The Blogora: The Rhetoric Society of America


Book Gold Mining. The Art of Rhetorical Discourse Analysis

Submitted by syntaxfactory on March 6, 2016 - 5:58pm

Gold Mining. The Art of Rhetorical Discourse Analysis

Paul Van den Hoven
Publisher: Xiamen University Press, ISBN: 978-7-5615-5675-7
In this book we discuss the art of rhetorical discourse analysis. Leading in our approach is the insight that the effectivity and the overwhelming presence of rhetorical discourse – as the main human device to influence an audience’s perception of its reality – is not at all surprising considering the fact that in it the same devices are being employed that human beings use in making sense of the on-going, continuous, endless stream of data to their senses, trying to comprehend the world. Rhetors use these devices to guide their audiences in their perception and evaluation of their discourse mediated ‘reality’. The big difference is that the discourse world that a rhetor presents to his audience, compared to the continuous unmediated stream of sensory input, is carefully formatted, designed to be effective in a specifically designed rhetorical situation. In the rhetorical discourse, an organizing principle is employed – we call this the narrator – trying to guide the audience to an interpretative outcome that serves the rhetorical goals of the rhetor. In this book we discuss what we consider – on a certain level of abstraction – the four major devices that humans use to keep their reality manageable and that narrators therefore use to structure the rhetorical discourse, mediating between the audience and its reality. These four devices are: narrative, comparison, argumentation and contextual framing. We study how the rhetorical situation is constructed (Chapters 1-3), how the four devices work (Chapters 4-7) and how this relates to the assessment of a rhetorical discourse (Chapter 8).

Gold Mining. The Art of Rhetorical Discourse Analysis (PDF Download Available). Available from: [accessed Mar 6, 2016].

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