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Chapter 1 discussed what rhetoric is. According to Aristotle, rhetoric be [defined as] as an ability, in each [particular] case, to see the available means of persuasion (Peeples 27). In other words, rhetoric is the persuasive effort of the speaker to get whatever he or she wants from the audience. The response can be in any form such as emotional, understanding, or connection. Many argued whether rhetoric is audience-, reader-, or user-centered. In my opinion, rhetoric is considered audience-centered.
When the speaker designs document, he or she is considering the audience he or she is addressing. The speaker should focus on the audience needs. For example, students are being elected for various positions such as student body government, homecoming queen, or student monitor. Each person would dedicate their speeches to address the concerns of other students. If rhetoric is to persuade the audience one way or author, the speaker has to consider what appeals to the majority. Another example, union representatives would not elect certain officials or procedure, if the majority rejected it.
The speaker can tailor his writings through communication with the audience. The speaker should understand who is he or she presenting the documents and what are the current beliefs. This will allow the speaker to write towards the correct set of people. For example, when President Obama was running for office, his speeches were addressing the working class individuals who lost money when the market crash or the family who cannot make ends meet because of the high cost of healthcare. President Obama appeal to the needs of his audience. The audience presented him with their problems and he gave them a solutions or an idea of how to correct the problem. He communicated with his audience giving them ideas and concepts that can later be pursued. His speeches were able to produce favorable thoughts about his actions and ideas.
Good writers bring emotions from its audience whether its happiness, sadness, anger, and laughter. It helps them to understand the meaning the speaker is trying to convey. When the audience listen to the speaker, it is important for them to be able to relate to the speaker. For example, Betty Wright's song "Tonight is the Night"; she begins with a monologue about how this song came about and then has the audience recalling their accounts of the same subject.
â€¦And it's called
Tonight is the night
That you make me a woman
Now I never intended recording this song
It was a personal poem
This is until the day that my producer
Happened to thumb through the pages of my notebook
He came across the words and he said
"We got to somethin' with these words
It's happening every day
And people wanna hear about it, Betty"
You see, it's the story of a young girl
Making love for the very first time
Now when I finally got a melody
I took it home and I-I played it for my mother
Now I got to tell you a little bit about my mother
You see I come from one of those pretty large families
And I'm the baby of the family
And you know you never grow up to your mother
I'll never forget the way she looked at me when I played it for her
She said, "Uh, I like the music
You know, baby, the melody it's really nice
But I know you're not gonna sing that song"
But we eased it right on by, yes, we did
And it became one of my biggest records too
So I want you to do this for me if you will
Everybody think back to your very first time
Now I'll give you a little while longer
'Cause I know some of you
Have to think back a little further than others
Come on now, I want you to play catch-up
'Cause I don't want you waitin' till I get to the end of my song
Sayin', "Oh, yeah, now I remember"
Now whether it was good
Or you just smilin' it was good
Or on the other hand if it was not so good
Here's my storyâ€¦
The speaker should consider questions that the audience may ask themselves about the subject matter. Questions that the audience may ask themselves about the speech: how does this affect me; it has never happened to me, why should I care; or even what benefits can I achieve from this. In the speech, the speaker should answer all the questions that the audience may ponder.
According to Rapp's article, Aristotle's view an orator will be even more successful when he just picks up the convincing aspects of a given issue, thereby using commonly-held opinions as premises. Basically, writer writes for the audience. The speaker persuades the audience based upon the reasoning for the speech (logos). When listening to the speaker, the audience will focus on the argument of the speaker, the way it is written, the language that is used, how it is presented, or attempt to remember important information. He describes the three means of persuasion which are ethos, pathos and logos. He retains pathos as being very important to the success of rhetoric because if the speaker does not appear to be honest, the audience would not agree with his or her position. Also, if the subject is not appealing to the audience, the speaker will receive negative views and possible offend the audience.
"The persuasion is accomplished by character whenever the speech is held in such a way as to render the speaker worthy of credence. If the speaker appears to be credible, the audience will form the second-order judgment that propositions put forward by the credible speaker are true or acceptable. The success of the persuasive efforts depends on the emotional dispositions of the audience; for we do not judge in the same way when we grieve and rejoice or when we are friendly and hostile. Thus, the orator has to arouse emotions exactly because emotions have the power to modify our judgmentsâ€¦" (Rapp).
Aristotle position is rhetoric is audience-centered. This is true because that the only way to be an effective speaker. If the audience cannot understand what the speaker is trying to communicate, it can start an argument. If the speaker cannot relate to the audience, the speech with not be as effective.