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A definition of rhetoric

Here's a fairly modest but pragmatic, easy-to-hang-onto definition of rhetoric from Stoner and Perkins:

The art and science of creating and analyzing "messages that rely on verbal and nonverbal symbols that more or less intentionally influence social attitudes, values, beliefs, and actions." (6)

Describing
Situation
  • occasion
  • exigence
  • the type of discourse: forensic, deliberative, epideictic
  • forum and genre
  • cultural and historical context
  • presuppositions of shared ways of thinking

Message
  • page layout
  • page flow
  • text flow
  • navigation
  • text
    • paragraphs
    • sentences
    • register

Reference

Elements of Electronic Rhetoric

ENGL 3179/5179
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