Sheffield,Keith Michael

Homework #1

When it came time to do my second paper in ComS 100B, we had 3 different approaches we could choose from: Fantasy Theme Analysis, Narrative Analysis, and Burkean Analysis. For that paper I felt that Burkean Analysis was the best choice for the artifact that I had chosen to critique. After having done the pre-course readings I've reviewed my paper and looked at it differently.

1. Was the text you examined, in fact, rhetoric? Justify your answer using what we've read so far.

When looking at the readings and my paper, I honestly don't know if the text I examined was in fact rhetoric. In ComS 100B I felt that anything could possibly be rhetoric, but with the readings the definitions of rhetoric are narrowed down. As stated in The Limits of Rhetoric, the philosophy of rhetoric studies the elements of language, meaning, and persuasion (Natanson, 139). As I look at my analysis, I didn't really look at the language being used, the meaning of the text, or the persuasion that occurred. I looked at an episode of a television show and just analyzed a point I didn't think about until I had watched said episode more than ten times. As a critic, I analyzed the text in the way that I saw it after close examination. I let my own personal thoughts influence the points that I had made and the viewpoint I had created were made from my own worldview. I feel like my artifact wasn't entirely rhetoric, but that is partly because I didn't analyze it correctly as rhetoric in my personal opinion after the readings.

2. What does your study teach someone about how the message studied worked as rhetoric?

Not fully applicable, since I'm not sure my study teaches anything about rhetoric.

3. What seem to be the assumptions you were making about the critical process and critical product?

One of the major assumptions I made about the critical process is that I thought that my critique had to make a point about something negative. I personally felt that as a critic I had to point out a flaw in the text, when in fact a critique could point out something done right if supported by enough evidence. One of the major flaws I made in my study is that I feel that, after the fact, I didn't take much of a balcony stance. I let my personal thoughts influence the message I obtained from the artifact. I didn't let my evidence come from a personal source, but I let the central idea come from personal feelings.

As talked about in Public Address and Social History, ideas are a potent tool in the process of persuasion, but the interaction between the individual mind of the speaker and the collective mind of the audience(Wrage, 451-453). My assumption about the critical process and the critical product was that ideas were the potent tool but the delivery of said ideas was vital. It is important to have ideas that are supported with scholarly evidence, but the delivery is also just as important. Whether its a persuasive public speech or a critique involving rhetoric, the ideas and delivery of said ideas are important to the critical process and critical product.

Homework #2