Notes From Matt’s Lecture

Rhetoric and Storytelling

Logos – facts presented to make an argument

  • Think Progress (data presentation)
  • The Daily Show (video then, video now)

Pathos – arousal of emotions

  • Negative connotation (fear, tearjerker)
  • Aristotle (puts the audience in the right frame of mind)
  • Mother Theresa: when I think of the mass I can do nothing; when I think of the individual, I can act.
  • Example: story about a person in Africa v facts-and-data. Story gave more than 2x as much.
  • Arguing for increased regulations on anesthesiologist (an appeal to fear)
  • Save Darfur (kind of like that study)
  • Daisy (pbs, youtube)

Ethos – trust the messenger/source; Aristotle says this seems to be the most compelling

You need a combination of all three. Either one from an uncredible source is weak.

Persuasion Through Identification (20th century movement)

Persuasion Through Framing

  • What is the dominant metaphor or concept you want the audience to use when thinking about –fill-in-the-blank–
  • Framing is a metaphor itself
    • Estate tax v Death tax
    • Clearing cutting v healthy forests
    • Global warming v climate change
    • Sportsmanship v Honoring the game
  • It’s not what you say, it’s what people hear (new book)
  • Time v Newsweek (OJ Simpson)
  • Arc d’Triumphe v Vietnam War Memorial

Narrative Framing

  • Kenneth Burke – we are able to persuade thru stories.
  • Not all stories are alike – focus on one of these five:
    • Agent: who did what?
    • Act: what was done?
    • Agency: how was it done?
    • Purpose: why was it done?
    • Scene: in which context was it done?
  • what do you privilege as the dominate idea in a narrative?
    • i bought a new car
    • i invested in a brand new volvo
    • the dealer persuaded me to buy a volvo
    • my new job as a lawyer demanded that i buy a new car
  • newspaper headlines
    • bush to suspend oil reserve deposits (ap)
    • bush tries to ease soaring gas prices (iht)
    • bush brings in measures to tackle oil price crisis (irish times)
    • fighting gas prices, bush halts filling of emergency oil reserve, urges waiver of clean air rules (ap)
    • souring oil prices put bush under pressure (afp)
    • feeling political heat, president halts new oil reserve deposit (iht)
    • oil prices retreat as US stops increasing strategic oil reserve (Xinhua News Agency)


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