Morgan's Notes on S&P Chap 1

This class focuses on rhetorical messages - that is, we are reading messages as rhetorical. We can start by focusing on the 5 characteristics as a way of getting a sense of what it means to look at a message rhetorically.

Artists learn to see in colors, shapes, learn to see proximity, division, figure and ground. Novelists learn to think in plot, setting, character, duration, pace. Poets in lines, stanza, rhythm, sound. So these five characteristics what professional writers begin to work with in reading rhetorical messages.

Rhetoricians see in terms of rhetorical situation, context, purpose, tropes and figures.

From S&P

Rhetoric typically addresses public audiences.


Rhetoric is MORE OR LESS purposeful


This is to say that a message intended to be expressive can also be purposeful - more or less seeking to affect, more or less crafted to affect.

Rhetoric responds to and creates more or less obvious social concerns


Rhetoric relies on verbal and non-verbal symbols


Rhetoric shapes the way people think, act, believe, and feel


Implications for this course

We'll keep coming back to the idea that rhetoric doesn't necessarily persuade - change minds - but seeks to shape values, feelings, understandings, ways of seeing ...

Questions? Post them in comments.



see also FiveCharacteristicsAndADefinition



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