Thursday, March 11, 2010

Peer Review for March 11

Evaluation II: Major Persuasive Project

I. Make a case to Dean David V. Powers for keeping the Communication and Journalism Department autonomous, but be willing to allow cuts in some places; what would you compromise? (e.g., programs, faculty, classes, divisions within the major); what impact (effect) does the Communication and Journalism Department have on campus and in the community?

A. College of Arts and Sciences:
B. Communication Department:
C. Mission of the University:

II. There will be four sections to this peer review with a series of questions in each section: (1) face-to-face interaction, (2) audience analysis, genre, and publication venue, (3) introduction, use of appeals: logos, ethos, and pathos, and arrangement, and (4) ethics, stylistic devices, and conclusion.

A. The first section is face-to-face interaction: take the cover letter bullet points as a way to talk through what you want to accomplish in this project; what are your goals and how well do you think you accomplish these goals through your writing? For the listener, first provide a hearing of what the author/rhetor wants to achieve and then provide constructive feedback; think about asking questions for clarification and then probing for more detail where necessary.

B. The second section is written analysis of audience, genre, and publication.

1. Audience: (1) Who are potential audiences for this issue (consider the types on page 296); (2) Has my peer effectively addressed audience interests, needs, and understanding? (3) Justification for discussion: why is there a need to discuss this issue; in other words, for whom are these discussions salient?

a. Facebook page:

b. Angelo’s full color pamphlet:

2. Genre and Publication: (1) Describe how you think the genre chosen for the message will work or not work for the intended audience (e.g., genre is the type of persuasive writing: writing to convince, to evaluate, to explain causes and effects, to solve problems, and writing about creative work; and (2) Do some research on the publication venue to discover the demographic (age, education, and cultural background).

C. The third section works with the structure of your argument and use of appeals.

1. Introduction and Definition of issue: Has my peer effectively defined and framed the issue?

a. Think of questions to find stasis or the “heart of the argument” (1) Conjecture: what is the issue discussed, (2) Definition: how is the issue defined? (3) Quality: what are the values at work in relation to this issue, and (4) Policy: what should be done?

b. Is the summary adequate to understand the issue? Is the summary balanced in relation to the stated thesis—objectives for the paper?

c. Graff and Birkenstein talk about the “art of summarizing”; “as a general rule, a good summary requires balancing what the original author is saying with the writer’s own focus” (29).

2. Has my peer effectively described and analyzed (1) his/her line of reasoning of the problem, (2) his/her line of reasoning regarding the solution, (3) his/her use of concessions and rebuttals (what arguments are anticipated), and (4) his/her appeals to certain values and emotions? (5) How does my peer establish credibility—situated and invented credibility--using “voice” through first, second, or third person narrative?

3. Arrangement: are the arguments arranged effectively?

D. Section four: ethics, style, and conclusion

1. How are stylistic devices used to provide vivid detail for an issue, form common ground with the audience, and guide understanding?

2. How is visual imagery used to evoke a tone, set a mood, and create lived connections with the issue?

3. Overall aesthetic: is there balance between imagery and verbal description of problem; in other words, is there sufficient evidence for defining the problem and making this problem relevant for the audience?

4. Ethics: Is there anything in the argumentation, visual imagery, citation of sources, and/or connection to the audience that might mislead the audience?

a. Is there information that is missing?
b. How do the visuals work? Are the visuals misleading, too graphic, or not honest in their portrayal?

5. Ethics involve two key elements: how we handle the information that we’re working with (being clear, up front and honest through thorough critique, and citing sources thoroughly so one can consult them); second, ethics deals with audience-author relationship (taking the audience into consideration—what will benefit everyone involved).

6. Conclusion: What do you want from your audience: think, feel, believe, act?

a. Page 314 topics for perorations:
b. Remind audience what you want them to do or think or believe; paint a vivid picture.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Notes for March 9

I. Writing to Solve Problems

A. We are faced with problems on a grand scale and on a personal scale everyday.

1. College students taking to the streets last week protesting the rising cost of tuition: how do you pay for school?

2. How do we solve the problem of global warming?

3. Do we spend the money Mayor Mike McGinn wants to spend to repair the Sea Wall? Will this repair divert attention away from building the tunnel to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct?

4. How do we protest a strip club planned for our neighborhood?

5. How does one write a grant proposal for low income youth?

B. Write a letter to solve a problem that exists in your personal life; “for this scenario, assume that there is a problem that you need to have solved and that you want to write to someone who can help solve the problem” (Roen, Glau, and Maid 536-37):
1. Your child or younger sibling is being taunted mercilessly by a group of students in his or her classroom.
2. The trash disposal unit for your building is inadequate.
3. You recently encountered a problem with a defective product that is not easy to return to a store, such as a sprinkler system or wall-to-wall carpet.
4. A waiter at a local restaurant was rude to you and your guests.
5. You have noisy neighbors who shout and laugh at 3:00 a.m. When you complained to the police, they told you it was an issue for your homeowner’s association (also, apartment landlord or college authorities).

C. The qualities of effective proposals: writing to take a particular course of action.

1. A clearly defined problem: “An effective proposal first establishes the existence of a problem that is both understandable and manageable within the scope of the assignment” (538).

2. An awareness of the audience: “For your proposal to be effective with an audience, your readers need to believe that the problem you are writing about actually exists and that your proposed solution will work” (538).

3. A well-explained solution: “Your readers need both to understand your solution and to find it reasonable. One way to help any audience understand your proposal is to use language that the audience understands and to provide definitions of unfamiliar terms” (539).

4. Convincing evidence for the effectiveness of the solution: “You will need to prove that your solution is viable and the best answer to the problem by supporting assertions with evidence such as expert testimony, case studies, experimental studies, and example of similar solutions to similar problems” (539).

5. A well documented review of alternative solutions: Your solution should stand on its own merits, but to gain credibility to convince skeptical readers it is helpful to consider alternative pathways to your solution.

6. A call to action: “There is little point to proposing a solution to a problem unless someone actually implements that solution” (539); urge your audience to take action in some way.

7. Let’s consider the problem of rising tuition costs and what to do about it in Washington State.
a. Watch:
b. Read:;
c. Write: define the problem and what you think are possible solutions.

II. “Policy propositions focus arguments around specific choices and actions. Each claim asks the recipient to behave or cooperate in certain ways and, presumably, if the arguments supporting the claims are sufficient, then the recipient will fulfill the expected action” (Inch and Warnick 266).

A. Policy arguments are future-bound: inevitably we are trying to gain cooperation from an audience to take a particular course of action in the future.

B. Policy arguments function as a part of a system, which means that if we change one part of the system, we change the overall nature of the system (267-68).

1. “A systems perspective recognizes that the world is a complex and interconnected set of relationships between and among component parts that compose a whole and that one change in any part of the system changes the other elements of the system” (268).

2. First, systems possess objects or parts (268).
3. Second, each object or part in the system has attributes.
4. Third, the objects within a system are interrelated.
5. Fourth, systems operate within an environment.
6. Fifth, systems have boundaries: a definitional line that separates the system from its environment (268).

C. Stock Issues are therefore helpful in defining the parts of the policy system we’re working with: ill, blame, cure, cost.

1. Ill: problem defined in terms of quantity and quality.

a. Quantitative significance: “related to the scope of the effects claimed; how many people will be affected and how frequently” (271)?

b. Qualitative significance: “related to the intensity of the effect; we assess something as significant to the extent that it strengthens or diminishes life” (271).

2. Blame: who is to blame?
a. Systems:
b. Attitudes:

3. Cure: solution: how do you propose to solve the problem?

a. “A plan of action is the specific program advocated in support of the proposition” (273).
b. Question: what impact will your solution have on the ill?

4. Cost/Benefits: advantages and disadvantages for following particular courses of action.

D. There are three different types of cases we can consider when arguing to solve problems.

1. The most common case is called needs-analysis: “claims that the ill existing in the current system cannot be corrected within the present system but can be cured by the advocate’s policy proposal” (275).

2. The way to develop this case is through three clusters of arguments:

a. The first cluster of arguments develops a significant ill and blame.

b. The second cluster of arguments proposes a plan of action and proves that the proposed plan can cure the ill presented.

c. The third cluster of arguments focus on the benefits of the plan (275).

3. Comparative-advantages: “develops the position that in comparison with the current system, the proposed system has more benefits” (280).

a. Instead of isolating a problem and offering a cure, the focus of this kind of case is to argue for a plan that will work better in relation to the current system.

b. Essentially, in this type of case you are comparing two different plans.

4. Goals case: “presents a significant goal and the case revolves around a comparison of systems attempting to achieve a goal” (283).

a. Identify and defend a specific goal that should be the focus of a particular system (e.g., educational opportunity).

b. The structure of this case follows four steps: (1) an important goal exists, (2) flaws in the present system are to blame for its inability to achieve its goal, (3) there is a plan of action that will better achieve the goal, and (4) the proposed plan of action will better meet the goal.

E. Strategies for refuting/opposing policy arguments.

1. The status quo is working: “Defense of the present policy system rests on a comparison of the proposal and the present system and argues that the present system is superior” (286).

2. Strategy of Defense of the Present Policy System with Minor Repairs: “offers small changes to existing policies to improve their effectiveness and efficiency in meeting the needs” (286).

3. Strategy of Counterproposals: “an alternative plan of action presented by the policy opponent that is different from both the present policy and the plan proposed by opponents” (287).

F. Write a letter to your representative regarding the increase in student tuition and the proposed cuts in the legislature: define the problem and what you think is the best possible solution to the problem.

1. District 43: Senator Ed Murray:
2. Jamie Pedersen:
3. Frank Chopp

Monday, March 1, 2010

Weekly Writing Eight

For your final weekly writing, compose an opinion piece for the Seattle Times on your subject. Using stasis theory and chapter three from the ARCS text, identify key arguments in relation to your issue and compose your editorial.

Due: March 8, 2010

Major Persuasive Project

Major Persuasive Project: ( 15 points- persuasive documents; 5 points-Cover Memo)

Rough Draft Due: March 11, 2010
Final Draft Due: March 18, 2010 by 6:00 pm in my box or via email

Unlike your Major Analysis Project, your Major Persuasive Project represents an "application" of the rhetorical appeals you've studied this semester. Using the same issue you've dealt with all semester, you should now construct three pieces of writing with a persuasive intent, or make a case for the extensive nature on one persuasive product.

Effective projects will be clear about the following: they will have a specific audience; they will ethically and responsibly use rhetorical appeals (i.e., they will not attempt to manipulate the audience by excessive emotional engagement or make up credentials to increase their "authority" on the subject); and they will work in a genre that will best meet that audience (audio, visual, PowerPoint, brochure, speech, etc.).

The MPP should also be accompanied by a Writer's Cover Memo in which the author of the project discusses the appeals used and explain how/why they were chosen.
Cover Memo for MPP

In order for me to best read/understand your persuasive project, I need a context in which to read it. To give me that context, please create a Cover Memo to me that includes the following information:

o Title of Project
o Genre (PowerPoint, brochure, speech, lecture, essay, article, editorial, etc.)
o Publication Venue (brochure for . . .? speech at . . .? etc.)
o Audience: What audience do you expect to encounter at the above venue? What do you know about them (their needs, concerns, interests)?
o Brief Analysis: Explain in rhetorical/persuasive terms how your project addresses this audience and what strategies/appeals you use for this audience to persuade them/it to consider your idea.
o Works Consulted/Cited: List the sources consulted or cited in your presentation.
These memos should be typed, single-spaced, and attached by staple or paper clip to your project.

If you're turning in a PowerPoint or other electronic piece, you can send your documents to me via email.

Notes for March 2

Writing to Explain Cause and Effects
Drawing correlations

I. “Arguments from cause claim that one condition or event contributes to or brings about another condition or event” (Inch and Warnick 198).

A. When we write to explain causes and effects, we usually begin with curiosity regarding something that exists:

1. What causes a business to succeed or fail?
2. What causes customers to choose one product over others?
3. Why are you attending college?
4. What made the Lord of the Rings trilogy so interesting to so many age groups?

B. Write a letter to a friend or family member explaining the causes and/or effects of a hobby, habit, decision, or behavior.
1. Why does my family love football, basketball, or tennis so much?
2. Why does my family always buy a certain brand of cars or trucks?
3. What are the possible consequences of a harmful habit that a friend or relative has?
4. What have been the effects of a major personal decision I made? What would have been the effects if I had decided differently?
5. What causes my friends and me to choose one kind of music over another, one television show or movie over another? What are the effects of those choices?

C. Writing this kind of essay:

1. Presentation of focused cause(s) or effect(s): “introduce the event, activity, or phenomenon for which you wish to establish cause(s) and effect(s)” (Roen, Glau, and Maid 469).

2. A clearly stated claim that a cause-and-effect relationship exists.

3. Sufficient evidence to support your claim: use a range of evidence to strengthen correlations.

4. Clear, logical thinking: we have to think about the kinds of relationships we build so we are not guilty of moving too quickly to a conclusion.

a. Does the effect have a single cause, or multiple causes?

b. What are the contributing causes, and do they lead to a precipitating cause?

c. Is a particular cause remote or immediate? Develop a causal chain of events.

d. Is a particular cause necessary or sufficient?

1. A necessary cause is one that must be present for the effect to occur.

2. A sufficient cause is one that, if present, always triggers a particular effect.

e. Anticipation of possible objections or alternative explanations; “while your causal analysis may be highly plausible, there are almost always other possible causes for the same effect or other possible effects of the cause that you are considering” (471).

D. Take a look at the Ad Council campaign on “Youth Reckless Driving”:, and note the cause-and-effect relationships both explicit and implied.

II. When we write to explain cause and effects, we are using different kinds of reasoning and stylistic devices.

A. Associative schemes: bringing elements together to evaluate or organize these elements in terms of one another (Inch and Warnick 188).

B. Tropes: figures of speech that frame an issue through symbols (language, performance, and image).

1. Analogy: emphasizes the similarity between two elements; “an analogy reasons that because two objects resemble each other in certain known respects, they will also resemble each other in respects that are unknown” (Inch and Warnick 192).

2. Figurative analogy: “figurative analogies function primarily to make what is remote or poorly understood immediate and comprehensible” (Inch and Warnick 193).

3. Ad Council: if you have been in a car with a friend unwilling to drive slower then you can reason that you too might lose your life.

4. Metaphor: “is a device for seeing one thing in terms of something else”; PSAs act as metaphors for similar situations.

5. Literal Analogy: “compares two objects of the same class that share many characteristics and concludes that a known characteristic that one possesses is shared by the other” (192).

C. Causal arguments: “claim that one condition or event contributes to or brings about another condition or event. Causal arguments are also arguments from succession; one event must happen before the other; and the causal event must bring about the effect” (Inch and Warnick 198).

1. Two different types of conditions: necessary condition: “one that must be present for the effect to occur; but the effect may not necessarily follow the cause” (199)(weaker form of argument).

2. Sufficient condition: “circumstance in whose presence the event or effect must occur. In other words, the presence of a sufficient condition guarantees that the subsequent effect will occur” (199).

3. Synecdoche: “which is the part for the whole, the whole for the part, container for the thing contained” (Burke, Grammar 507); synecdoche has to do with representation; an image or word, for example, only gives us a snapshot of the complexity of what is going on in any particular moment.

4. Even though there might be a clear correlation between elements, all contributing phenomena should be considered to develop stronger causal relationships; “A correlation claims that two events or phenomena vary together; an increase or decrease in one is accompanied by an increase or decrease in the other” (200).

D. Dissociation: disengages or differentiates between two ideas; “dissociation arguments disengage one idea from another and seek a new evaluation of both ideas” (203).

1. In this type of reasoning we are breaking apart causal relationships (associative reasoning) in order to allow for new kinds of connections.

2. Dissociation works powerfully in relation to what an audience values; consider value hierarchies, here.

3. Irony: “when an audience understands the opposite of what is expressed” (Crowley and Hawhee 352).

4. Irony focuses on the notion of identification; how is common ground established with an audience?

5. Irony and dissociative reasoning work through the concept of “doubling”: we see our assumptions exposed in relation to other possible interpretations of the same events.

6. The Onion example:

E. Many of the tests for validity in relation to cause-effect relationships have to do with quantity (are there enough reasons to support a particular conclusion?) and quality (Do the relationships work?); Irony may also work to expose logical fallacies related to these tests for validity.

1. Hasty generalization: draws a conclusion about a class based on too few or atypical examples (207).

2. False Cause (post hoc): “a post hoc fallacy mistakes temporal succession for causal sequence” (208); just because two events exist in time does not mean that one caused the other; “All people who have cancer drink milk. Therefore, drinking milk must cause cancer.”

3. “Single-cause fallacies occur when an advocate attributes only one cause to a complex problem” (209); “Poor communication is the reason for the high American divorce rate."

4. Slippery slope: “assumes without evidence that a given event is the first in a series of steps that will lead inevitably to some outcome” (209); poor communication will eventually lead to the dissolution of marriages; exposes assumption: allowing GLBTQ marriages will lead to “unraveling” of civil society.

5. False Analogy: compares two things that are not alike in significant respects or have critical points of difference; “We should not teach socialism in the university any more that we should teach arson” (206).

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Weekly Writing Seven

Weekly Writing Seven
Part I:
Using the issue you've chosen for your Major Analysis Project (or a new issue, if you choose), map out the ways in which you think YOU would be most credible or authoritative on the issue. For this project, start by listing how YOU might demonstrate Good Sense, Good Character, and Good Will, based on the ways these concepts are defined in the ARCS textbook.

Part II:
Write a review of an online community forum such as a discussion group or interactive blog related to your MAP issue. Online newspapers and news forums are a great way to find diverse "online communities." Identify a rhetor or a series of posts that forum members find persuasive. What rhetorical features do these posts share? What makes them effective for this audience? What specifically does the rhetor do to engage the readers' or viewers' emotions?

Due: February 26, 2010

Notes for February 23

Stasis Theory: Asking the Right Questions

I. Stasis theory: getting at the “heart of an argument” or finding where an argument “rests.”

A. Stasis is another Greek and Roman heuristic; it provides a way to understand an issue through definition, division, comparison, and contrast.

B. What is important to remember is that stasis includes an association of concepts: how we define a problem is related to the solutions designed to solve the problem and then how we weigh the costs and benefits.

C. Stasis stems from the canon of invention, which has to do with the way we invent or construct ideas based on the ambiguities that exist in any moment.

D. Stasis derives from a Greek word meaning “to stand.”

E. To discover the point of stasis we have to find ways to listen to what people are saying, reserving judgment rather than moving too hastily to a conclusion; stasis is ultimately about how participants “share worlds” through symbolic forms.

F. Stasis “marks the place where two opposing forces come together, where they rest or stand in agreement on what is at issue (hence, the appropriateness of the Latin term for stasis, constitutio, which can be translated as a ‘costanding or a ‘standing together’)” (Crowley and Hawhee 72).

G. In order to locate stasis we have to consider all the available arguments; “Rhetors who do take the time to find all the available arguments can be assured both that their position is defensible and that they have found the best evidence to support it” (72).

H. Using the rhetorical tool of stasis enables a process:

1. Clarifies thinking about the point in dispute.

2. Forces one to think about the assumptions and values shared by members of their targeted audience.

3. Establishes areas in which more research needs to be done.

4. Suggests which proofs are crucial to the case.

5. Perhaps even points the way toward the most effective arrangement of these proofs.

I. 2010 Vancouver Olympics and the case to exclude women’s ski jumping as a new event:,8599,1963447,00.html;
~Write about where you think the arguments “rest.”

II. Stasis and contrary arguments; different ways to find key arguments.

A. What arguments are available to us on any issue?

B. When we start to explore the available arguments on an issue we confront what the Sophists called dissoi logoi or “countervailing arguments”; for every claim there is a counterclaim.

C. One of the ways to work with dissoi logoi is through comparison of theoretical and practical questions.

1. A theoretical question addresses the “origins and natures of things” (75):

a. “What are the essential differences between men and women?”
b. “Are women biologically unable to compete in ski jumping?” (Raises questions for contemplation and discussion rather than action.)

2. Practical questions always concern what people should do (75):

a. Should women be included in sporting events?
b. Should women be included in Vancouver 2010 ski jumping event?
c. Impacts how we act; what are the consequences of a decided course of action?

3. This is where stasis questions are helpful as they help us to get at a range of issues, from general theoretical principles to practical application of these principles.

D. Two ways to think of stasis: defining an issue and discovering key arguments.

E. We move forward in our attempts to define the issue and agree on different dimensions to the issue; though sometimes we may find ourselves stuck in the process.

1. Conjecture: does it exist? Did it happen? Questions of fact, “guess,” or “inference” (87).

Does the thing exist or is it true?
What is its origin?
What cause produced it?
What changes can be made in it?

2. Definition: division and partition: topics that help to divide up the discourse.

What kind of thing or event is it?
To what larger class of things does it belong?
What are its parts? How are they related?

3. Quality: determine the worth of an issue by comparing with other issues or contrasting ideas; how much does the community desire it? (90)

a. Is it a good or bad thing?
b. Is it better or worse than some alternative?
c. Is it more or less honorable or base than some alternative?
d. Questions of quality help us to get at competing values and attitudes surrounding an issue, allowing us to define the urgency, immediacy, and power dynamics in a situation.

4. Questions of policy: rhetor proposes that some action be taken or regulated (or not) by means of policy or law.

a. Should action be taken?
b. How will the proposed actions change the current state of affairs?
c. How will the proposed changes make things better or worse?
d. We might also ask forensic questions (based on what exists); should some state of affairs be regulated by some formalized policy?
e. What policies can be implemented? Which cannot? What are the merits of competing proposals? What are their defects?
f. How is my proposal better than others?

F. We can also find stasis through what are called stock issues: soup metaphor.

1. What is the ill: women are not being allowed into the Olympic ski jumping competition.

a. Quantity: who does this problem impact—130 women from 16 nations capable of competing in ski competition and future competitors.
b. Quality: problem is severe in that ski jumping excludes present and future female competitors.

2. Who is to blame for the problem?

a. The system might be to blame: IOC rules are antiquated and need reform; sport might be to blame, not enough world championship competitions.
b. Attitudes might be to blame: popularity of the sport; belief in essential differences between men and women.

3. Cure: what is the solution? Allow women to compete, finding ways to build up the sport and bring more top competitors.

4. Cost: what will it cost? What is the cost of including women in 2010 Olympics, funding ski jumping as part of each national team, and running sports that include women jumpers?

1. Build up the sport?
2. Build a following?
3. There may be initial costs in the beginning, but once there is integration of women the benefits will outweigh the costs.

G. As you think about this process in relation to your project try to find where arguments rest.

1. First, move through process to discover where you think arguments rest in relation to your issue.
2. Consider the theoretical and practical questions to get at broad as well as specific concerns.
3. Compose a letter to the editor considering what are the most important and timely elements of your case.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Notes for February 18


I. Pathos, for ancient rhetoricians, had simply to do with “the arousal or expression of emotions” (Crowley and Hawhee 246).

A. Emotional appeals in the persuasive context are different from “appetites, such as pleasure and pain” (246).

B. Emotion is not the counterpart to reason; we cannot separate the head from the heart.

C. Ancient rhetoricians argued that emotions were ways of knowing or markers that helped a speaker or author know how to reason with an audience.

II. Aristotle argues that to use pathos as rhetorical proof (1) “we must understand the state of mind of people who are angry, joyful, or indignant; (2), we must know who (and how) can excite these emotions in people; (3) we must understand the reasons for which people become emotional” (251).

A. Crowley and Hawhee argue that we do not enter the state of mind called “anger” without a reason (251).

B. If there is a clear association in space and time between emotion and the object of one’s emotion then emotions intensify.

C. The relation of spatial proximity to emotional intensity also has to do with social hierarchy; Aristotle: “People think they are entitled to be treated with respect by those inferior in birth, in power, in virtue, and generally in whatever they themselves have much of” (252).

D. We also know that emotions may be more intensely felt if they are shared with others (252); we might be caught up in the emotions of an event through a “sharing of worlds.”

E. Second, we must know who (and how we) can excite these emotions in people; Aristotle suggests that we study the people making up our audiences (255).

1. We get to know our audience and their willingness to change through emotion by identifying ranges of attitudes: from hostility to indifference to acceptance.

2. Muzafer Sherif and Social Judgment Theory (1961).

III. Composing passionate proofs

A. “Rhetors who can imagine the emotions evoked by a scene may stimulate similar emotions in their audiences by deploying the power of enargeia, a figure in which rhetors picture events so vividly that they seem actually to be taking place before the audience” (258).

1. Narrating a story in order to encourage the audience to engage our world: describing tastes, smells, sounds, and actions.

2. John Lucaites and Robert Hariman in their article, “Visual Rhetoric, Photojournalism, and Democratic Public Culture” argue that public images, which we often find in the news, function in different kinds of ways:

a. reflect social knowledge and dominant ideologies.
b. shape and mediate understanding of specific events and periods in history.
c. influence political behavior and identity.
d. provide inventional resources for subsequent kinds of action.

3. Take for example different iconic imagery from the civil rights movement:

B. Another way to create emotional intensity is through honorific or pejorative language, reflecting value judgments.

a. Honorific language treats people and things respectfully.

b. Pejorative language disparages and downplays people and things.

C. Write a movie review, incorporating discussions on ethos, pathos, and writing about creative work.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Notes for February 16

Ethos: Developing voice

I. The concept of ethos or ethical proof: how do we argue from character and what does it mean to create voice?

A. Writing about a creative work: narrative based texts for analysis and evaluation.

B. In writing about creative work, we want to move through five steps.

1. Have a clear thesis about the work.

2. Textual support for your assertions: point to specific evidence in the work that provides support for your claims; make sure there is sufficient context to understand your interpretation.

3. Attention to the elements of work: creating dramatic scenes.

a. We look at characters: who is the story about? Who does what? How? Why?

b. Setting: what is the context for action?

c. Plot: the sequence of events in a story: what happens?

d. Themes: what the story means, the general statements that the story makes about life.

e. Style: what stylistic devices are used to create a particular tone?

f. Figures of speech/imagery can help to create a tone and meaning related to a theme.

II. “Ancient rhetoricians knew that good arguments were available to them from other sources than logos or reason” (Crowley and Hawhee 195).

A. Woodward and Denton in their book Persuasion and Influence in American Life argue that there is a difference between argumentation and persuasion; argumentation is about public interest and persuasion is about personal interest.

B. So the task in making arguments work is to think about what Roderick Hart calls the logic of persuasion.

There are six principles:

1. In persuasion, everything is rational to the behaver at the time of behavior.

2. The logic of persuasion is always saliency-driven: this is the principle that the listener will always find what is most important and immediate to be the most reasonable.

a. Salience has to also do with how close the issue runs to our own lives.

3. The logic of persuasion is audience-dependent; arguments don’t have merit unless they somehow connect to the audience.

4. The logic of persuasion is a logic of association; we reason based on how we associate different elements.

5. The logic of persuasion is often a logic of emotion; we don’t separate the head and the heart, logic and emotion.

a. F.G. Bailey argues in The Tactical Uses of Passion that the logic of emotion in persuasive arguments occurs through relationship between display of emotion and our own feelings in response to this display.

b. Emotional authenticity (Does one experience the emotion he/she says he/she is feeling?).

c. Emotional integrity (Does the person’s background give him or her the right to be this emotional on the matter?).

d. Emotional register of an argument (Is the speaker’s state of arousal too high or too low for the matter being discussed? We make judgments based on the level of control displayed by the speaker).

III. The logic of persuasion is always credibility-driven; there is no way to hear, read, or see a message without making some assessment of the speaker or author.

A. Defining some of the principles connected to ethos:

1. The notion of competence: letting audiences know that you are an expert on an issue or have relevant experience related to an issue.

2. We also talk about ethos in terms of “good judgment” or moral and emotional health; so an audience will determine that we have good judgment in the way we talk about a situation.

3. We also talk about ethos in terms of charisma, dynamism, or likability; there are some people that have a commanding presence, we want to listen to them, or we “sense” that there is something special about them.

4. Character is about great speakers putting into words what an audience cannot fully articulate.

5. Character may also be used by advocacy groups to gain legitimacy.

6. Character may be about rhetorical/social status: how we attempt to “save face” if our reputation is at risk.

B. What is important to recognize in relation to these different elements of ethos is the interplay between our personal voice and our public voice, crafted in relation to an audience.

C. We can make sense of this relationship between the personal and the public through Edwin Black’s notion of the Second Persona, a concept Black develops in 1970 in relation to rhetorical criticism and more specifically, the concept of public address.

1. Edwin Black pioneered his idea of an implied audience; a speaker meets an actual audience and in the process attempts to move, to teach, and to please.

2. Black argues that together we create this second (and perhaps even third) persona through discourse—symbolic interaction.

3. The Second Persona thus defines how we “share worlds” through symbols.

4. Michael J. Hyde argues that ethos is thus literally a place where we “dwell.”

5. Ethos, for Hyde, thus defines an “essential relationship that exists among the self, communal existence, discourse,” and even notions of the Divine (xiv).

6. How do we encourage an audience to “dwell” with us; or how do we create “dwelling places” that people will want to enter and consider what we have to offer?

D. These questions have to do with narrative “voice,” and specifically our writing “voice.”

E There are different ways to create voice, involving levels of intimacy or distance depending on the “grammatical person” of the author.

1. First- and Second-Person discourse “are ordinarily used in speech when small groups of people are conversing” (Crowley and Hawhee 217).

2. This personal tone helps to establish intimacy or bring an audience closer to an author; using “I language” and in plural form: “we.”

a. Personal narrative helps to situate meaning in the lived context: I feel this and think this and know this.

b. Personal narrative makes the private public, which has the power to potentially unmask things we feel, think or believe, but can’t yet articulate.

3. Another voice is the second person, which is “you” language; “you should” do this” or “take this course of action.”

4. Finally, the third person objective voice functions to deflect attention away from the personal life of the author or the audience, and focus attention on the argument.

5 Often we see a combination of voices used in arguments depending on the forum; personal and objective intersect to keep an audience engaged and listening to arguments.

6. Take a look at an article published in O Magazine last Fall 2009;

7. She moves from first and second person to third person at times; evaluate how she uses her voice and what you believe she has the authority talk about.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sample Thesis Statements

State your goal for your analysis: thesis, main claim, or research question.

1. The issue of low income housing in Seattle takes shape through different definitions of community.

2. We can understand arguments surrounding Barack Obama’s health care plan by considering the needs of different audiences.

3. We know that the New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl through a strong defense and strategic savvy.

You can also state your thesis/main claim as a question:

1. What is the relationship between art and fashion?

2. How do advocate’s solutions to end sex trafficking shape how people understand the problem of sex trafficking?

3. How are free speech debates developing in relation to the growing phenomena of hate speech on the Internet?

*Your paper is then an answer to the above questions, or in the first set of examples, your paper is support for your main claim.

Peer Review

Questions to consider as you read your peer's paper:

1. Section 1 - Intro:
Has my peer (1) effectively introduced the issue/topic, (2) concisely summarized key author's basic arguments, and (3) included a clear thesis (a claim concerning the original argument's overall effectiveness with supporting reasons)? (4) another way to think of a thesis is through a research question: what are you attempting to discover through your analysis? For example: “How do authors view the “think before you speak campaign?” Your thesis might also be a response to this question: “Advocates for GLBTQ rights view the Think Before You Speak campaign in different ways."

2. Section 2 - Audience:
(1) Who are potential audiences for this issue (consider the kinds on page 296); (2) Has my peer effectively described an intended audience, providing various kinds of evidence (from the texts and the publications) to support his/her description? (3) Justification for discussion: why is there a need to discuss this issue; in other words, for whom are these discussions salient?

3. Section 3 – History and Context:
Has my peer effectively described and analyzed (1) the ethos of authors—competence to be speaking on an issue, ideological biases, concern for others regarding outcome of issue, (2) summarized progression of issue over time, and key arguments in current discussions, (3) think about templates for “they say,” starting with what others are saying and “putting yourself in their shoes,” the art of summarizing and writing as a “believer” (Graff and Birkenstein, chapters 1 and 2), (4) Is the summary adequate to understand the issue? Is the summary balanced in relation to the stated thesis—objectives for the paper?

4. Section 4 - Lines of Reasoning:
Has my peer effectively described and analyzed (1) lines of reasoning regarding a problem (or cause), (2) lines of reasoning regarding a solution (effects), (3) evaluation: has my peer described and analyzed criteria, rules, and standards to be used in the evaluation of object, event, person, or issue? (4) use of emotional appeals? (5) use of competence and character (ethos) to gain adherence?

Supporting Material: how is supporting material used?
(1) What kinds of supporting materials are analyzed? (2) Are there problems with the research cited or biases? (3) What supporting material would make the argument more effective?

*Think about this portion of the evaluation as analysis of claims, data, and warrants.

5. Section 5 - Conclusion:
Has my peer offered a detailed final evaluation of author's arguments, weighing strengths against weaknesses (while focusing still on the intended audience)? (2) What topics of peroration (summary, emotional appeals, and enhancing ethos) are used and are they effective (see page 314)?

6. General - Analysis:
Has my peer offered sufficient analysis throughout her/his essay? Are there places where my peer offers way too much summary or way too little analysis?

7. General - Clarity:
Has my peer described the original argument effectively enough so that readers unfamiliar with the argument can understand it? If not, what seems missing or unclear?

8. General - Structure:
Is my peer’s essay well structured? If not, how might it more clearly and logically be organized?

9. General - Objectivity:
Does my peer’s analysis of the argument remain mostly objective -- that is, focused on explaining (1) the author's rhetorical choices and (2) his/her audience's possible responses to them? If my peer starts offering too much of his or her personal opinion, can I pinpoint where and how?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Notes for February 4

External Proof

I. Understanding extrinsic proof first takes us back to Crowley and Hawhee’s discussion of kairos and arrangement:

“The connections between kairos and arrangement become clear: attention to kairos in arrangement means knowing when and where to marshal particular proofs. Kairos suggests the possibility of achieving an advantage with optimal placements of arguments, propitious timing, or the combination of the two” (293).

A. Aristotle wrote that “intrinsic proofs have to be invented with the aid of rhetoric, while extrinsic proofs are situated within the circumstances of a case or issue, and have only to be used” (Crowley and Hawhee 268).

1. Invented proof emerges from our rhetorical strategies.
2. Situated proof emerges in the situation; we look to the situation for what is available to make our case; what we draw upon from the evidence available helps to make our case compelling, interesting, and even dramatic.

B. Ad Council Campaign: Think Before You Speak:

II. To elicit logical, dramatic, and rational audience processes, a writer uses evidence and reasoning.

There are two types of evidence:
A. Dramatic Evidence is used to connect audience lives to a message, author, and occasion.

1. Narratives: stories that have persuasive impact because they connect values, attitudes, and beliefs present in our own circumstances.

2. Testimony: involves eyewitness accounts of an event or an expert on a particular issue.

a. Peer testimony (proximate authority) involves those who have direct experience with an event.

b. Expert testimony (community authority) includes those who have particular studied expertise on an issue, object, or event.

3. Examples: "Aristotle's word for example was paradeigma ('model'). A rhetorical example is any particular that can be fitted under the heading of a class and that represents the distinguishing features of that class" (Crowley and Hawhee 171).

a. Brief/Serial Examples: “Adds totality to a author’s remarks by presenting, in scattered fashion, numerous instances of the same phenomenon” (Roderick Hart, Analyzing Argument 127).

b. Extended Examples: “Adds vivacity to a speaker’s remarks by presenting a detailed picture of a single event or concept” (Hart 127)

B. Rational Evidence is evidence that appeals to our logical senses in non-dramatic ways.

1. Statistics: numerical descriptions of particular phenomena.

a. Descriptive statistics: these statistics represent the actuality of what occurred.

EX: in a car of four that crashed on the highway: 3 people were injured and 1 was killed.

b. Inferential statistics: a numerical percentage based on a representative sample of people.

EX: In a study conducted of 100 college students 75% stated that they liked chocolate ice cream better than vanilla.

c. One key element with data: the networks of interpretation through which data are filtered (Crowley and Hawhee 281).

2. Fallacies of Missing Evidence: Question how data is gathered as well as the precision of the numbers.

a. Unrepresentative Data: drawing a conclusion from an unrepresentative or biased sample; is the sample from which the statistics are drawn a representative one?

EX: If one polls Seattle residents to describe their position on homelessness and then conclusions are drawn for the whole Pacific Northwest--the sample is unrepresentative.

EX: This year's survey includes responses from 6,209 LGBT students between the ages of 13 and 21 from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. ("Press Release"

b.Biased sampling has to do with who is polled and how people are impacted by this information.

EX: If white middle class suburban folks are interviewed about the spread of HIV/AIDS and these statistics are used to create public policy for African American poor women who live in the inner city--we can assume the statistics are biased.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Notes for February 2

Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca
Value Hierarchies and The New Rhetoric

I.Chaim Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca argue for a theory of rhetorical presence: reasoning choices make present a particular world view.

A.Universal audience: ideal principles held by an audience.

B.Practical audience: values held by a particular audience.

C.For Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca, reasoning is a negotiation of values in any given context and reasoning is an ordering of values in any given context.

D.What are values? “Values are our central, core ideals about how to conduct our lives. They represent what we consider to be right or wrong. As a result, values are far more stable than attitudes or beliefs. In general, we learn our value system in childhood, and it remains essentially unchanged throughout our lives” (Woodward and Denton 136).

1.Values operate in systems: “a value system is an enduring organization of beliefs concerning preferable modes of conduct or end states of existence along a continuum of relative importance (Inch and Warnick 247).

2.Values are prescriptive rather than descriptive: deeply held beliefs help us to size up the world according to how it is and how we want it to be.

3.Values are collectively held because they are learned through social interaction; “human values are deep-lying components of collective belief systems and are thus inherently resistant to change” (Inch and Warnick 248).

4.Milton Rokeach: terminal values: desirable end states of existence; instrumental values: “concerns modes of conduct or the means of fulfilling other values” (247).

II.Value Hierarchies: there are difference loci—orders of preference--that make “present” particular worldviews; value hierarchies help us to compare values in relation to an issue, event, persona, or object.

A.Loci of quantity: premised on the greatest good for the greatest number of people.

B.Loci of quality: reflects what is unique, original, individual, irreparable, and immediate.

C.Loci of the Person: ordering argument based on the value for the dignity and autonomy of the person over all else.

D.Loci of the existent: values the concrete over the possible.

E.Loci of essence: values what is at the core of a group or class rather than what is on the fringes.

III.Writing arguments to evaluate.

A.Definition: define the value object, as well as any other controversial terms related to the topic. “By defining terms, the arguer establishes his or her own views of the basic concepts on which controversy will turn” (Inch and Warnick 252).

B.Field of perspective: what is the source or context for one’s perspective?

C.Criteria are then chosen to determine how the value object will be measured; “Criteria are the measures, norms, or rules used to judge whatever is being evaluated” (Inch and Warnick 254).

D.Application: apply criteria and measure value object; make a case for criteria and how it works.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Weekly Writing Five

Value Hierarchies
In one to two pages, using the same articles from weekly writing four, apply Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca's model to the same competing arguments. Think in terms of the author’s imagined audience, the people he/she is trying to persuade.(You may or may not consider yourself part of that audience.)

What does he/she present as 1) facts or truths that his/her argument rests on? 2) What audience assumptions does he/she rely on? 3) What values does he/she, uh, value? 4) How would he/she arrange his/her hierarchy of values? 5) What loci (or locus) does he/she employ? (You might also think of this question in terms of criteria: "What are the criteria used to evaluate the 'value object'?")Do your best, here, as you work with these different concepts. The point of this essay is to try and get at the key components of each argument so you know how to enter the conversation.

Due Friday, February 5, 2010

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Notes for January 28

Toulmin and Logical Premises

I. Today we’re talking about argumentative structure, working to understand how arguments are built so that we can design counterarguments and rebuttals, weigh the evidence, and look for fallacies.

A. When we write to evaluate we are asking two kinds of questions: (1) What are the rules or the criteria that shape how we see a person, event, object, or issue, and (2) How do we support or make a case for particular criteria to be used in judging an artifact?

B. Understand the rules that we live in to gain a sense for how criteria work to shape expectations and judgments about how things should unfold.

C. When we talk about argumentation structure we are working with two overarching concepts: the notion of movement and the idea of rhetorical presence.

1. Toulmin articulates this idea of movement as an argument moves from accepted data, through a warrant, to a claim (Brockriede and Ehninger 102).

2. Rhetorical presence has to do with how the choices we highlight in building arguments make present particular elements of those arguments.

D. Aristotle’s concept of logos is the place to begin because he starts with the idea of probabilities or the realm of the contingent and intersubjective meaning to make arguments.

1. Hawhee and Crowley state, “Greek rhetoricians called any kind of statement that predicts something about human behavior a statement of probability (eikos)” (160).

2. Probabilities are based in human action/behavior and are therefore not reliable, predictable, or easy to calculate.

E. Aristotle discusses two types of reasoning: induction and deduction or in our terms: example and enthymeme.

1. Hawhee and Crowley talk about these two types of reasoning as two different “discovery processes” and directions.

2. Induction—inducere, to lead into--is reasoning from example—movement from particulars to universals.

3. Deduction—“to lead down”—“is a discussion in which, certain things having been laid down, something other than these things necessarily results from them” (162).

4. Enthymeme comes from the Greek thymos, “spirit,” the capacity whereby people think and feel” (166); there is shared knowledge between speaker and audience in enthymemes—we don’t have to state every premise.
5.“Enthymemes are powerful because they are based in community beliefs” (170).

II. Stephen Toulmin’s The Uses of Argument helps us to think through how to use some of these different reasoning processes.

A. Toulmin wrote The Uses of Argument primarily because he was concerned about the “isolation of logic and its virtual irrelevance to the problems of knowledge in most academic disciplines, and by its separation from practical reasoning that is essential in law, ethics, and daily life” (Bizzell and Herzberg 1410).

1. Toulmin comes up with his model to rival Aristotle’s syllogism, noting that everyday reasoning is more complex in structure than merely having major premises and minor premises.

2. As Wayne Brockriede and Douglas Ehninger note, Toulmin’s model is about movement from data to a claim through a warrant.

3. Claims, according to Toulmin, are conclusions in arguments; they are the explicit appeals produced by the argument.

a. Claims of fact: appeal based on what is or is not true—court of law.

b. Claims of value/judgment: what is right/wrong, good/bad, moral/immoral; Obama is (or is not) a better president than Bush.

c. Claims of policy/action: appeal to immediate action—sign this petition to stop pollution of the Puget Sound; action that is necessary, beneficial, or desirable; we should support legislation that will help to clean up Puget Sound.

4. Data answers the question “What have you got to go on?” thus data corresponds to what we commonly call evidence.

a. Evidence: brief or extended examples—examples used in inductive reasoning to build a case of particular to more general kinds of conclusions.

b. Fictional examples or stories add character and drama to arguments by illustrating specific parts of an argument.

c. The use of statistics or case studies are also helpful in giving breadth and scope to an argument.

5. Warrants are the part of an argument “which authorizes the mental ‘leap’ involved in advancing from data to claim; “Its function is to carry the accepted data to the doubted or disbelieved proposition which constitutes the claim, thereby certifying this claim as true or acceptable” (Brockriede and Ehninger 103).

6. There are three types of warrants: substantive warrants—ideas based on what is thought to be actual fact.

a. Chaim Perelman talks about associative reasoning: “schemes which bring together and allow us to establish a unity among them, which aims at organizing them or at evaluating them, positively or negatively, by means of one another” (qtd. in Hauser 269).
b. Dissociative reasoning: “techniques of separation which have the purpose of dissociating, separating, disuniting elements which are regarded as forming a whole or at least a unified group within some system of thought: dissociation modifies such a system by modifying certain concepts which make up its essential parts” (Hauser 270).

c. Dissociation works to drive a wedge between appearance and reality so that new worlds may come into being.

7. Ethical or authoritative warrant: you believe a claim to be true based on the authority of the author or person speaking; “ideas based on the credibility of the speaker or on the source of testimony offered by the speaker” (Hart 99).

8. Pathetic or motivational warrants: “ideas suggesting that some desirable end must be achieved or that some desirable condition is being endangered” (Hart 99).

9. Roderick Hart argues that the best way to get at these different pieces of argument is to follow these steps:

a. Isolate the Major Claims being offered by the speaker, keying particularly on repeated or re-paraphrased statements.

b. Isolate the Major Data presented, many of which (but not all of which) will be found contiguous to the Major Claims made.

c. Without consulting the message directly, isolate the range of warrants that could reasonably authorize data-claim movements.

d. Categorize these warrants as logical proofs, ethical proof, or pathetic proof.

e. Determine which of these warrants were explicitly supplied by the speaker and which were left unspoken.

10. Take time now to analyze Brewer’s arguments in “Fanatomy: As a sports town, we’re underrated.” What are his main claims? What does he use as evidence? Focus on the types of warrants: associations he creates, use of authority in his evidence, and the motivational or emotional appeals present in the language to describe the benefits of being a “sports fan.”

Weekly Writing Four


In 1-2 pages, analyze two competing arguments (two different positions/articles) surrounding your issue, briefly answering each question.

Toulmin Model: What is/are his/her 1) claims? His/Her 2) support? and His/Her 3) warrants (think about proofs, here, ethos, logos, and pathos)? Be sure to provide examples from the text (articles analyzed) to support your claims. I’m particularly interested in your analysis of his/her warrants and the assumptions that underlie his/her argument(s).
Due: January 29, 2010

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Major Analysis Paper

Major Analysis Project: 20 points
CMJR 320/Persuasive Writing

Your Major Analysis Project should demonstrate your meta-knowledge of the course content. We focused so far this quarter on the various methods that writers/speakers can use in order to "persuade" their audiences to act, think, believe, and feel in particular ways.

For this project, you are conducting an extended analysis of an issue currently of concern to our culture or society. YOUR POSITION or OPINION, however, is not part of this assignment. Rather, you're concerned primarily with exploring 8 - 10 "texts" (verbal, visual, multimedia, etc.) that in some way address this particular issue. You do not need to get only texts that "argue" about the issue; you might also get a political cartoon or commercial that invokes aspects of the issue. Your 8 - 10 texts will help you to establish arguments, positions, and roles (defining the rhetorical situation) for your issue, demonstrating that the issue does, indeed, exist and is, indeed, relevant at this time.

The majority of your analysis, however, will focus on no more than four (4) of those texts, and you will do a complete rhetorical analysis of these four texts, paying attention to issues we discussed in class. Your goal is to demonstrate how these texts function rhetorically and why; you should also note when the texts seem to "fail" or "contradict" themselves or when their persuasive strategies are in jeopardy.

In this project, you are merely exploring HOW the arguments around your issue get made, WHO makes them, WHY they make them, and to WHAT EFFECT these arguments are made. You are not to include your opinions.

Final Projects should be at least six (6) pages in length and should not exceed ten (10) pages. Be sure to include a Works Cited page of the various articles/artifacts you cite/use in your analysis.

For this paper, please use four steps in your analysis outlined by Sonja Foss in her book Rhetorical Criticism:

Introduction (1/2 page): This is where you introduce your argument, stating your thesis clearly, and develop your justification for analysis of the particular artifact and/or issue chosen. Why does your artifact warrant analysis? Does the artifact have a large audience? Is the persuasive appeal unique? Is the persuasion part of a larger social pattern you wish to investigate? The four tenets of rhetoric should help you get at your justification for analysis. What advice is offered? Who is being addressed? What are the needs or the situation that bring this rhetoric into being? How is this meaning created and performed (i.e., style)?

History: Provide a brief background (1-2 paragraphs) of the artifact or issue your analyzing so we have some context to understand your criticism. Tell us about your speaker or about your issue and how she/he or it progressed through history. Foss provides a brief introduction to the Equal Rights Amendment in one of her papers, for example, but spends the bulk of her historical discussion in her analysis.

Analysis (4-5): Essentially, you’re identifying arguments within the text that support your overall thesis. Remember to provide specific examples from your artifact/text(s) to support what you’re saying; this means quoting from your messages, and then leading your audience through your interpretation of what sort of response this excerpt invites or seeks, and how it seems to be inviting or seeking that particular response.

Foss works with two perspectives of proponents and opponents to the ERA to discuss different rhetorical visions. For the proponents she crafts a vision of a grass-roots scene, effort, and people, where women are “standing at the gates of democracy” (135) and need support for this new entry into public life. Foss also argues that proponents of the ERA craft opponents as conservative, “evil,” and narrow-minded. Comparatively, she presents the opponents worldview “as it centers around the home” (141). Opponents also see supporters of the ERA as abnormal: militant, aggressive, masculine, and hateful of family and children.

Conclusion and Implications (1-2 pages): The conclusion is the “So what?” section. Wrap up your analysis by restating your argument and what we now understand as a result of your analysis. What are the key arguments? Where are possible places to enter into dialogue with advocates? What seem like impossible or irrelevant issues to debate?

Notes for January 21

Style and Arrangement

I. “In ancient rhetoric, arrangement primarily concerned two processes: selecting the arguments to be used and arranging these in an order that was clear and persuasive” (Crowley and Hawhee 292).

A. Kairos and arrangement or taxis—“originally used in military contexts to denote the arrangement of troops for battle” (293) go hand-in-hand; if we discover openings to arguments then we also are given clues for how to arrange proofs to make the most of these opportunities.

B. Understanding the needs of the audience is crucial to understand the “critical areas” where one can enter the conversation.

C. Discourse typically requires four parts: prooemium (introduction), narration (statement of the issue), proof, and conclusion (294).

II. First piece to consider is the Introduction—prooemium, including: (1) Exordium—Latin for “urging forward”—and in English, to exhort; Quintilian wrote that “the sole purpose of the exordium is to prepare our audience in such a way that they will be disposed to lend a ready ear to the rest of our speech” (295); (2) Narration—statement of the issue according to the type of claim you’re making: definition, value, or procedure (304); (3) Partition—name the issues in the dispute and/or list arguments to be used in the order they will appear.

A. An introduction considers the heart of what we want to say and then discovers ways to bring people to the table to hear our message.

B. The Exordium thus attempts to create an opening or begin conversation on an issue; Cicero argues that the exordia should be dignified and serious, which simply means that there must be continuity--clear connections--between the framing and the stating of one’s case.

How to begin the conversation? First consider position of the audience:

1. Honorable: speaker has immediate support from the audience.

2. Difficult: audience is unsympathetic to the rhetor or to the issues raised.

3. Mean: audience regards the rhetor of the issue as unimportant or uninteresting (mean signifies “insignificant” or “trivial”).

4. Ambiguous: audience is unsure about what is at issue; or issue is partly honorable and partly difficult.

5. Obscure: issue is too difficult for audience to understand, because they are uninformed or because it is complex.

C. If the case is honorable—there is immediate support from the audience then it is easy to introduce the topic “directly and in plain language making the audience well-disposed, receptive, and attentive” (296).

D. Insinuation requires the rhetor to give hostile audiences in relation to the rhetor or the rhetor’s position more consideration.

E. Therefore, in the introduction one needs to find ways to make the audience attentive and receptive, especially if the case is difficult, trivial, or obscure.

1. Topics for Making Audiences Attentive:
a. Show importance of issue
b. Show how issue affects audience
c. Show how issue affects everyone
d. Show how issue affects general good of the community

2. Topics for Making Audiences Receptive
a. Strengthen your ethos
b. Weaken the ethos of those who oppose the rhetor
c. Show respect for the audience
d. Praise issue or position while denigrating position of opponents

3. Topics for Insinuations:
a. If audience is hostile, admit difference of opinion
b. If audience is unsavory, admit this
c. If audience is tired, promise to be brief

F. Write a press release regarding Seattle University’s response to the earthquakes in Haiti.

1. A press release is designed to make available information to the media about an organization, person, or event; press releases also are about newsworthy material.

2. Press releases include an introduction, support for the main claim, and conclusion regarding the organization and final words about the main claim.

G. The second piece to consider in an argument is the narrative (statement of the case): “in the narrative, a rhetor states the issue as clearly and simply as she can” (303).

1. Definitive Narrative: shape how the audience defines a topic.

2. A Narrative about Values focuses on the characters of a story and attempts to shape the judgments of an audience.

3. Procedural narrative: narrating a case to emphasize action or the plot of a story.

H. How we narrate the case then brings the partition into being; a partition “can name the issues in dispute and it can list the arguments to be used in the order they will appear” (306).

I. The Arguments: Confirmation and Refutation: work with key arguments and anticipate opposing arguments.

J. Conclusion (peroration): Cicero argues that “a rhetor may do three things in a peroration: sum up her arguments, cast anyone who disagrees with her in a negative light, and arouse sympathy for herself, her clients, or her case” (310).

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Notes for January 19


A. Kairos is a Greek concept that has to do with timing in relation to a rhetorical situation.

1. The Greeks had two concepts of time: chronos to refer to linear, measurable time, which we track with watches and calendars.

2. Kairos suggests a more situational kind of time, something close to what we call “opportunity” (Crowley and Hawhee 45).

3. Kairos, in contrast to the common places, is about process v. product; “kairos draws attention to the mutability of a subject” (47).

4. Additionally, we know two more things: (1) kairos is about the needs of those involved in the lived moment, and (2) kairotic moments change over time.

5. Kairos thus accounts for the contingencies of situations, one’s ability to respond to an audience’s particular needs in the moment, and then define that situation for the audience.

B. Rogerian argument builds on the notion of kairos, using the work of psychotherapist, Carl Rogers.

1. Carl Rogers perspective on psychotherapy imagines that one can build understanding by attempting to empathize with another, listening so well that what comes from the interaction may produce some sort of healing through the sharing of dialogue.

a. Mutual communication tends to be pointed toward solving a problem rather than toward attacking a person or group.

b. Argument is thus more of a collaborative enterprise and supposedly resists our tendencies toward polarization.

c. In public conflicts, Rogers would attempt to reduce tension and defensiveness by focusing on the environment, trying to produce a climate that would be favorable to problem solving (Teich 2).

2. Rogers’ views have been translated into argumentative strategies: a conflict solving technique based on finding common ground instead of polarizing debate.

3. Young, Becker, and Pike in their book Rhetoric and Discovery connect Rogers’ perspectives on psychotherapy with persuasive writing, and they suggest four strategies:

a. An introduction to the problem and a demonstration that the opponent's position is understood.

b. A statement of the contexts in which the opponent's position may be valid.

c. A statement of the writer's position, including the contexts in which it is valid.

d. A statement of how the opponent's position would benefit if he were to adopt elements of the writer's position. If the writer can show that the positions complement each other, that each supplies what the other lacks, so much the better.

4. Working with kairos and the principles of Rogerian argument write a letter to a friend or member of your family to take an issue seriously.

D. Public contexts: kairos “points to the situatedness of arguments in time and place and the way an argument’s suitability depends on the particulars of a given rhetorical situation” (Crowley and Hawhee 48).

1. To consider the kairos of an issue:
a. Get to know the history of an issue in order to understand what elements are on the surface and why.

b. Explore all kinds of perspectives on an issue in order to understand points of agreement and disagreement.

2. For Crowley and Hawhee, if the kairotic elements are not obvious we can ask questions like:

a. How urgent or immediate is the issue? Questions on page 52

b. What are the interests of those involved—values and assumptions--with an issue and why? What stake do you and they have in relation to the issue?

c. What are the power dynamics at work in issue?

1. Which arguments receive more attention?
2. Who is making these arguments?
3. What arguments receive less attention?
4. Who is making these arguments?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Notes for January 14

Common places and attitudes

I. Attitudes are according to Fishbein and Azjen (1975): “a learned predisposition to respond in a consistently favorable or unfavorable manner with respect to a given object” (Frymier and Nadler 22).

A. Attitudes provide a conceptual lens to see ideologies operating in discourse: Ideology is a “pattern or set of ideas, assumptions, beliefs, values, or interpretations of the world by which a culture or group operates” (Foss, Rhetorical Criticism 2nd ed., 291).

B. Attitudes function in five ways (Katz, 1960).

1. Attitudes reveal knowledge, what people know and believe about their world.

2. Attitudes reveal values: when we express our view of the world we are also giving expression to our values.

3. Attitudes are utilitarian: we develop attitudes that benefit us by allowing us to avoid negative consequences and achieve positive outcomes.

4. Attitudes have a social-adjustive function (Smith, Bruner, and White, 1956); we hold attitudes to better relate to those around us.

5. Finally, attitudes have an ego-defensive function, which means that we develop attitudes toward people, events, and objects that help us make sense of who we are and then protect that self or “save face.”

C. Crowley and Hawhee suggest that “using common topics and commonplaces to invent arguments” (140) requires that we pay attention to these different elements operating in the discourse.

1. Graff and Birkenstein suggest in They Say/I Say: “It is generally best to summarize the ideas you’re responding to briefly, at the start of your text, and to delay detailed elaboration until later” (19).

2. They have several templates for accomplishing this task: pp. 21-23.

D. Letters to the editor are brief 150-200 words, they make a clear claim at the start of the letter, the audience is the general public (newspaper and online readers), and the goal is to get at the common places around different issues reported in the news.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Weekly Writing Three

Working with the "Template for Introducing an Ongoing Debate" (TS/IS, p. 24), summarize an ongoing debate of your chosen issue, topic, or case. In your summary of the debate, introduce (that is, briefly describe as neutrally as possible) at least four of the key participants' positions on the issue. You will need to read several articles (3-4) on the issues to get a sense of the debate (e.g., news articles, editorials, etc.).

Please post to your blog by January 22, 2010.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Notes for January 12

Common places and Types of “Proof”

I. Common places have two different meanings: (1) specific procedure used to generate arguments, and (2) statements that circulate within ideologies.

A. Crowley and Hawhee discuss ideology in terms of “words about ideas” or “study of ideas.”

Ideology may also be defined as “a pattern or set of ideas, assumptions, beliefs, values, or interpretations of the world by which a culture or group operates” (Foss 291).

B. Ernest Bormann argues that we can discover ideologies and common places through understanding the ways people symbolically converge.

1. Symbolic Convergence is based on two assumptions:
a. Communication creates reality; symbolic forms are the organs of reality.
b. Individuals’ meanings converge to create a shared reality.

2. People who do not have a shared reality can literally create a common culture through symbolic forms, taking shape in social “dramas” or “stories” or “values.”

C. Commonplaces embrace the way we reason in relation to specific circumstances as well as what communal assumptions guide that reasoning.

II. There are three types of commonplaces according to Aristotle that are generalizable across contexts; Conjecture (past and future fact); Degree (whether a thing is greater or smaller than another thing); Possibility (what is and is not possible).

A. Conjecture: (past and future fact); rhetors use this type of reasoning to talk and write about the past in relation to what is happening in the present or what may be possible in the future.

1. Conjecture thus deals with:
a. What exists.
b. What does not exist.
c. The size or extent of what exists.
d. How things used to be (past).
e. How things will be in the future.

B. Degree: the common topic of greater/lesser--magnitude: “contemporary rhetors often try to establish that their position is good, just, honorable, or expedient” phrased in terms of its opposite values “what is bad, unjust, dishonorable, or inexpedient” (124).

1. Degree thus deals with:
a. What is greater than the mean or norm.
b. What is lesser than the mean or norm.
c. What is relatively greater than something else.
d. What is relatively lesser than something else.
e. What is good, just, beautiful, honorable, enjoyable, etc.
f. What is better, more just, etc.
g. What is less good, less just, etc.
h. What is good, etc. for all persons.
i. What is good, etc. for few persons or groups.
j. What has been better, etc. in the past.
k. What will be better, etc. in the future.

C. Possibility: the common topic of what is possible/impossible: “rhetors resort to the topic of possible/impossible in order to establish that change either is or isn’t possible, now or in the future” (Hawhee and Crowley 127).

1. Possibility thus deals with:
a. What is possible.
b. What is impossible.
c. What is more or less possible.
d. What is possible in the future.
e. What is impossible in the future.
f. What was possible or impossible in the past.

D. Sue Rahr editorial

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Weekly Writing Two

Weekly Writing #2 (1-2 pages): summarizing arguments and positions

Choose one article for this paper (opinion piece, journal article, blogs, documentary, news coverage):
1) Write a 100-word summary of the author’s argument, using as neutral language as possible. 2) Write a 100-word analysis, reading as a believer; suspend your skepticism, try to see things from the author’s point of view, attribute good faith to his/her motives, and try to hear what he/she is saying. 3) Write a 100-word analysis, reading as a doubter; bring all your natural skepticism to bear, questioning his/her values, assumptions, motives, and evidence (the common places/topics are helpful, here). 4) Finally, write a 100-word analysis of the rhetorical situation. Who is the author? What needs prompted the author to write the article/essay? To what conversations is he/she responding? What constraints does he/she write under? How does your knowledge of the author and the publication affect your reading of the essay?

Please post your paper to your blog and send me a copy by January 15.

Notes for January 7

What and Where is Argument?

I. Rhetorical argument for Wayne Booth in his book Modern Dogma and the Rhetoric of Assent: “the art of discovering warrantable beliefs and improving those beliefs in shared discourse” (xiii).

II. For Thomas Hollihan and Kevin Baaske in Arguments and Arguing Booth’s definition creates two “senses” or objectives of argument:
1. Argument is about effective decision making, and
2. Argument is about the achievement of social harmony.

III. So what makes “good argument”?

A. According to Timothy Crusius and Carolyn Channell in their book Aims of Argument: “argument is mature reasoning”—(1) defending not the first position you might take on an issue but the best position, determined through open-minded inquiry, and (2) providing reasons for holding that position that can earn the respect of an opposing audience.

B. Wayne Brockreide’s six principles regarding the scope and function of argument in “Where is Argument?”

1. One: Brockreide states that argument involves “an inferential leap from existing beliefs to the adoption of a new belief or to the reinforcement of an old one” (10).
2. Two: Argument involves a perceived rationale to support that leap (10).
3. Three: Argument involves a choice among two or more competing claims (10-11).
4. Four: Argument is a regulation of uncertainty (11).
5. Five: Argument involves a willingness to risk confrontation of a claim with peers, and Six: is a frame of reference shared optimally (11).

IV. There are different ways to put together arguments, designed around particular goals (Roen, Glau, and Maid, The Brief McGraw-Hill Guide: Writing for College, Writing for Life).
A. Writing to Convince:
B. Writing to Evaluate:
C. Writing about a Creative Work:
D. Writing to Explain Causes and Effects:
E. Writing to Solve Problems:

First Exercise

In a single paragraph, first summarize briefly (in a couple of sentences) what argument authors Graff and Birkenstein make about academic writing in the introduction of their text, They Say/I Say; then summarize very briefly (again, in a couple of sentences) what you take my argument to be about rhetoric in my Course Description of CMJR 320; and finally, in a few sentences, discuss what overlap might exist between their argument about academic writing and my argument about rhetoric.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Weekly Writing One

For this first essay, in one to three pages apply the four rhetorical tenets to Michelle Obama's 2008 Democratic National Convention Address. What is her advice to her audience? What kinds of stylistic choices does she make, and what is the impact of these choices? Who is her audience and what are their concerns? What are the needs of the audience that bring her speech "into being?" This first writing is due Friday, January 8 by 6 p.m., posted to your blog.

Here is the link for Michelle Obama's speech: