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.
[ *Alternative Title(s): Rhetorical Options ]
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.|