Class Notes page 3: Rhetoric Class

These are just my class notes from my Rhetoric Class. You are more than welcome to read them, but know that they’re simply notes, rather than a creative thoughtful insightful writing. Notes for my compost heap.

Inductive Reasoning

Inductive reasoning: reasoning from specific examples to form general conclusions, and because induction involves reasoning outward from a limited set of examples, its conclusions are always statements of probability. Reasoning from examples also requires us to show that the examples are analogous to the case in question. (Analogous: comparable in certain respects, typically in a way which makes clearer the nature of the things compared.)


Topics are the building blocks of successful arguments. While you may be more familiar with the word “topic” as referring to the subject of a composition, scholars of rhetoric use the word in the sense in which we use it here: to describe the rhetorical strategies with which an argument is made.


If you are attempting to use one situation as an example from which to make an inference about another situation, you will need to show that the two situations are analogous, and one key step toward doing so is to prove that specific terms mean the same thing in both cases.



Cause and Effect



Deductive Reasoning

Deductive reasoning applies general principles to specific cases in order to make judgments about them.

The Syllogism:  A syllogism is simply a way of arranging the logical parts of a deductive argument so that they can be more easily understood.

Premises (major premise minor premise) and conclusion

Validity and Truth

The Enthymeme – Bits of deductive reasoning that are either abbreviated or based on claims about probability




Contraries are two terms that are opposites or that cannot both be true

Antecedent and Consequence

Cause and effect