Post #10: SU as the author

Keeping with the theme of rhetorical analysis, after doing an analysis of a Syracuse athletic schedule, I was assigned to pick some other Syracuse flyer or poster to perform a rhetorical analysis on. For my rhetorical analysis I decided to examine a water conservation flyer posted on the bulletin board on my residence hall floor.

When first looking at the small poster, the first thing that catches my eye personally is the logos at the bottom, not necessarily the words above. My eye first goes to the logo on the bottom right that says “Be Orange, Think Green” so I know immediately that the flyer has something to do with helping the environment. After this I begin to look at the top section of words. However, because of the choices in font colors I am more drawn to reading the longer passage with the white color than the heading in the blue color because of the contrast it has on the background. I think that these passages can be arranged in either way but if they want the first thing you read to be the big passage, I would place the small one below it.

Immediately the flyer utilizes the logos appeal with the statistic that “on average each of us uses about 80-100 gallons of water everyday” which is a good way to grab the attention of the viewer. Then the flyer addresses the viewer directly by saying how “you” can make a difference. This can be argued as being an ethos approach since it is appealing to how you behave ethical and stating that the things you do now that are bad for conserving water can be easily changed, making the person want to try out some of the water saving techniques. Finally, in the heading in dark blue pathos can be seen being utilized in the specific word choice of “precious”. By using this word the viewer is made to associate water with something that is sacred, treasured, beloved, and cherished all connotations of the word “precious”. This in turn makes the viewer feel protected over the water and therefore sets them up to be more likely to listen to the rest of the flyer since they have already experienced this emotional response to the header.


Post #9: Rhetorical Analysis of SU Athletics

As seen through the last few posts I’ve made, currently in my writing class we have been focusing on understanding rhetorical analysis and it’s applications in different aspects of society. As practice for an upcoming essay we will be writing, we were assigned to do a rhetorical analysis on a schedule of a Syracuse athletic team’s schedule. For my practice, I chose to analyze the schedule of the football team which I have photographed below.

The first thing I notice about this schedule is its utilization of color. Immediately on the listing of games, the person viewing can take note of the games highlighted in orange. While these games are this way because they are home games, I also believe that it is printed this way to make people viewing the schedule pay more attention to these days and therefore be more likely to attend these games

Next, the middle section of the schedule includes information on how to buy tickets. Here it is clear that they put in very bold lettering how to order and the different types of tickets they offer, however the put the actual pricing of tickets very small so that way people who view the schedule are more likely to overlook this part, especially since the pricing is stated in a not so bold white colored font. This can also be applied to the left side which displays the different types of seating at the carrier dome, but has the pricing of each section very small so patrons are more likely not to notice it or notice it after the initial appeal of buying tickets so that way they are more likely to buy the tickets.

Overall, I noticed that throughout the schedule the printers used a very bold orange colored sans serif font. I believe the reasoning behind this to be that the orange color makes important parts of the schedule catch the patron’s eye immediately. Additionally, it is known that sans serif fonts are easier to read, which would explain why they would use it throughout the schedule so people can get all the information they want to get, faster and easier.


Post #8: The Rhetorical Situation

Let me first start off by saying this: What did I just read?

Taking on the unit of rhetorical analysis in my writing class, tonight I read an essay by Lloyd F. Bitzer about the rhetorical situation. My first thoughts on the essay were, “Am I missing something? Why is this so hard to understand?”. Throughout the entirety of the essay, while Bitzer argues an extremely thorough and well developed idea about rhetorical situation, he does so using very complex sentences that make it difficult to understand sometimes. So since I spent more time translating this essay than reading it, let me break it down for you in simple terms.

In the first chunk of the essay, Bitzer introduces the topic of his essay which will be about explaining rhetorical situation in an easy way to make it possible for readers to understand while also communicating why and how it is an important part of studying rhetorical analysis. Following this, Bitzer goes on to talk about a sample passage and then explains to the audience how the example is proof of how the situation influences the observations to be made. He finishes this section by establishing that rhetorical communication, or as his calls it discourse , comes in to play in response to a specific situation.

After several passages, Bitzer finally begins defining what he has been talking about since the beginning. Not very helpful for the reader. Here Bitzer answers the question: what does rhetorical situation even mean? A rhetorical situation is people, events, objects and relations that present a demand which can be removed if rhetorical language is applied to change people’s opinions. Every rhetorical situation contains three elements: the exigence, the audience, and the constraints. The exigence, latin for demand, is the obstacle or problem trying to be solved. The audience is the people listening to the argument that can be influenced by the speaker. And finally, the constraints are the preconceived beliefs that the audience comes to the table with: attitudes, facts, traditions, interests, motives, etc.

The next thing Bitzer does is talk about and explain some general characteristics of rhetorical situations. Big ideas that he touches on are that rhetorical language is brought about by the situation, any rhetorical situation is trying to invoke a specific response but the situation must motivate the specific response to be made, and finally all in all rhetorical situations all have a very dignified structure that organizes it. In the end, Bitzer concludes by saying that in a perfect world there would be no need for rhetoric, however since the world presents problems that can be changed through communication there is a practical need for practicing the rhetorical situation.