What Is Rhetoric, and Why Is It Important? - Deepstash
What Is Rhetoric, and Why Is It Important?

What Is Rhetoric, and Why Is It Important?

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Rhetoric: The Way Of The Word

Rhetoric: The Way Of The Word

Rhetoric is language that’s carefully constructed to persuade, motivate, or inform the reader or listener about the speaker or writer’s position. You might have heard the term used in discussions about politicians and political goals. That’s because politicians, alongside people in other roles that involve public speaking, employ rhetoric regularly. In fact, the word “rhetoric” comes from the Greek “rhetorikos,” which means “oratory.”

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Heuristics

Heuristics

Rhetoric provides a framework for critical thinking. It demonstrates your thought processes as a writer and speaker, and illustrates your arguments’ strengths. 

A heuristic is a practical approach to problem-solving or self-discovery. When you make an educated guess about something or use trial and error to reach a conclusion, you’ve used a heuristic. With heuristics, you don’t necessarily have to reach a precise answer; the goal is to reach an approximate or otherwise “good enough” solution. 

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The History Of Rhetoric: Part Of The Three Ancient Arts

The History Of Rhetoric: Part Of The Three Ancient Arts

Rhetoric is one of the three ancient arts of discourse, also known as the trivium, alongside logic and grammar.

Discourse is the formal exchange of ideas in conversation, typically in an orderly way characterized by all speakers taking time to express their positions, opinions, and data on a given subject. 

The trivium, along with the quadrivium, makes up the seven liberal arts. These are the academic disciplines taught in medieval European universities, defined as the core of a well-rounded education by scholars of the era

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The Rhetorical Triangle: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos

The Rhetorical Triangle: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos

Aristotle defined the three distinct modes of persuasion that we still recognize and use:

Logos is language crafted to appeal to logic and reasoning. When you appeal to logos in an argument, you support your position with facts and data.

Ethos is language whose credibility comes from its speaker’s reputation or authority.

Pathos is language that creates an emotional connection with the reader or listener. Pathos attempts to persuade, motivate, or inform the audience by making them empathize with the speaker.

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Persuasive Speech

Persuasive Speech

  • Heuristics play a key role in rhetoric because speakers and writers often use them to illustrate the points they're making.
  • Plato called rhetoric a combination of logic and politics, and defined it as "the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion."
  • From Ancient Greece thousands of years ago, rhetoric has been the backbone of persuasive and motivational speaking.

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Rhetorical Devices

Rhetorical Devices

Rhetoric in types of writing like narrative writing and poetry often relies on linguistic tools like figurative language and well-known figures of speech.

Hyperbole

An extreme exaggeration meant to highlight the issue presented.

Epistrophe

Represents the repetition of a word through successive phrases, clauses, or sentences for the purpose of emphasizing it as a concept.

Meiosis

The reverse of hyperbole, meiosis emphasizes how far outside the norm an issue is, through extreme understatement.

Metaphor

Metaphor figuratively compares two topics by claiming that one literally is the other.

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IDEAS CURATED BY

nigom

Research scientist (life sciences)

CURATOR'S NOTE

How and what we speak matters.

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