Making Sense of Messages, now in its second edition, retains the apprenticeship approach which facilitates effectively learning the complex content and skills of rhetorical theory and criticism.
A new chapter on “The Rhetoric of Ignorance” provides needed theory and examples that help students deal with the new rhetorical landscape marked by such discursive complexities as “fake news,” “whataboutism,” and denial of science that creates rather than reduces uncertainty in public argument. A new chapter, “Curating and Analyzing Multimodal Mediated Rhetoric,” deals with problems of media criticism in the digital age. It provides theory, models of application, and commentary that help novice critics understand and mindfully practice criticism that leads to insight, not mere opinion. Throughout the book, extended and updated examples and commentaries are designed to promote "novice-to-expert" agency in students.
This textbook is ideal for introductory courses in contemporary rhetoric, rhetorical criticism, and critical analysis of mass media.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Introduction 1. What are Rhetorical Messages? 2. Criticism: What Critics do with Rhetorical Messages Part 2: Process to Product 3. Four Kinds of Critical Thinking 4. The Process of Description 5. The Process of Analysis 6. The Process of Interpretation 7. The Process of Evaluation 8. Writing Your Ideas Part 3: Analytical Tools Classical Approaches 9. Classical Apporaches: Ancient Rhetoric 10. Classical Approaches: New Rhetoric Dramatistic Approaches 11. The Narrative Paradigm 12. Fantasy Theme Analysis 13. Burkeian Analysis Sociopolitical Approaches 14. Idealogical Approaches 15. Femnist Approaches 16. Postmoden Approaches Adaptive Critical Approaches 17. Visual Communication 18. The Rhetoric of Ignorance 19. Curating and Analyzing Multimodal Mediated Rhetoric
Mark Stoner is Professor Emeritus of Communication Studies at California State University, Sacramento.