Rhetorical Stance

The rhetorical stance refers to a rhetor's persona, voice, and tone in relation to the Rhetor's rhetorical situation. Wayne Booth (1963) originally conceptualized the Rhetorical Stance as a proper balance among "the available arguments about the subject itself, the interests and peculiarities of the audience, and the voice, the implied character, of the speaker" (141). Over time, following postmodernism, Rhetorical Stance has come to encompass how a Rhetor's or audience's standing in the world informs interpretation and communication. The rhetor's rhetorical stance plays a supersized role in whether and how...

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Rhetorical Options

Rhetorical Options refers to different ways of developing a text in response to a Rhetorical Situation. For example, Rhetorical Options include Point of View; Rhetorical Stance; Rhetorical Appeals; and Rhetorical Modes. Rhetorical Options are sometimes called rhetorical principles, techniques, devices, or features--or even rhetorical tools. At Writing Commons, we emphasize the term options because we hope to emphasize that rhetors choose how to deploy these rhetorical techniques by considering the particulars of their rhetorical situations. For instance, writers would not choose first person point of view when an economics professor...

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Persona

The term persona refers to a rhetor's use of a literary mask to hide his or her true opinion about a matter. Right or wrong, readers made judgments about who you are as a rhetor. As an author, you may consider your tone and voice as reasoned, thoughtful, and intelligent whereas the reader might dismiss your text as biased, underdeveloped, or emotional. Communication is invariably a psychosocial process. At one level, you cannot control the interpretations of your audience. However, this doesn't mean you shouldn't try! At the very least,...

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Rhetor

Rhetors are symbol analysts. Rhetors are authors, speakers, artists who use symbols (e.g., an alphabet, sign language, computer code) or oral language to communicate. Rhetors are rhetoricians. They analyze their rhetorical situation engaging in rhetorical analysis, rhetors reflect on persona,tone andvoice. In ancient Greece, the term rhetor referred to a rhetorician--i.e. someone who taught rhetoric. Since then, the term rhetor or rhetorician or technorhetorician (someone with expertise in both rhetoric and technology) has fallen a bit out of favor. At Writing Commons, we use rhetor to refer to writers and...

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Occasion, Exigency & Kairos

Occasion, Exigency & Kairos are three interrelated rhetorical concepts that are associated with time, place, and setting. Occasion plays a supersized role in whether a rhetor responds to an exigency, what the rhetor's purpose is, the medium the rhetor uses to respond, and the rhetor's rhetorical stance. While it's tempting to stay inside the peaceful confines of one's mind (at least on a good day), thinking about occasion, exigency & kairos is all about getting beyond yourself. Writers are successful to the extent that they can can understand messages from...

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Medium, Mass Media, Social Media

Medium, Mass Media, Social Media refer to the materials and tools rhetors use to compose, archive, and convey messages. have unique constraints and affordances.are a vital element of the rhetor's rhetorical situation. Medium is the singular form of Media, a collective noun. Media or Mass Media refers to television, newspapers, magazines, and radio. Thus, CNN is a medium, but CNN and Fox are Media. Social Media refers to online tools and communication ecosystems that facilitate social sharing and dialog (e.g., Instagram, Wikipedia, Twitter, & You Tube, Facebook.] Media is a...

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Intrinsic Authority

"Intrinsic Authority" was written by Jessica McKee and Megan McIntyre Intrinsic authority is authority that comes from the rhetor herself. It might come from her work experience or college degrees or generally good morality, or it might come from how well she demonstrates that she can speak or write about her topic. Aristotle, who coined the term "ethos," said that "persuasion is achieved by the speaker's personal character when the speech is so spoken as to make us think him credible." This is true, he said, because an audience will "believe...

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Rhetorical Modes

Traditionally, Rhetorical Modes are a classification scheme for common forms or types of writing. Examples include Causes & Effects, Classification, Comparison and Contrast, Definition, Description, Exemplification, Exposition, and Narration. At Writing Commons, we view the Rhetorical Modes as foundational ways of reasoning and innovating. The Modes are more than forms of discourse: they are ways of thinking about the world.a rhetorical optionThe Modes are tools rhetors choose to use when working to respond to a particular Rhetorical Situation. Rhetors use Modes to identify and develop a Rhetorical Stance and Rhetorical...

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