Presentational enthymemes on the BSU home page seem to be opportunistic rather than well-placed. This may be because the designers can't control or predict a user's pathway through the page or site. It may also be that overt argument on web page that is expected to be rhetorically neutral would get in the way of navigating or finding information. It seems that - at this web site at any rate - users need to be teased or tempted into engaging a designed presentational enthymeme.
This next artifact is focused on argument and can control the user's path. It makes an overt argument but it also uses presentational enthymemes to make the case. Our interest is in the presentation. Site to work with is: http://inequality.is/.
There is a lot going on in this presentation, much of which the casual encounter would not overtly notice. But we're taking a critical stance towards the work.
The accuracy and the validity of the argument isn't a concern. That's not our focus once we get past the initial description of the rhetorical situation. Our interest in rhetorical analysis is on how the claims, data, and warrants are orchestrated into presentational enthymemes. This means you stand outside the rhetorical exchange to observe it. You may need to hold your interests in check.
You'll want to make a number of passes through the site. It seems best to clear what you've done every now and then and start afresh to see what's what. To do so, clear the URL and re-enter it.
PresentationalEnthymemesInInequality - followed by your initials. Use this page for your work with this project.
1. Start by describing the Rhetorical Situation. Details are important. Refer to LookingAtTheTexualizedRhetSit
- Look at the About page as a start.
- Use the headings we've used in the past as a guide. Some might not be applicable in this case.
Conclude this part with a substantive paragraph drawn from your notes in which you present an overall consideration of the active elements in this particular rhetorical situation.
I'm evaluating how closely you observe: what you notice and in what detail, how complete and thorough you are.
2.In a set of notes. characterize the implied rhetor and implied audience. Refer to TextualizedRhetoricalSituation.
Pay particular attention to the idea that as rhetorical critics, we construct the intended audience by considering the presuppositions of the rhetorical situation. The implied (or inferred) audience is a set of characteristics, values, assumptions - not just a demographic of gender and income. These values and characteristics are drawn from the artifact rather than suppositions about a target audience.
Conclude this part with a substantive paragraph drawn from your notes in which you present a concise characterization of the implied audience.
I'm evaluating how thorough and complete this is, and how accurately it addresses rhetorical concepts.
3. Identify the presentational enthymemes. Refer to Longaker pp. 54 - 70, the example analysis on pp 67-8, and ATheoryOfPresentationalEnthymemes
- design of the animations: tiny generic figures on a pastel ground is a starting point. who's represented? who's left out? how are they represented? what enthymemes are involved?
- movement of the figures (they gesture a lot)
- the designed movement of the implied audience through the argument
- when and by what prompts elements appear. That is, in places, users are prompted to click and a chart appears
- what kind of evidence / support is being presented when
- [more coming - or add them to this list you encounter them.]
Identify as many presentational enthymemes as you find operative. But include presentational enthymemes from across all six pages. How they change could be rhetorically significant to the argument overall.
Identify the enthymemes by describing the scene and any interaction, then identifying claim and evidence and inferring the warrant - the connection between the claim and evidence. Ex: The money bags fly back and forth as the gauge is adjusted. That's making a presentational argument: What is it? Ex: The balance tips when a user clicks on a circle, but what do those circles represent? There's an enthymeme at work there. Ex: How are readers prompted to move from panel to panel?
Consider when and how users prompted to do something rather than just watch. That seems to be the initiation of a presentational enthymeme.
Consider that the site is presenting different kinds of material as claim, evidence and warrant. Consider that a rollover might present claim in one space, warrant (reasoning) in another. Consider that a click might reveal evidence or warrant.
You just need a set of notes for this part. In the last step, you'll compose a further consideration.
I'm evaluating not pure number but an accurate consideration of the elements. What is a warrant in one positon can be a claim in another. Identifying enthymemes is a first step but not enough, so ...
4. Finally focus on two particular presentational enthymemes in this work.
Draw on your notes to analyze how each of the two presentational enthymemes you selected works. You might refer to ATheoryOfPresentationalEnthymemes and Longaker again to get started. This should be at least a substantive paragraph for each, perhaps more if you find you need the time to develop your understanding in full.
You do not need to evaluate the enthymeme as to its effectiveness or legitimacy but you're welcome to make some notes on that aspect. We'll discuss effectiveness and legitimacy when we talk about what you found at our next meeting.