Rhetorical Reasoning is the process of evaluating how best to respond to a rhetorical situation. This process involves considering rhetorical principles and strategies, including
- deciding what to say, what to research, and how to say it in response to rhetorical analysis
- engaging in composing processes while considering rhetorical principles (e.g., rhetorical stance or rhetorical appeals) given the writer’s purpose, audience, topic.
- considering the Rhetorical Elements of Argument to develop persuasive texts
- given careful consideration to the epistemological positions of methodological communities.
But what should you say? Should you be tough? stuffy? sweet? What medium is the best channel for response? (an infographic? a video? a blog post). Should you use the first person? What level of diction is expected?–these sorts of questions reflect reasoning processes.
Rhetorical Reasoning involves considering a range of rhetorical choices when facing a rhetorical situation. By consciously considering these options, writers can “observ[e] in any given case the available means of persuasion”:
Rhetoric may be defined as the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion.Rhetoric, Aristotle, 350 B.C.E
- what Point of View is most appropriate–1st person, 2nd person, or 3rd person
- whether and when appeals to ethos, logos, pathos are most appropriate
- whether a paragraph on whole text should deploy Rhetorical Modes (e.g., Causes & Effects, Classification, Comparison and Contrast, Definition, Description, Exemplification, Exposition, and Narration).
Rhetorical Options @ Writing Commons
|Point of View||Is 1st person, 2nd person, or 3rd person most appropriate?|
|Rhetorical Appeals||What appeals to Ethos, Logos, and Pathos are needed?|
|Rhetorical Modes||What Rhetorical Modes will help me achieve my aims? Can the modes inform how I write an entire document or just a paragraph or section?|
|Rhetorical Stance||What Persona, Tone, and Voice will be most effective?|
|Genre||Rhetors (writers/speakers) identify the most appropriate genre to deploy by considering their rhetorical situation.|