Rhetorical Elements Warmed up with a freewrite

Lesson 4.1
Tuesday, February 26th, 2019
1. Warm up with a freewrite
2. Review rhetorical elements
3. Try an activity on your own (we will build on this in future lessons)
Think about/define ethos, pathos, and logos. How have these elements maybe played into our previous assignments?
Past high school assignments? Why are these elements important in making an argument? What questions do you
have about these elements? Have you heard these terms before?
Rhetorical Elements
Rhetoric is all around us. By definition, rhetoric is the art of speaking or writing effectively. A few principles
guide rhetoric, and those are called the Modes of Persuasion or the rhetorical triangle. These three appeals are meant
to persuade the reader to do somethingvote, laugh, donate to charity, buy a specific pair of sneakers. The
following Modes of Persuasion will be critical to our session:
Pathos: appeal to emotion
o Say youre watching a romantic comedy, and its right at the end when it seems like the
couple has broken up for good, and the director really, really wants you to cry. Think about
how they can do this: What does the sky look like? Whats the music sound like? Hows the
weather? Typically, there will be a really sad song playing, and its probably raining. These
are all ways to clue you, the reader of this movie, that its time for you to cry. Youre
having an emotional reaction because of pathos.
o Now, lets apply this to a narrative. Maybe youre writing a story where you score the gamewinning touchdown. How do you want your reader to feel? How will you make them feel that
Ethos: credibility of the author
o In college, I majored in English & Creative Writing, but lets say Im going to write an
instructional guide about how to conduct open heart surgery. Would you trust me as the
expert on this topic? Given my background, probably not. (Lets hope not, at least!)
o How will you make yourself seem credible in your narrative? What story are you telling?
Why is it important for your reader to trust what youre saying?
Logos: appeal to logic
o Theres something about logicstatistics, hard factsthat makes a message more persuasive.
Were more likely to believe the headline that Aliens Live
on Mars than ALIENS ARE REAL!!! Why? Because the first provides some semblance of
o Logos will be less useful in the narrative than our future projects, but its a good thing to start
considering and identifying early.
Dont forget about P.A.C.T. (Purpose, Audience, Conventions, and Trouble spots) as it can be a helpful way into
thinking about rhetoric and analysis as well. As you review these terms, think about which might be most important.
Why do you think so? Which might be the most important element in an advertisement? Why?
Take a few minutes to peak at the in this folder:
As you look at these ads, try to:
Make observations
Determine the purpose
Determine the message it sends
Consider the possible consequences of the ad
Think about who created the ad and why?
What techniques do the creators use to make a product appealing?
How do they know who might be their “target audience?
Which specific “techniques of persuasion” might be used in this ad?
Which magazines or outlets will the creators pay to show the ad?
How are camerawork, lighting, editing used to tell the story?
How do I feel after seeing this ad? How does it appeal to my emotions?
Then, try to determine which ad is trying to appeal most to a certain rhetorical element. Is there an ad that plays
more into your emotions, or your logical side, etc.? This activity will tie into our lessons over the next few days.
Journal #6
In your , I would like you to reflect on the midterm portfolio. In a minimum of 300 words, talk
about your process and address some of the following questions: What went well? What didnt? What was difficult
about this project? What did you really enjoy? What do you think you might change for the final portfolio? What
questions do you have for me? Any concerns would you like very specific feedback on?
Coming up
Next we will talk more about summary and analysis, as well as thesis statements along with a lesson that will cover
more specific visual analysis techniques. Please let me know if you have any questions!
1. Journal #6 (midterm reflection) due Sunday night at 11:59 p.m.

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