Processes, Vocabulary, and Systems of Vocabulary

Exam I

Basic terms you should know

These are terms that we will encounter throughout the semester whose definitions you should master.

Basic Terms
Strategic Discourse
Rhetorical Situation
Rhetorical Act
Common Sense

Understanding your tasks as an analyst of discourse

This unit concentrates on your activities as an interpreter of discourse. It provides you a system of vocabulary to help you understand the process that you will use to describe and evaluate strategic discourse.

Things you should be able to do: Terms you should know: Arranged in a system of vocabulary
Using vocabulary you learn to analyze strategic discourse Descriptive Analysis
Evaluative Analysis
Analysis requires both description and evaluation
Marshall support for your claims Claim
Well presented claims follow the formula: Claim + Proof + Analysis
Analyze strategic discourse as response to situation

-Long term
-Opportunity for appeal

Framework: Speakers strategically call upon their opportunities to overcome the obstacles and confront the long term and/or immediate exigence of the situation.
Generate a critique from any of the standards artistic (aesthetic)
effects (effectiveness)
ethic (moral)
You select one of these standards in an analysis.

Analyzing an Audience

Because rhetoric is addressed to an audience, so much of evaluation of discourse requires that you understand the character of the audience. The systems of vocabulary here are to enable you to understand the character of an audience and describe it as part of your evaluative tasks.

Things you should be able to do: Terms you should know: Arranged in a system of vocabulary
Identify the various audiences for a discourse: empirical audience
mediated audience
target audience
agents of change
constructed audience
Various audiences become relevant to your differing analysis of the discourse
Know how to use one or more of these methods to understand the character of an audience demographic analysis
psychometric analysis
cultural analysis
elaboration analysis
Each has its method and ways of describing an audience's characteristics

Using that knowledge, answer the following questions:

  • Who is susceptible to speaker's message?
  • How can speaker appeal to this audience?
  • Who does the speaker seek to lead?
  • Was the speaker successful with this audience?
  Allow you to describe and evaluate the strategies the speaker selects.

Strategic Choices of the Speaker in the Discourse

The systems of vocabulary below begin to help you focus upon strategic choices made by the rhetor. Some of the systems allow you to describe those choices; others help you evaluate the choice against the standards you learned above, most importantly effectiveness for a particular audience.

Things you should be able to do: Terms you should know: Arranged in a system of vocabulary
Using the list of standard purposes for speaking, identify the purpose(s) of the speaker in the discourse Creating Experience
Altering Perception
Formulating Belief
Initiating Action
Maintaining Action
One of more of these general purposes should lead you to formulate the speaker's specific purpose in engaging in discourse.
Know how to locate purpose in a discourse In the message
In the rhetorical situation
Within a campaign
to look for purpose in these places
Recognize complications of purpose Multiple purposes
Layered purpose
Linkage to publics
Explicit/implicit purpose
to describe the speaker's purpose with more complexity
Identify strategies for framing experience; evaluate their success with audience Questions
Setting Stasis
Root Metaphors
One or more of these strategies should lead you to formulate the speaker's specific strategy for framing discourse.
Identify strategies for defining or explaining an idea Genus/differentia
By example
By detail
By origin
to describe the strategies that he speaker chooses to use
Evaluate the strategies for defining or explaining an idea based on these dimensions and your analysis of audience Identifiability
Level of Detail
Relationship to audience experience
Dimensions of evaluation of strategy using your audience analysis
To identify prior sources of ethos Reputation
Other elements of context
identify prior sources and whether speaker enhances them and/or overcomes their obstacles in his/her discourse
To identify the strategies for building ethos contained within a discourse Identification
Social Power
to identify the approach the speaker takes to take advantage of his relationship with the audience.
To identify the persona the speaker assumes toward the audience persona To see the relationship the speaker uses to appeal to the audience.
To identify the basis of the speaker's authority with the audience Identification
to understand how the speaker seeks to establish his authority.