3.1 Learning Goals
Erin Kelly; Sara Humphreys; Nancy Ami; and Natalie Boldt
You will engage rhetorical strategies to comprehend challenging texts.
You might feel intimidated or overwhelmed by the amount of reading in your courses as well as the content. Rhetoric offers strategies for understanding how arguments are arranged and how language works, which translates into you becoming a more skillful reader.
You will identify the main and supporting ideas in what you read.
That is, you will be able to locate the thesis, supporting arguments, and evidence in whatever you read. This is a crucial academic skill we cover in this chapter that can improve your ability to understand the point of what you read and perhaps even in your everyday life.
You will analyze academic writing in terms of rhetorical purpose, audience, and content.
Rhetoric gives you the ability to step back and take a good look at your own writing and the writing of others for its rhetorical intent and motives. To paraphrase rhetorician and award winning teacher Dr. Wayne Booth, we can’t choose to use rhetoric, only what kind. This chapter will help you to identify and assess rhetorical writing situations.
You will analyze the reasoning behind an argument.
You may think arguments are a negative way to communicate, but in academic writing, ideas are debated in a respectful manner (99% of the time, anyways). “Argument” is the word we use to describe these debates, and they follow a logical order and line of reasoning. Rhetorical practice gives you a means to both understand and describe the reasoning behind an argument.