Arrangement of Rhetoric - Alvin Independent School District

Report
How a Writer Structures the Argument
Intended Purpose and Effect
Introduction (exordium “beginning a web”)
--often where the writer establishes ethos
Narration (narratio)
--appeals to logos and often to pathos
Confirmation (confirmatio)
--makes the strongest appeal to logos
Refutation (refutatio)
--address counterargument
--bridges writer’s proof and conclusion
--appeals to logos
Conclusion (peroratio)
--usually appeals to pathos
--reminds to reader of the ethos established earlier
--answers the question, “So what?”
--contains memorable last words
Analyze “Not by Math Alone,” a piece written in 2006 by Sandra Day O’Connor, a
former Supreme Court justice, and Roy Romer, superintendent of Los Angeles
Unified School District. Identify the five parts of the classical model.
Methods of Organization that Reflect the
Author’s Purpose
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Telling a story or recounting a series of events
Usually chronological
Includes concrete detail, point of view, and
sometimes elements of dialogue
Crafts a story that supports the thesis
Often used to enter into topics
Has the advantage of drawing readers in
Read Rebecca Walker’s story about her son that
leads to her explanation of why she put together
the anthology Putting Down the Gun, p. 412
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Closely allied with narration
Includes many specific details
Emphasizes the senses
Often used to establish a mood or atmosphere
Rarely used as an entire essay
Clear and vivid description can make writing
more persuasive
Helps readers empathize with author
Used to prove a point
Read Barbara Ehenreich’s example from “Serving
in Florida” and George Orwell’s example from
“Shooting an Elephant.” The descriptive language
of each serves to prove what two points?
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Explains how something works, how to do
something, or how something was done
Clarity is key, explaining a subject clearly and
logically, with transitions that mark the sequence
of major steps, stages, or phases of the process.
Strong verbs emphasize the process.
Can be used to prove a point
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Read an excerpt from Elizabeth Royte’s essay
“Transsexual Frogs,” investigating the impact of
the pesticide atrazine.
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Provides a series of examples—facts, specific
cases, or instances—a type of logical proof
Aristotle called induction, leading to a general
conclusion
Turns a general idea into a concrete one
Makes argument clearer and more persuasive
May contain one extended example or a series of
related ones to illustrate a point
Read Francine Prose’s “I Know Why a Caged Bird
Cannot Read.” Analyze the effect of the
examples and the point she is trying to make.
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Juxtaposes two things to highlight their similarities and
differences
Used to analyze information carefully, which often reveals
insights into the nature of the information being analyzed
Required on AP exam to discuss the subtle differences or
similarities in the method, style, or purpose of two texts
Can be utilized to lead the reader to draw a conclusion—
the point the author is trying to make
Can be organized in two ways: subject-by-subject or
point by point
Read Lori Arviso Alvord’s excerpt from “Walking the Path
Between Worlds.” Which two things are juxtaposed, and
which method of organization does she use? What
conclusion do you draw? What is her point?
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Sorts material or ideas into major categories
Answers the question, “What goes together and why?”
Makes connections between things that might
otherwise seem unrelated. (See Bacon’s quote about
books.)
Often breaks down a larger idea or concepts into
parts
Can explore an idea in a systematic ways that enables
the reader to see the problems the author sees and
wants to expose. (Read Orwell’s “Politics and the
English Language,” p. 529)
Read excerpt from Amy Tan’s “Mother Tongue.” How
does she classify the “Englishes” she speaks? p. 23
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Ensures that writers and their audiences are
speaking the same language by laying the
foundation to establish common ground or
identifying areas of conflict
Often the first step in a debate or disagreement
Often only a paragraph or two that clarify terms
Can be the purpose of an entire essay
Read Jane Howard’s essay “In Search of the Good
Family,” in which she analyzes the ten
characteristics that define a family. P.283
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Can analyze causes that lead to an effect (Rachel Carson’s Silent
Spring—her case for the unintended and unexpected effects of the
pesticide DDT) OR
Can analyze the effects that result from a cause (Terry Tempest Williams'
“The Clan of One-Breasted Women” proceeds from the effect she sees—
the breast cancer that has affected the women in her family—to argue
that the cause is environmental)
Causal analysis depends upon crystal clear logic—must recognize
possible contributing causes—refraining from jumping to conclusions
that there is only one cause or one result or mistaking an effect for an
underlying cause. Ex. In “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Martin Luther
King, Jr. points out that his critics had mistaken a cause for an effect:
the protests of the civil rights movement were not the cause of violence
but the effect of segregation.
Read excerpt from Francine Prose’s “I Know Why a Caged Bird Cannot
Read,” in which she explains the positive effects of reading classical
literature and the negative effects of ineffectively taught literature.
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Reread Jody Heyman’s essay “We Can Afford
to Give Parents a Break” (p.6), and discuss the
patterns of development she uses. Which of
these patterns prevails in the overall essay?
Which does she use in specific sections or
paragraphs?
Shea, Renee et al. The Language of
Composition: Reading, Writing, Rhetoric.
Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2008.

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