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Chris M., M.S.W. Social Work
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Rhetorical devices

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Rhetoric affects its audience's beliefs without offering reasons for a claim.

  • Rhetoric uses additional layers of unstated meaning to influence beliefs and attitudes.

    1. Such claims frequently choose language that has a powerful and biased emotive force. (See Chapter 2 for a definition of emotive force.) The persuasion discussed in 2. a-c below most clearly fits into this category.

    2. Other techniques manipulate features of communication less directly related to emotive force. The types of suggestion discussed in 2. d-e, and the obfuscatory ploys of 2. f-j, are nonargumentative persuasion without the emotive energy.

  • Speaking most generally about nonargumentative persuasion, we will call words or phrases that manipulate their emotive force rhetorical devices and techniques.

    1. Rhetorical devices, or slanters, come in a variety of forms: They laud, censure, excuse, or change the subject. In general, they can dispose us to take a certain perspective on some subject.

    2. Rhetoric typically occurs in the absence of argument, as a substitute for argument.

    3. None of this necessarily means that slanters mislead--that nonargumentative persuasion is persuasion to falsehood. Nothing is wrong with persuasiveness itself. Bear the following points in mind:

      1. We examine slanters to hone our ears for the shadings that language can take, not in order to produce flat and tepid language.

      2. Rhetorical techniques should not make us dismiss claims out of hand; but they should also not make us accept them uncritically.

      3. We distinguish between language with emotive force and language that arouses an emotional response.

        1. "He's an angel to the downtrodden" employs slanters.

        2. "He has donated $1 million to programs for the homeless" may inspire the same emotions, but it contains no slanters.

      4. Rhetoric does not always mean there is no argument, for arguments may contain rhetoric; they can be perfectly good arguments regardless


     Why does the example affect you and what is the statements persuasive motive?


     not need word count and I need it by today

    Submitted: 4 years ago.
    Category: Homework
    Expert:  Mr. Gregory White replied 4 years ago.
    Hi, it will be a pleasure to help you with your homework today.

    Thanks for requesting me on the other thread. Give me a bit to work through this and I will get a response back to you this morning.

    Customer: replied 4 years ago.
    Ok I need it by today, today is the due date.
    Expert:  Mr. Gregory White replied 4 years ago.
    Having some trouble putting this one together as not quite confident on the response I am putting together.

    Going to open up for other experts in case one knows exactly what they are seeking in prompt.
    Customer: replied 4 years ago.
    I will get it by today? because is my due date if you open up for other expert is going to take more time,:(
    Expert:  Chris M. replied 4 years ago.

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    Chris M., M.S.W. Social Work
    Category: Homework
    Satisfied Customers: 2782
    Experience: Master's Degree, strong math and writing skills, experience in one-on-one tutoring (college English)
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