It might be safe to say that in our society rhetoric has a negative connotation that comes with it. We might think that rhetoric is glued to the theme of persistance in the form of manipulation. That people use the tool of rhetoric to get somthing out of us which is considered to be a trick or off color. Which can be true on the surface by definition. Yet in taking a deeper look into rhetoric, you can quickly see that it is a character trait that is engrained in all of our personalities. Reflecting positive connotations rather than the negative stereotypical actions that have falsely consumed it's definition.
Rhetoric is most loosely defined as how we pursude each other and make arguments. This includes gestures and emotional appeals that we make to other individual. It is something that we face and convey in our everyday conversation as a way to identify as individuals. It gives us personality and distinction as we adapt to the situations around us in life. Rhetoric is a trait that keeps evolving throughout our lives, where some harp on their skills more than others. This is where we can somtimes see this idea of persistence through minipulation that is negatively tied to rhetoric. Any successful leader must in most situations have tremendous skills in rhetoric. Someone like Hitler might be seen as a poster boy for rhetoric as he was able to manipulate the actions and beliefs of a whole nation. Yes, Hitler was a master of rhetoric, but that doesn't mean that anyone who displays rhetoric shares similar traits and beliefs as Hitler. In order to truly understand this concept you should apply the definition to your life and just see how often it comes up in simple daily encounters. "The art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing, especially the use of figures of speech and other compositional techniques." (Googles definition).
In terms of writting it is also important as a reader to try to understand the rhetoric that the author is conveying. To fully understand what the author wants you to believe. For me this is detrimental to determining and understanding credibility. From there it is important to reason whether what the author is selling is crediable or just looks good because it is surrounded by fancy words and fluff. Thinking like this is a skill that when developed can help you with many decisions in life and will improve your own rhetoric as an individual.
Now we look at this other idea of rhetorical analysis and it's importance in our everyday life. Laura Bolin Carrol dives into the stages of rhetorical analysis in Backpacks vs Briefcases. Where she brings up the importance of first impressions. How as human being we tend to judge and characterize people right off the bat because we have these preestablished ideas and chatagories about individuals. Of course this is not a good quality to have but we all posses it. It is important to take a step back and truly analys other people rather than jumping to fast conclusions.
Personally when analyzing things that are going on in the world around me or being pushed on me I always tend to turn back to this Idea of credibility. Personally if I break down something as simple as a commercial it is almost too easy to pick up on fallacies and ridiculous information being fed to me. It is important to practice engagement to be aware of this. Here are some examples.
This is more of a funny fallacy, that red bull gives you wings. It's so unrealistic however that it is not taken as seriously. Falling under the category of False cause. Which actually means that one random act happens and causes the other. Even though they are totally unrelated the conclusion is one causes the other. Its important to pick up on real life false cause fallacies that might be fed to you at anytime however, to determine if what someones telling you makes sense. It's important to determine if things are formed due to cause and effect or simply correlation.
Here we see an example of hasty generalization. That is one event based on a small sample meaning that every outcome is the same. As shown through the fact that if you spay axe body spray and one women likes it they all will. Also can fall under false cause. Small sampling holding general conclusions is one of the more easy things to be picked up in the media especially. Yet they can quickly snowball into other conclusions making them more difficult to trace back.
My personal favorite, appealing to authority. This can be seen throughout many commercials where distinguished individuals push objects that don't have relevance to their success on you. In analysising an authors work, just because they are accomplished does not mean that they are always right or experts on the subject no matter how much you might respect them.
Remember we all live rhetoric and that it is an important skill in our everyday lives. At the end of the day it is important to make sure that you know what you are being fed and that it makes sense. Stay engaged to the information around you and try not to determine everything as a definite.