhetorical triangle: Writer or Speaker / Audience / Subject
o Relationship between writer or speaker and subject is dynamic.
o Writing changes the dynamics of the rhetorical triangle because writers and readers are
separated by time and space.
Modes (Methods) of persuasion
o Credibility of the speaker or writer
o Do homework & understand what you are talking about!