Sunday, January 31, 2016


When I first sat in on a Communication class at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, I learned one thing right away; they talk about the word “rhetoric” a lot. At first, I did not know what this word meant. There are a lot of ways to define rhetoric. Some of the terms we find are “the art discourse,” “speaking or writing effectively,” and “a means of persuasion.” All of these definitions would make sense, because it all connects to communication. In reality, we see rhetoric being used quite often. For example, discourse is the exchange of symbols or meanings in any context (movies, pictures, books, etc.) and persuasion is when someone will convince you to believe something. According to the book “The Essential Guide of Rhetoric”, the definition of rhetoric is the study of producing discourse and interpreting how, when, and why discourse are persuasive. A good example of this definition is the movie “Thank You for Smoking”. The discourse is the movie, and what the movie is about persuading people that smoking is good. Although the sales person knows it’s not, the company needs money and needs a person to persuade people to smoke. Another example of the book’s definition is a book called, “Heaven is for Real,” persuading and talking about a little boy that had a trip to heaven after his appendix burst. Having rhetoric in media is very important, especially in this generation. Everywhere we look, there is some type of media, and the way we can get people to listen and be persuaded in today’s world is through rhetoric. The key to rhetoric is cooperation. We can’t force people to listen to what we have to say or what we want them to do, most people will not want to listen to what we have to say if they are feeling like they have no choice. A way that we can have people help us is persuading them to take up your point of view. There is an active and a passive way of persuading.
- Hailey Storer

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