RHETORIC: The art of sending and receiving messages using literary and rhetorical devices.
- What is the tone of the piece?
- What is the purpose of the piece?
- Who is the intended reader?
- Is the text situational or universal? (Will it be read in 50 years?)
- What is the mode of discourse? Satire? Persuasive? Narrative? Comparison and Contrast? Descriptive? Synthesis? A combination?
- Which appeals are used?
- How are the appeals created?
- POV: What point of view is used, 1st, 2nd, or 3rd?
- Voice: Passive or active?
- Diction: Where does the author’s word choice add to the text? How is diction used?
- Tone: What is the tone of the piece?
- Examine the author’s sentence structure? Are all sentences complete?
- Simple (single independent clause)
- Compound sentences (two independent clauses)?
- Complex sentences (an independent clause joined with one or more dependent clause)?
- Are there periodic sentences (details given before or in the middle of the basic elements of the sentence)?
- Are there loose sentences (details given at the end of the basic sentence elements)?
- Are sentences parallell
- Are clauses independent or dependent. How/why are they used?
- Voice—the persona to whom the reader is listening, made up by a writer’s diction and syntax.
- Tone—the attitude a writer portrays toward the subject.
- Diction—word choice
- Syntax (Period Sentence; Loose Sentence)—the way in which sentences are arranged
- Rhetoric—the language choices made by a speaker, writer, or listener in a given situation so that a message becomes purposeful.
- Purpose—the goal of a writer or speaker or a work.
- Ethos—The credibility of the speaker.
- Pathos—The emotional weight of a piece.
- Logos—The rationale or logic behind a piece.
- Denotation—dictionary definition
- Connotation—Implied meaning of a word
- Euphemism: substitution of an agreeable or at least non-offensive expression for one whose plainer meaning might be harsh or unpleasant.
- Cacophony: harsh joining of sounds. (ex: We want no parley with you and your grisly gang who work your wicked will. W. Churchill)
- Hyperbole: exaggeration for emphasis or for rhetorical effect.
- Parallel construction: Of words; of phrases; of clauses. Structure of words or sentences, related and close by, should remain similar in structure and function. (Molly enjoys running, reading, and writing. NOT Molly enjoys running, reading, and to write.)
- Paradox: an assertion seemingly opposed to common sense, but that may yet have some truth in it. (ex: What a pity that youth must be wasted on the young. - George Bernard Shaw)
- Double entendre: like a pun, a phrase that can be interpreted two ways.
- Counterargument—The side opposing a writer’s premise.
- Mode of discourse—Format of language choices to fit the purpose of a writer.
- Satire—anecdote or narrative poking fun of man’s follies, with hopes that man doesn’t make the same mistake.
- Refutation—mode of discourse in which primary goal of an author and method is to refute an opposing argument. Persuasive? Narrative? Comparison-contrast? Descriptive? Synthesis? A combination?)
- Juxtaposition—placing two ideas, things, characters hear each other for the purpose of comparison