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critical thinking

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What is the role of rhetoric in influencing people's attitudes and beliefs.

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Rhetoric essentially is "word choice" to convey a particular point of view. Since we have become a media oriented society, we need to be aware that "everyone has an ox in the ditch" and their words are chosen to favor that point of view. In order to listen or read what others have to say with discernment, we need to first ask ourselves , what they are trying to convince us to do and why are they choosing those particular words. Below is a very good analysis, and the site from which it comes.

"Regarded as a discipline as well as a tool for analysis, rhetoric is often associated with related disciplines such as discourse analysis, text linguistics, cognition as well as communication and information theory. In other words, rhetoric is engaged in building up communication, its constituent parts and genres while at the same time playing an important role for the ways in which we perceive contextual aspects, including culture and the relations between interactants.

With communication and mediation playing an increasingly important role in post modern society, rhetoric has gained in influence and importance. Historically, the role of rhetoric was to enable the speaker to convince (and persuade) the listener. Nowadays, in a society of ever increasing amounts of information, the significance of rhetoric as a tool for helping communicators appeal to listeners or readers in a credible, understandable and convincing way is being acknowledged."

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