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Monroe in the Media

27 Mar

Here’s a YouTube video where someone applies Monroe’s Motivated Sequence to a popular cell phone commercial:


A few more resources

26 Mar

We’re right in the middle of our last round of speeches, and it’s the time in the term when extra endurance is necessary. Here are some links to mull over as you prepare your speech, or (if you’ve already given your last speech) tips to help you prepare to evaluate your colleagues’ speeches:


More on Bitzer

19 Mar

After our spirited discussion in class this morning, I re-looked at the text of “Functional Communication” and noticed I had left out part of Bitzer’s definition on factual conditions. Here is his definition, in its entirety: “By a factual condition I mean any set of things, events, relations, ideas, meanings — anything physical or mental — whose existence is (or is thought to be) independent of one’s personal subjectivity.” [my emphasis]

Does having that “(or is thought to be)” make a difference in how you understand factual conditions? I think that phrase may help resolve some of the issues we were discussing in class today, in terms of what makes something a “fact.”

Ultimately factual conditions bring us back to the importance of strong logos appeals — the facts of your exigence are fueled in part by the research you do, how you interpret/present that data to your audience, and how you well construct the problem/issue at root in your speech.

That said, Bitzer has been long accused of not using words precisely in his theories — if anyone is interested in finding out more about the critiques of Bitzer’s rhetorical situation, look up the articles written by Richard Vatz. His two articles that critique Bitzer are “The Myth of the Rhetorical Situation” (1973) and “The Mythical Status of Situational Rhetoric” (2009).

EDIT: After more thinking on this issue, the main point you should take away from Bitzer’s article (and our discussion of it) is to understand how agreement/disagreement on facts + interests help you, the speaker, position a topic to your audience.

If your audience disagrees with how you’ve interpreted the data as the facts of your exigence, it’s less likely they’ll be open to embracing the exigence that prompted your speech. Likewise, if the audience doesn’t value the interests you’ve connected the facts to, they will probably not be responsive. Look back to the speeches you’ve given, and try to determine if you always had your audience in agreement with you on the facts + interests, or if one of the areas were not as strong.

Finally, another quote from Bitzer that will hopefully provide more clarification on what we discussed today: “The rhetor […] will awaken [the audience] to the reality of the exigence by providing a representation of the factual condition that evokes or engages the required interest.”

Resources for the week of February 27-March 2

27 Feb

As we start round 3 of speeches, here are some links to consider:

  • 10 Ways to Wow your Audience by Susan Krauss Whitbourne — “Here are the guidelines that great speakers follow that rely on simple application of these principles derived from social, educational, and applied psychology.”

and for those of you who are preparing your PowerPoint presentations for your design project:

Ethos, pathos, logos

5 Jan

Dust off your RCM 300 notes, and remind yourself of these building blocks of communication.  Here are some links to help refresh your memory:

We’ll be revisiting the theory behind the modes of appeal again on Friday. Throughout the term you will use this rhetorical theory as a basis for both preparing/delivering of your speeches and also in the evaluative comments you’ll provide your colleagues.

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