Becoming Rhetorical,
2nd Edition

Jodie Nicotra

ISBN-13: 9780357656327
Copyright 2024 | Published
464 pages | List Price: USD $93.95

Communication isn't static. It shifts and changes. Nicotra's BECOMING RHETORICAL: ANALYZING AND COMPOSING IN A MULTIMEDIA WORLD, 2nd edition, equips you with the tools and knowledge to effectively communicate to countless different audiences and across multiple forms of media. You will learn to analyze and compose in textual, visual and multimodalities -- from evaluating an op-ed piece, to making a video of a consumer product, to creating an entire public awareness campaign -- as you become a confident critical thinker in a 21st century multimedia world. Extremely reader friendly, the book includes diverse and inclusive examples, images and language as well as timely readings on topics such as identity, food insecurity, race and mental health. In addition, MindTap provides anywhere, anytime digital learning solutions.


Introduction. What It Means to Become Rhetorical.
What Is Rhetorical Training? Why Rhetorical Analysis Is Important. Why Rhetorical Action Is Important. What It Really Means to Become Rhetorical: Transfer of Skills.
1. The Basic Rhetorical Situation.
Communicators: How Do They Convince Us of Their Relevance? Appealing to Audiences through Character: How Communicators Build Ethos. Appealing to an Audience through the Strength of a Message: Logos. Audience: Who Is the Communication For? Appealing to an Audience's Emotions: Pathos. For Reflection: Transferable Skills and Concepts. Assignment: Uncover Your Rhetorical Self.
2. The Expanded Rhetorical Situation.
Context: What Are the Circumstances of Communication? Exigence: What Invites You to Communicate? Purpose: What Does This Communication Want? The Means of Communication (Modality, Medium, Genre, Circulation): How Does Communication Physically Happen? For Reflection: Transferable Skills and Concepts. Assignment: Compare Compositions with Similar Purposes But Different Formats.
3. Analyzing Textual Rhetoric.
Thinking Rhetorical About Reading Texts. Writing Summaries. Researching the Rhetorical Situation of a Text. Doing a Rhetorical Analysis of a Written Text. For Reflection: Transferable Skills and Concepts. Assignment: Analyze Op-Ed Pieces and Political Communications.
4. Analyzing Visual Rhetoric.
Thinking Rhetorically about Stand-Alone Images. Thinking Rhetorically about the Placement, Circulation, and Distribution of Images. The Rhetorical Work of Images in Texts. For Reflection: Transferable Skills and Concepts. Assignment 1: Map an Issue through Images. Assignment 2: Write a Comparative Ad Analysis.
5. Analyzing Multimodal Rhetoric.
The Four Modalities: Verbal, Visual, Auditory, Haptic. Thinking Rhetorically About How Modalities Interact. Applying Multimodal Analysis to Video. Applying Multimodal Analysis to Websites and Apps. For Reflection: Transferable Skills and Concepts. Assignment 1: Do a Multimodal Analysis of a Video. Assignment 2: Analyze the Rhetorical Tactics of a Controversial Site. Assignment 3: Do a Comparative Analysis of Competing Websites. Assignment 4: Evaluate the Effectiveness of an Organization’s Online Presence.
6. The Invitation to Rhetoric: Defining Rhetorical Problems.
What Is a Rhetorical Problem? Event-Based Problems. Everyday Problems. Tasks for Defining a Rhetorical Problem. Articulating Rhetorical Problems through Writing: The Rhetorical Problem Statement. Addressing a Rhetorical Problem: Public Awareness Campaigns. For Reflection: Transferable Skills and Concepts. Assignment 1: Tune into Event-Based Problems. Assignment 2: Long-Term Assignment: Keep a Research Scrapbook. Assignment 3: Create a Public Awareness Campaign.
7. Responding to Rhetorical Problems with Arguments.
Arguments as Inquiry, Not Fights. Inhabiting an Idea: Arguments as Response. Written Arguments. Visual Arguments. Multimodal Arguments. For Reflection: Transferable Skills and Concepts. Assignment 1: Write an Initial Position Statement on an Issue, Then Question It. Assignment 2: Use Stasis Theory to Map an Issue. Assignment 3: Write an Academic Response Essay. Assignment 4: Write a Letter to the Editor. Assignment 5: Write an Open Letter. Assignment 6: Entering the Discussion. Assignment 7: Create Public Awareness Campaign Posters. Assignment 8: Create an Op-Doc.
8. Explaining.
The Booming Business of Explanations. Explaining as a Rhetorical Activity. The Elements of Explanations. For Reflection: Transferable Skills and Concepts. Assignment 1: Write an Explanation of Something New for Your Audience. Assignment 2: Explain the Same Thing to a Different Audience. Assignment 3: Create an Infographic. Assignment 4: Develop a Concept for an Explanatory Video Series.
9. Defining.
Definitions within Communities. Making Arguments of Definition. Formulating Definition Arguments. Assignments: Composing Definitions. For Reflection: Transferable Skills and Concepts. Assignment 1: Write a Definition Argument. Assignment 2: Transformation: Make It Visual or Multimodal.
10. Evaluating.
Everyday Evaluations. Establishing and Ranking Criteria: The Heart of an Evaluation. Using Evidence in Evaluation Arguments to Draw Conclusions. Evaluating Consumer Products. Composing Multimodal Consumer Reviews. Evaluating a Person's Accomplishments. Evaluating Policies. For Reflection: Transferable Skills and Concepts. Assignment 1: Write a Review of a Local Business, Event, or Attraction. Assignment 2: Create a Video Review of a Consumer Product. Assignment 3: Review a Film for Common Sense Media. Assignment 4: Appreciation or Critique of a Public Figure. Assignment 5: Write an Evaluation of a Policy or Decision.
11. Proposing.
The Gold Standard of Persuasion: Action. Components of Proposal Arguments. Persuasively Describing a Problem or Need. Making a Compelling Proposal Claim. Providing Support for Your Proposal. Acknowledging Potential Problems with Your Proposal. Showing That Your Proposal Will Fix the Problem. For Reflection: Transferable Skills and Concepts. Assignment 1: Write a Proposal to Address a Local Problem. Assignment 2: Write a Research Proposal. Assignment 3: Create a Proposal Using a Nonprint Modality. Assignment 4: Create a Job Application Video.
12. Narrating.
How Narrative is Rhetorical. Narrative vs. Story. Narrative as Persuasion. For Reflection: Transferable Skills and Concepts. Assignment 1: Use Personal Narrative to Make a Persuasive Point About a Social Issue. Assignment 2: Create Three Components of a Personal Brand.
13. Research: Composing with Multiple Sources.
Information Literacy. Research as a Conversation. Research as Inquiry: The Recursive Steps of the Research Process. Incorporating Sources into Your Compositions. For Reflection: Transferable Skills and Concepts. Assignment: Write a “Critical Conversation” Essay.
14. Creating Written Compositions.
What Writing Can and Can't Do. Embracing the Messiness of the Writing Process. Writing in Academic Genres. Writing for Civic Participation.
15. Creating Visual Compositions.
When to Use Visual Compositions for Rhetorical Purposes. Good Visual Design: Basic Building Blocks. How-Tos: Tutorials for Specific Visual Compositions. For Reflection: Transferable Skills and Concepts. Assignment: Design a Poster Announcing an Event.
16. Creating Multimodal Compositions.
How to Create Videos. How to Create Podcasts. How to Create Websites. For Reflection: Transferable Skills and Concepts.

  • Jodie Nicotra

    A native of Pittsburgh, Jodie Nicotra got her PhD from Penn State University in 2005 and began working at the University of Idaho the same year. She was the Director of Composition from 2010–2013, and she teaches courses that range from first-year composition to professional writing to rhetorical theory. Dr. Nicotra has published articles on various topics in rhetorical theory and is working on a book about rhetorics of microbiome science.

  • An all-new chapter is devoted to narrating. Research suggests that our brains are "wired" for narrative. Learning to use this powerful rhetorical tool helps with everything from making persuasive, experience-based arguments to mobilizing narrative techniques to create an effective personal brand. Readers will become better at recognizing when narrative is at work in communication situations as well as look more deeply at how narrative informs even situations that initially seem straightforward.

  • Chapter 13: "Research: Composing with Multiple Sources" includes an expanded section on information literacy and how it applies to research. Students will learn what it means to navigate the information landscape, which can be confusing and overwhelming. This informative chapter moves students away from the pervasive -- and wrong -- idea that "research" is limited to finding sources that support what you already think.

  • More diverse and inclusive examples, images and language make the text more reader-friendly than ever. Added readings speak to topics that interest college-aged students, such as beauty, identity, food insecurity, race and mental health. In addition, the new edition is purposefully designed to help increase students' awareness and sensitivity to diverse thoughts, experiences and perspectives.

  • MindTap includes 19 new videos highlighting key chapter concepts. Each "Tiny Lectures" live-action video explains a major concept, while "How Tos" provide animated examples of important processes students need to master. Complementing and supplementing the text narrative and what is highlighted in class lectures, the videos use a unique voice to draw out the major concepts and give students an overview of these ideas in a different modality.

  • The text enriches student understanding by helping them move beyond "ethos, pathos, logos" to a more robust notion of rhetoric. While a helpful place to start, the "rhetorical triangle" can lead to rote analysis of communication. After practicing analysis of textual, visual and multimodal composition, students become more skilled overall at seeing how rhetoric works.

  • A diverse selection of readings -- many of them linked with activities -- address such contemporary issues as food insecurity in college students, "voluntourism", beauty and social media, the fentanyl crisis, pandemic decision making, climate change, being the child of multicultural parents and more. A complete list of readings by modality follows the table of contents in the print text.

  • Annotated readings provide a window into the rhetorical choices composers make. Annotated samples of rhetorical analyses of textual and multimodal works, summaries, writing that defines a rhetorical problem, academic response essays and other genres help students become aware of the many decisions a composer makes to respond to the rhetorical situation.

  • Hundreds of relevant, engaging examples demonstrate rhetorical concepts in action. Based on the responses of more than 100 students who class-tested portions of the text, examples are set off with tags so they are easy to find and distinguish from concepts.

  • Flexible organization enables instructors to focus on particular modalities -- written, visual or multimodal -- or treat rhetorical analysis and production in separate parts of their course or even over two courses. Two assignments could form the trajectory of an entire course. One in Chapter 3 asks students to imagine they are part of an opposition research team for a political candidate, analyzing how they are talking about a certain issue and evaluating the weaknesses in their communication. The other, in Chapter 6, invites students to create a public awareness campaign.

  • Focusing on communication beyond writing, chapters include numerous ways students can put concepts into practice, including the use of multimodal invention techniques such as mapping an issue using images (Chapter 4) and analyzing a video by storyboarding (Chapter 5). A variety of assignments also ask students to analyze and compose in different modalities. For example, students can analyze op-ed pieces in Chapter 3, score a written piece in Chapter 5, compose an academic response essay in Chapter 7 and create a video review of a consumer product in Chapter 10.

  • The text provides ample opportunities for hands-on practice. "How to" directions guide students in the steps or tasks involved in specific analysis or composing processes. "Questions to Ask" help them investigate rhetorical situations, problems and issues. "For Discussion" and "For Homework" questions ask for individual, group and whole-class responses to ideas and -- sometimes -- readings. "Assignments" call for major compositions in a variety of modalities and genres.

Cengage provides a range of supplements that are updated in coordination with the main title selection. For more information about these supplements, contact your Learning Consultant.

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