What is Rhetoric?

What is Rhetoric?

Everyone uses rhetoric.  Rhetoric is the way that we talk to convince people of what we want them to believe. Rhetoric is not only a formal persuasive speech. Each day we live, every moment we communicate we are attempting to convince others to believe us.  We try to convince them to believe that we are who we think we are by the way we speak, dress, and behave.  If we believe that we are kind people, we will speak kindly to people, we will dress nicely, and treat people with kindness and generosity. We believe something about ourselves and the world and want other people to believe that, too. In this world, we can’t believe that we are kind, say that we are kind, but at the same time treat people badly and convince people that we are kind. We are who we say we are, act like we are, and look like we are through our facial expressions and other nonverbal communication.  If we do not have all three of these aspects to prove what we want people to believe about us then people will be skeptical. This is the Ethos, Pathos, and Logos of Persuasion Ethos is the speaker’s credibility.  If we want to be perceived as a kind person, we must be credible as a kind person.  We must treat people nicely, be generous and patient.  The moment that we don’t do one of these things, our credibility goes down and people begin to question whether we really are who we say we are. Pathos is the emotions that we create in our audience.  In this...
How to have an Intellectual Conversation

How to have an Intellectual Conversation

Whether you are the one who wants to increase the depth of your intellectual conversations or you want to teach your students or children, there are things you need to know: Learn to have an intellectual conversation. You can use a resource like the conversation place mat or use some of the free resources I have on my Teachers Pay Teacher page here.  I am a huge fan of using templates and sentence starters.  I have found that if we give the students the words to use then they are able to confidently enter the conversation. Know that everyone is welcome to join the intellectual conversation. Are you a fan of music?  Do you know that there is an intellectual conversation going on between musicians? They respond to one another in an album  They respond to rumors or expectations that people have of them. Think Taylor Swift. Intellectual in this sense just means that they are talking about subjects that only a core group of people are involved in and completely understand. The same type of conversations are happening in the intellectual circles.  College is an opportunity for you to join that conversation.  Everyone is welcome at that circle.  All you need is the words to join. Learn to ask good questions. Socrates said, “The only thing I know is that I know nothing.”  If Socrates can say that and base his whole intellectual platform on asking questions, you can, too. If you don’t know what to say, ask a good question. The two here can be used in just about any context.  Try it and see what happens:...