The first step to thinking rhetorically is to LISTEN.

Thinking Rhetorically:

First, Listen

Thinking rhetorically begins with listening, with being willing to hear the words of others in an open and understanding way. (EAA 8)

Hear what others are saying--and think about why

Listen carefully to what others are saying and consider what motivates them to do so: Where are they coming from? (EAA 8)
Thinking rhetorically means being flexible and fair, able to hear and consider varying, and sometimes conflicting, points of view. (EAA 8)
Even when you disagree with a point of view--perhaps especially when you disagree with it--allow yourself to see the issue from the viewpoint of its advocates before you reject their positions. (EAA 8)

What do you think--and why?

Such self-scrutiny can eventually clarify your stance or perhaps even change your mind; in either case, you stand to gain. Just as you need to think hard about the motivations of others, it's important to examine your own motivations in detail, asking yourself what influences in your life lead you to think as you do or to take certain positions. (EAA 9)

Do Your Homework

Rhetorical thinking calls on you to do some homework, to find out everything you can about what's said about your topic, to ANALYZE what you find--and then to SYNTHESIZE that information to inform your own ideas. (EAA 10)

Give Credit

Acknowledging the work of others will help build your own ETHOS, or character, showing that you have not only done your homework but that you want to credit those who have influenced you. (EAA 12)

Be Imaginative

Put in Your Oar

Group Work

Groups of 3

10 minutes

  • 1 time keeper, 1 recorder, one person designated to present
  • Who is the ad's target audience?
  • How did they go about appealing to them?
  • Put yourself in the ad makers' shoes. What are some key words that you would use to persuade your intended audience to purchase the vehicle?

Lets unpack these two images from EAA.

  • What do you see?
  • Do you pick up on a particular tone?
  • How does context affect the images?
  • Who are the target audiences?


  • Turn to the example on page xix
Broadly speaking, academic writing is argumentative writing, and we believe that to argue well you need to do more than assert your own position. You need to enter a conversation, using what others say (or might say) as a launching pad or sounding board for your own views. for this reason, one of the main pieces of advice in this book is to write the voices of others into your text. --TSIS, 3

Oftentimes, the tsis structure operates as a rebuttal: "They say vegetables are good for you, but vegetables are too disgusting to eat.

Can the tsis structure be used to agree with the they say?

Can the tsis structure be used to both agree with AND disagree with the they say?


  • Write a rough draft of your essay
  • You'll turn one copy into Canvas and you'll bring a printed copy to class on Thursday
  • Thursday's peer review will be worth 10 points in you "Homework and In-class Assignments"
  • Students who fail to bring rough drafts to class for peer review will not receive full credit
  • Final draft will be uploaded to Canvas on Friday
  • Final draft is worth 20 points in you "Homework and In-class Assignments"
  • Read Everyone's An Author Chapter 2 & 3
Created By
Cody Smith

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