The Rules of the Rhetorical Inn... Journey log 9

Stockton - Hales

Section 41


Habits of Mind: Curiosity and Flexibility

“This course focuses on writing and critical thinking by using an approach that teaches rhetorical strategies for reading and composing arguments in both print and digital environments.” - English 1030 Syllabus.

What a mouth full for something so simple… or at least it seemed that way.

Everyone uses rhetorical strategies on a daily basis. Whether you’re arguing reasons for your mom to buy a game for you or repeating the same thing over and over again to make your point or using a metaphor to be ironic about cigarettes (if you don’t know that reference, watch the Fault in Our Stars – Recommend it) or exaggerating about that time you stayed up for six days straight just to prove your hard work or creating really long sentences like this one to put emphasis on the never ending amount of rhetorical strategies you can use to argue something or make a point.

This week we talked about something I struggle with, which was more or less the things to think about while writing and actually writing a rhetorical analysis. Right now I am trying to figure out how to do that for a classmate’s monster project in Minecraft, but I’ve never even heard of the monster.

So me being me, I stared blankly at my computer for a while and became overly frustrated and started studying biology. When I finally came back around to figuring out how to tackle this raid, I went to the one place I knew I could rely on… The Rules of the Rhetorical Inn.

I started re reading some of the articles we read in class and I came across “Is Everyone an Author?” This article discusses the rhetorical strategies that are encompassed in our everyday lives.

The main part about the article I want to focus on was about thinking rhetorically. We use rhetoric because we need to get things done and to do so we must use rhetoric effectively. I never thought that there were really any procedures or rules you could follow in order to right a successful rhetorical analysis. But contradictory to my own premature beliefs, “Is Everyone an Author?” turned me around.

A few strategies it suggests are to hear what the author or creator is saying and try to understand why they are saying it, consider multiple perspectives and point of views, engage in tough thinking, incorporate your own ideas, do your homework on what you’re analyzing, and give credit where it is due.

Other rules of writing rhetorical analyses that it advised were to be imaginative, write how you want to write and how you want it to be expressed, and to consider a variety of variables. These variables were also discussed in class and consisted of the audience, purpose, context, genre, and stance.

In order to effectively write a rhetorical analysis, one must follow the “rules of the rhetorical inn.” Be curious and have the desire to learn more about what your analyzing because the more information you have, the better the analysis can be. Incorporating a variety of knowledge and interest into a rhetorical analysis not only speaks to your credibility, but also to your ability to think critically. Curiosity sparks the journey of a good rhetorical analysis, while flexibility ensures that you cover an in depth and thorough analysis.

Be mindful of how you want your audience to see you. Be willing to go beyond expectations and ask daring questions or make bold statements. Be respectful to the audience and to the authors of the pieces you analyze. Be able to adapt and go outside of your comfort zone. Be a teacher and be a student. Be ready to embrace failure. Be excited for your writing journey. These are the rules of effective writing. These are the rules for good rhetorical analyses. These are the rules of the rhetorical inn.

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