Lecture 1: Rhetoric


Q - What is Rhetoric?

A - Art of effective or persuasive writing to inform, educate, or entertain.

Rhetoric is the study of how knowledge is created and shared through communication practices shared through communication practices such as reading, listening, speaking.

Rhetoric of Media

  • Media literacy
  • Critical thinking and writing skills
  • Thinking about media forms, tools, and how to effectively use them (i.e. "media affordances")
  • Thinking about how information circulates
  • What are different devices we use

Rhetoric is also the study of persuasion-

  • How we are persuaded to believe what we believe
  • How we can persuade other beliefs.

Rhetorical Situation

Q: What is a rhetorical situation?

A: The circumstances in which you communicate, or the factors that influence the creation of a message.

eg. format, venue, form, tech and space in which you communicate

Understanding the rhetorical situation helps us better understand a message in its context

*The base of CCT109 was about media, the base of CCT110 is about message*

Our changing Rhetorical Situation

  • Technology makes our writing more visible than ever
  • Many people encounter us first through the written word
  • New formats - new challenges (blogs, podcasts, wikis, social media, online journalism/op-eds.)

Why study CCT110

Goals of CCT110:

  • Better Thinking \rightarrow  Reading \rightarrow  Writing \rightarrow  Communicating
  • To mystify the writing most of us are exposed to on a daily basis
  • Foundation for success in university, work, and beyond
  • Credibility (do you want people to believe you?)
  • Differentiate yourself
  • Writing is an exercise

The Skills Gap

TOP 4 skills employers are looking for-

Critical thinking/problem solving

Attention to detail


Writing proficiency


Key ideas:

  • Rhetoric
  • Rhetoric of Media
  • Rhetorical Situation
  • Our changing Rhetorical Situation today

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