Rhetorical Writing BY sbe6969 Learning how to write rhetorically is the key to writing a competent, persuasive essay. The main concept behind rhetoric is effectively predicting how an audience will connect with the main point of an argument. It is vital to approach an essay with the audience’s reaction in mind, because it forms the entire foundation of the work. Rhetorical appeal assists with the basic structure of the paper by allowing writers to assert a distinct voice within their writing.
Once a writer has distinguished his or her voice and point of view, rhetorical appeal can be used as a tool in facilitating an pinion in a way that will genuinely resonate with the audience. A writer who knows how to efficiently use rhetorical appeal has a better chance of persuading the intended audience. This is because the appeals provide a method where credibility and value can be established without simply listing things off. It also influences a style within the writing that allows emotion to simmer within the reader.
As I review my graduation paper I wrote in high school, I am now aware that I did most of the things someone who understands rhetorical appeal would not do. I am pained by his fact not only because I know my final argument would have been more persuasive, but also because the process could have been simpler and more organized. Understanding rhetorical appeal would have aided me with a specific way of thinking and more importantly made my argument about early child hood education exceptionally persuasive.
To give a little background about the paper I am reviewing I will give some information about the paper and the process I underwent with my preparation and writing. My Junior year English class was centered on writing a ten-page graduation paper that would eventually turn into a speech. The essay had to be argumentative and we chose a side that we had to validate within the paper. There were a lot of requirements entailed, such as formatting, referencing certain sources and including a specific amount of statistical data.
It was the first major paper that I had ever been assigned and I remember feeling overwhelmed every time my teacher would discuss it with the class. We had a very reasonable amount of time to organize, edit, and complete the paper. I gave myself enough time to progress through each stage and come up with, what I thought, was a successful completion. As I reflect on my final outcome of the paper and speech I would have tackled the assignment a lot differently if I knew then what I know now about rhetorical concepts in writing.
The rest of this essay will include the different and specific steps I would have taken having known how to approach writing rhetorically. The thesis of my paper was “Children who receive an early childhood education outperform children who do not, both academically and socially. ” My entire paper consisted of reasons why children should attend preschool and integrated a plethora of benefits they received. As I planned the paper, I focused a lot on specific information that I would entail and constantly focused my thinking on why children should attend preschool. I collected pages and pages of data that supported my argument.
The data I found reflected that children who went to preschool outperformed children who did not. The numbers were relevant and the research was credible. I incorporated different graphs that blatantly showed that the kindergarten. I supported my argument with relevant research studies done all over the world that tracked children who went to preschool and those who did not. The numbers were continuously in favor of my argument, by a long shot. Once I compiled all of my research I organized the information accordingly, and supported the specific points I made with concrete data.
An example of this that I included in my essay is, “Children who attend preschool develop their language skills much better because there is a window of time a toddler can retain language concepts and aptitude”. I backed this claim up with the different methods preschool teachers proposed in classroom settings that allowed children to fully master their language skills. I also ncluded psychological studies proving that children need to be introduced to these concepts during a specific window, from ages 3-5, or they spend the rest of their academic career trying to catch up.
I felt that these examples and the way I distinctly mapped out the ways in which children learned in a preschool environment was a great way to persuade my audience. My entire essay was hoarded with facts, measurements, and studies much like this example but it lacked any major reasons for an audience to genuinely connect with my argument. The first part of the problem was the way in which I approached the writing. I was not fully grasping the fact that I needed to appeal to a parent who had a toddler who was about to attend, or not attend preschool.
The drive behind my writing should not have been merely proving my point, but connecting the audience in a way in which they saw no other option other than enrolling their child in preschool. By including so much numerical data as the basic conviction of my argument, I used the rhetorical appeal known as logos, which appeals to logic. At the end of my essay I had enough data and graphs to logically prove the dominance of a preschool educated child over a child who did not ttend preschool. This information maintained my argument, but how much did it really resonate with a parent?
All of these relevant facts about the benefits of preschool should have been reinforced by the rhetorical appeal known as pathos, which appeals to emotion. It is important to understand that the rhetorical appeals work together in an argument; the absence of one severely hinders the effect that the included appeals have. This was a major setback in my paper because I had an overwhelming abundance of logos, which eventually became redundant and quite meaningless in terms of persuasion. The essence of my paper should have been dedicated to appealing to the reader’s sense of pathos.
Parents would much more willingly accept factual information and statistics if they already felt emotionally connected and understood. The audience would have been affected emotionally if I would have provided some counter arguments within my paper. Talking about children who did not receive an early childhood education and the painful struggles they encountered could have done this. In order to really connect to a parent of a child I would have provided specific examples of what would happen to a child if he r she did not receive a preschool education.
This type of technique would emotionally resonate with a parent because that parent would feel sorry for those children who were behind and would never want their child to experience the same downfalls. I could have also focused on including specific interviews with preschool teachers who discussed their credible opinions that they were able to form over the interviews would have created an opportunity for the audience to actually imagine the kind of opportunities a child would have if they did attend preschool and how behind children without a preschool education would be.
I would make sure that I delivered enough emotional appeal in order for the reader’s mind to be racing with thoughts about any child if not specifically their own, as he or she read through each and every page. If I had begun the process of writing my essay with rhetorical appeals in mind, the final product would not have only been substantially more convincing; the entire process would have been calmer. Instead of Just piling information from all different sources, I could have gotten my argument across in a more successful way by doing less research.
All of the information I found about my topic was relevant and upportive but I included so many different facts that it became overwhelming and very abstract. I could have picked a few key benefits that preschool education gives to children and zoned in on them. Less time could have been spent on accumulating facts and I could have focused my attention towards elaborating on specific examples. I did not have the right audience in mind when I was planning and writing my paper. I followed the rubric and spent hours upon hours gathering information and referencing an excess of sources.
I neglected the fact that the purpose of my aper was to connect to a specific audience. My mind was absorbed in writing the paper for my teacher who would read it and give me a grade. I did not have the correct audience in mind, which would be the parents of a preschool-age toddler and this attributed to lack of persuasive element in my paper. By having the wrong audience in mind I disregarded the first major step in rhetorical writing. I now grasp the concept of always writing for an audience and incorporating the right amount of credibility, logic, and emotional appeal to make sure the writing is influential and persuasive.