Critical Thinking Questions
- For a day, try and make note of all of the arguments you observe (e.g. advertisements, friends trying to persuade you to hang out, etc.). What kinds of types of rhetoric do you see frequently? In other words, do you see lots of logical rhetoric? emotional rhetoric? Do these arguments seem to rely on credibility?
- What types of argumentation do you tend to deem effective?
- Now let’s explore arguments in reverse; try and note all of the arguments you make in a day. What rhetorical strategies do you find yourself utilizing to make arguments?
4. The following question has two parts:
Try and write what you consider to be effective rhetoric. In other words, if an employee wanted a raise, what kind of an argument would they have to make for you to consider the proposal? If you want to use terms like logic, emotion and credibility that is certainly fine but what is most important is for you to define for yourself what you find to be effective argumentation, in terms that makes sense to you. To give more context imagine you are in a position of authority and you are given a business report that is proposing a new marketing campaign. The goal of the proposal is for you to authorize funding for the project. Is it up to you to assess the content and subsequently approve or decline the request. What kind of an argument must be made?
Once you have written your definition of effective rhetoric, Based on your answer for the previous question, peruse the internet, Youtube, Twitter, Facebook for various arguments and talks that have some sort of argument in them. Choose two of these arguments and examine how your version of effective rhetoric lines up with the argumentative strategies utilized. The key is to evaluate the quality of the argument, based on the criteria for effective rhetoric that you laid out. For example, if I say that effective rhetoric is â€œpresenting an ethical and reasonable argument that is presented in terms that are understandable to a general audienceâ€ then I should use that very definition and its specific criteria to assess the argument I find.