Reflections

A Look Into Three Rhetorical Analysis Methods (R1)

A writer develops in direct proportion to the amount of rhetorical analysis methods he masters. By proactively seeking to develop a deeper understanding of rhetorical context questions, explicit/implicit/extended meaning, and the Toulmin Method, we can all add these strategies to our arsenal to help us cultivate a more firm command of the English language.

Considering the listed rhetorical context questions allows readers to think critically about the objectives and strategy of the writer in achieving those objectives. Answering the questions enables readers to completely step into the writer’s mind. The explicit/implicit/extended meaning method is yet another strategy that gives readers the platform to enhance their understanding of a piece of writing. By outright separating what the author is literally saying from her underlying meaning, readers are able to deduce the true message of the author.

Following the execution of the two strategies above, readers can then emulate the tactics used in the authors’ writing to produce original work of increased quality.

Moreover, the Toulmin Method is a fantastic method that, if implemented, can assist any writer in formulating an effective argument. This method does have its restrictions however, as a writer would not employ the Toulmin Method when sharing an amusing anecdote. The Toulmin Method is more suited for persuasive pieces or debate speeches.

Two Areas to Improve (R2)

After a healthy amount of rhetorical analysis, I have been shown two prominent areas where improvement in my writing is called for. First, I should think twice before moving on to another paragraph. Often times, my paragraphs are not FUCT because critical fragments are scattered into multiple paragraphs. For instance, I may create four brief, separate paragraphs when those same four paragraphs could unite into one completely FUCT paragraph. Second, it would serve me well to include numerous illustrations or examples of my point to accompany my central idea. More examples not only clarify my argument to readers, but it’s inclusion would also aid in the establishment of my authority in discussing the topic. Awareness of my flaws in these two areas is the first step in their elimination.

The Enemy (R3)

Within each person, a waging war ensues between two forces. On one side, there is the rational mind whose primary objective is to encourage us to act responsibly. It’s opposition is the wicked spell of instant gratification.

This wicked urge to do that which feels most enjoyable in the moment (yet will certainly lead to disappointment in the future) often strangles the rational mind into submission.

It is my belief that procrastination acts as a filtering mechanism separating those worthy of achieving their goals from those who aren’t.

I have made tremendous advancement in my battle against procrastination but, to my dismay, there is still plenty of work to be done.

By employing self discipline and continually envisioning the achievement of our long term goals, those of us fighting procrastination are better equipped to make a stand and finally destroy our formidable foe.

Opinion on Method of Data Collection for Project 2 (R4)

The method in which I conducted my research for the second project of this semester is the most effective method of gathering data for this type of experiment. By literally recording the time I spent speaking in all interactions, I was able to accurately measure the percentage of my speech that fell into one of two categories: Zain Level 1 and Zain Level 2. Although this method was quite arduous in nature, it is far more superior to most other methods since precise percentages of total speaking time is able to be collected. The only downfall of this method was that there were times that I simply refused to speak in a situation where I normally would. Moreover, to prevent the risk of not collecting portions of data, the duration of lengthy conversations was recorded as a whole. In other words, if I spent 2 hours and fourteen minutes with a friend, the recorded duration of speaking time was 2:14:00.

A Successful Second Project (R5)

The successful completion of project two is likely since the conditions that foster a holistic writing community are set. Our professor has provided us with tools that arm us to complete all necessary tasks efficiently and effectively. Prior to publishing the final version of our paper, the opportunity to have our work examined and critiqued by others exists so that students can receive input from others on how the power and clarity of their piece may be improved. In addition to the access to our in class resources, students are encouraged to visit the writing center for additional input on their writing. All of these resources along with a positive and encouraging writing community allow students to elevate the quality of their work and successfully complete project two and all future projects.

Progress Update (R6)

Since our very first day of class in English 2150, my writing has only changed slightly, but the lens in which I view my writing has changed a great deal. It is only a matter of time that my writing begins to reflect these changes.

Upon beginning the semester, my writing was simply a reflection of my thoughts. After weeks of learning various methods of rhetorical analysis, I have developed the ability to continuously analyze my own work while simultaneously writing. As I am writing these words, I am currently attempting to decipher the purpose that these words serve*.

While this is a useful tactic, it can also limit the effectiveness of my writing by not allowing me to express all of my thoughts. Since I am analyzing my writing while I am physically writing, I may leave out a sentence that, in the present moment, doesn’t make sense but would fit perfectly in a later paragraph. I am currently attempting to eliminate all limiting thought while I am writing and only focus on the thoughts as they come and do my best to articulate them. Then, only afterwards should I incorporate this level of rhetorical analysis.

*In case you are wondering, my hope for that sentence was that it enhanced my ethos since I have offered a real time window into my thoughts.

Persuasion and Manipulation (R7)

The fine line between persuasion and manipulation is one that all should consider. Persuasion is the act of enlightening others to embrace the persuader’s viewpoint. Manipulation incorporates the use of deceptive methods to force a person to swallow the manipulator’s viewpoint. The immediate effect is the same: a person’s opinion is converted; however, the method in which that effect is achieved differs greatly.

An attempt to persuade someone to come to terms with a particular point of view becomes manipulation when a person purposely distorts the tools (statistics, studies, raw data) used to persuade. For instance, if – in an attempt to persuade Mr. Second Amendment that guns are bad – Mr. Gun Control only cites evidence from a source that collects its information from a narrow sample size that would certainly make firearms unappealing, Mr. Gun Control is a manipulator. If on the other Mr. Gun Control explores the evidence showing guns are bad and the evidence of the opposite stance and shows net positive results of a gun less society, Mr. Gun Control is a persuader.

Artifacts no longer persuade, but now lie to, their intended audience when their information is outright false. The absence of admitting information does not make someone liar it makes them a manipulator. A liar makes up facts and information to support their claim. Moreover, there is no connection to fallacies and lies since fallacies are the twisting of facts and lies are complete creations of false evidence.

Immersion of Project 3 (R8)

Throughout the semester we have been taught many lessons that will help us all improve our writing. With this third and final project, the time has come for us to put all of our newly acquired knowledge to the test. When conducting research, it is critical that we rhetorically analyze our sources to ensure that we clearly understand the source’s purpose and relevance to our topic. When the time comes to begin writing a first draft, it is critical to simply allow our ideas to flow onto our computer screens. This ensures that when we write, our original voice will float above our words. We must incorporate as many persuasive techniques as possible to ensure that both our advertisement and our letters are effective. All of this must be accomplished in a timely manner to guarantee to successful completion of Project 3.

Motives of Professor Rosenberg (R9)

Creators of content hope to send a message or leave a specific impression on the people that their content reaches. Often times however, the audience may perceive the created content in a completely different way than what was imagined by the creators. With this in mind, by enabling her students to have other members of our writing community share their impressions of our draft advertisements, Professor Rosenberg creates an environment where her students can find out whether their advertisement delivered the desired effect.

By enabling her students to receive this feedback, students can now adjust the composition of their advertisements in order to effectively impact their audience in the ideal way. Thankfully, this feedback session was administered with ample time remaining before the due date of our assignment. Students can now make the necessary adjustments and if they see fit, plan another feedback session with a fellow classmate to further increase the effectiveness of their advertisements.

The Wonders of Rhetoric (R10)

The tactical nature of rhetoric is without a doubt its most fascinating aspect. The realization that there are multiple ways to convey the same idea has always intrigued me. Our choice of words, the way we connect them, and how we say these words have the power to illicit any emotion conceivable in those who receive our message. This power is used in daily interactions and is often abused to the point where a full blown conflict erupts. With the right combination of rhetoric and tone it is very possible to tell someone to go to hell (figuratively of course) and have them ask for directions! This of course is Winston Churchill’s definition of diplomacy.

Moreover, more than in one on one interactions, rhetoric can be used to ignite mass movements across a nation or the world. For instance, the simple/straight-shooting rhetoric of Donald Trump has divided our nation. This is a perfect example of how rhetoric does not need to be elaborate, fancy, or poetic. What tactical rhetoric represents is the deliberate use of words intended to spark emotions in others. It is this emotion that can either win people to see your view, intimidate others, or divide and concur a nation.