Notes on Everyday Use: Rhetoric at Work in Reading and Writing
by David Jollife and Hephzibah Roskelly

Direct quotations from the book and John Kendall's reading notes

order from Amazon

Holy smoke! Amazon lists this new at $140! Glad a nice sales rep offered me this one a few years ago. This was referred to a couple of times during the conference, especially by Chris during the Sunday rhetoric workshop. I almost didn't get past the first chapter, because it seemed too weighed down with high-level terminology, but the rest of the book read faster and seemed more accessible. I think it's clearly a useful teacher-reference book, but not one I would every use with students in class.

Joliffe and Roskelly use three literary works for all the exercises throughout the book:
1) Thoreau's essay "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience"
2) Eavan Boland's poem, "It's a Woman's World"
3) Alice Walker's short story, "Everyday Use" (the inspiration for the title of the textbook)

This edition was also designed specifically to correlate with the A.P. curriculum, so that part of the preface on pages xiv and xv provide a chart to show how many of the activities correspond with the A.P. requirements.

I just skipped all of chapter one, but began making regular notes on Post-Its with chapter two. went back later

Chapter 1: Developing Skills with Rhetoric: The Rhetorical Triangle

p. 8 Key # 1: Understanding Persona

p. 11 Key # 2: Understanding Appeals to the Audience logos, ethos, and pathos

p. 12 Key # 3: Understanding Subject Matter and its Treatment

p. 15 Modifying the Basic Rhetorical Triangle: Rhetoric Occurs in a Context context; needs to achieve an aim, a purpose, or an intention; needs an appropriate genre to achieve that purpose

p. 16 Key # 4: Understanding Context

p. 17 Key # 5: Understanding Intention

p. 18 Key # 6: Understanding Genre

p. 20 Rhetoric and Citizenship

Chapter 2: Using the Five Traditional Canons of Rhetoric

p. 34-35 yet another shot at explaining, clearly, the "three appeals" Context and the Three Appeals

1) Logos ("embodied thought") "Writing appeals to readers by making a clear, coherent statement of ideas and a central argument."

2) Ethos ("good-willed credibility") Writing appeals to readers by offering evidence that the writer is a trustworthy well-educated, believable person who has done his or her homework and has the best interests of the readers in mind."

3) Pathos ("feeling") Writing appeals to readers by relating to and sometimes even speaking directly to, their emotions and interests . . . The English cognate words sympathy and empathy are directly related to this appeal.

p. 35 Talks about the "Five Canons of Rhetoric:" Invention, arrangement, style, delivery, and memories ?

1) Invention

p. 36 Systematic Invention Strategy I: The Journalist's Questions uses Thoreau's essay to go over the five W's and how

p. 39 Systematic Invention Strategy II: Kenneth Burke's Pentad nice example of editorial piece on "Coke Day" at a Georgia High School, and the two kids who were expelled for wearing "Pepsi" tee shirts

p. 42 Systematic Invention Strategy III: The Enthuymeme "nearly everything people write repents an argument a carefully constructed and well-supported representation of the way writers see an issue, problem or subject" an enthuymeme is "logical reasoning with one premise left unstated" p. 43 discusses the syllogism—major premise, minor premise, and the conclusion

p. 45 Begging the question = "the situation that results when a writer or speaker constructs an argument on an assumption that the audience does not accept"

p. 46 Systematic Invention Strategy IV: The Topics
four kinds of topics:
1) Possible and Impossible
2) Past Fact:
3) Future Fact
4) Greater and less

p. 48 The Common Topics:
Comparison and Contrast

p. 50 Intuitive Invention Strategies: a preview

* discussion of Freewriting, Keeping a journal, and Conversations
example of Finding Forester, where Sean Connery's character explains to Jamal the process of writing, getting started
Finding Forester: You're the man now dog.

2) Arrangement

p. 54-56 Good reader comprehension questions at least fourteen useful questions to ask about

3) Style

p. 56 Style "consists of the choices a writer makes regarding words, phrases and sentences." Uses the example of two people showing up to class, dressed very differently

p. 58 style and jargon: the danger of using elaborate or technical words for no good reason: student who wrote: "When my cat expired, I waxed lachrymose." Instead of saying, "When my cat died, I started crying."

p. 59 discussion of the use of "you" and "I"

p. 59-60* their warning about the danger of passive voice

p. 61-63 types of sentences: simple, compound, complex, compound-complex

p. 62 loose sentence (a basic sentence with details added immediately at the end of the basic sentence elements) : Abraham Lincoln wept, fearing that the union would not survive if the southern states seceded.

periodic sentence (a sentence in which additional details are place in one of two positions, either before the basic sentence elements or in the middle of them) : Alone in his study, lost in somber thoughts about his beloved country dejected but not broken in spirit, Abraham Lincoln wept.

the most emphatic position for an important idea is at or near the end of the sentences
loose sentences move quickly; periodic sentences delay

p. 63-66 Parallel Structure
p. 65 discussion of Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address"

p. 66- diction (derives from "style of speech" then "choice of words" in its original Greek and Roman form)

p. 69 Latinate vs. Anglo-Saxon words

p. 71 slang vs. jargon vs. dialect

p. 72 denotation and connotation Univ. of Kentucky web site: offers a good list

p. 73-74 examples of literary terms involving balance:
parallelism of words
parallelism of phrases
parallelism of clauses

p. 74 can also employ antithesis
antithesis of words
antithesis of phrases
antithesis of clauses

p. 74 schemes involving interruption

A variety of rhetorical devices
p. 75 schemes involving omission
asyndeton (an omission of conjunctions between related clauses) : "I skated, I shot, I scored, I cheered—what a glorious moment of sport!"

p. 76 schemes involving repetition (all have a sample sentence)
epistrophe (e-PIS-truh-fee) (repetition of the same group of words at the end of successive clauses) : To become a top-notch player, I thought like an athlete, I trained like an athlete, I ate like an athlete. (my italics)
anadiplosis (a-nuh-duh-PLOH-suhs) (repetition of the last word of one clause at the beginning of the following clause) : Mental preparation leads to training; training builds muscle tone and coordination; muscle tone and coordination, combined with focused thinking, produce athletic excellence. (my italics)
climax (repetition of words, phrases or clauses in order of increasing number or importance)

p. 77 Tropes involving comparison
synecdoche (suh-NEK-duh-kee) a part of something is used to refer to the whole (We decided we could rearrange the gym equipment if everyone would lend a hand.
metonymy (mih-TAH-nuh-mee) an entity is referred to by one of its attributes : The central office announced today new regulations for sports night.
personification p. 78 periphrasis (puh-RI-frah-suhs) a descriptive owrod or phrase is used to refer to a proper name: The New York Raners and the New York Islanders vie to be the best hockey team in the Big Apple.

p. 78 Tropes involving word play
anthimeria (an-thuh-MEER-ee-uh) one part of speech, usually a verb, substitutes for another, usually a noun : When the Little Leaguers lost the championship, they needed just to have a good cry before they could feel okay about their season.

p. 78 Tropes involving overstatement or understatement
overstatement or hyperbole
understatement or litotes (LYE-tuh-tees)

p. 78-79 Tropes involving the management of meaning
rhetorical question

4) Memory

p. 79

5) Delivery

p. 80-81 suggests comparing three Hamlet "To be or not to be's", such as Olivier (1948), Gibson (1991) and Branagh (1997)

Chapter 3: Rhetoric and the Writer

p.89 diagram of aspects of "inventing" and "revising"

p. 91 good student example of brainstorming (U.S. government assignment)

p.98 in blue ink in margin, the anecdote about Russell Baker's assignment in high school, "The Art of Eating Spaghetti" ("Suddenly I wanted to write about that . . . I wanted to put it down simply for my own joy, not for Mr. Fleagle [the teacher]"

p. 99-100 five categories to help with "rhetorical intention"
p. 99 experience
p. 100 observation

p. 103-105 example of writing an essay on The Scarlet Letter
p. 104 bottom of page, writing notes to yourself as you begin an essay (as though you were the teacher or peer editor, or simply your own "editing self," vs. your "writing self")

p. 105 keeping a reading journal
p. 106-108 examples of student journals

p. 116-117 Revising evidence

Chapter 4: Rhetoric and the Reader

p. 127 blue text in margin (discussing a "wrong interpretation") "the simple fact remains that we must try to draw a line at barbarism, nonsense, absurdity and immaturity. A kind name for this type of behavior in the classroom is misreading."

p. 137-138 excerpt and analysis of the first paragraph of Morrison's novel, Sula good qu. & an. in the blue text along the side of 137

p. 139-140 Leslie Marmon Silko: Native American Indian grandmother, two qu. on p. 277-278

p. 141-Naomi Shihab Nye: passage on 141-142 & discussion, then p. 144-146, entire N.S.N. piece (on her grandmother in Palestine) and then p. 279 for 5 questions

*p. 149 Snoopy on the doghouse: "It may have been dark, It may have been stormy—on wordiness

Chapter 5: Readers as Writers, Writers as Readers

p. 152 the literacy memory, for J.E. (Go back to your early childhood or an early time in your schooling—third grade, maybe, or first grade, or even before—and write about a memory of reading or writing.")

* p. 156-157 Samuel Johnson passage & 4 qu. possible first week of school example

p. 160 "If you let yourself begin to write without a definite thesis sentence or outlined plan, you often will find what Peter Elbow calls 'the center of gravity', the place where you begin to locate what you want to say and how you'll say it."

another non-lit. J.E. focus, on place, like Sula: describe a place you know of that no longer exists or exists only in your memory

p. 162 quoting Peter Elbow again, that he and his students "always liked best the writing that somehow sounded the most real. It had voice." More Elbow: "Writing with voice is writing into which someone has breathed."

be careful of "fake voice" or "no voice"

* p. 163 another good layman's version of the three appeals: The writer who is to be in command of them must be able:
1) to reason logically,
2) to understand human character and goodness in their various forms, and
3) to understand the motions—that is, to name them and describe them, to know their causes and the way in which they are excited.

p. 163 deductive reasoning vs. inductive reasoning

p. 164 good example from The Scarlet Letter, w. thesis and support
p. 165 useful syllogism to structure thesis for essay

p. 165 logos in fiction--the example of the wind sock from Beryl Markham

p. 165-167 ethos, more Markham

p. 167-169 pathos

p. 169 several Journal Entry ideas (on advertisements and pathos)

p. 170-172 Marc Antony's speech in Shsp's Julius Caesar
p. 173 blue text in margin

p. 170 blue text in margin: Shsp's Henry V, use the video clip on YouTube from Renaissance Man - St. Crispen Speech PVT Benitez Z(4 minutes)

p. 172 Sojourner Truth's "And Ain't I a Woman?"

p. 175-176 journal entry topics on Thoreau

p. 179 Snoopy's "I think this is going to need a little editing"

p. 180 Toni Morrison's Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech
"Narrative has never been merely entertainment for me. It is, I believe, one of the principal ways we absorb knowledge."
and also:
"The vitality of language lies in its ability to limn the actual, imagined and possible lives of its speakers, readers, writers."

Wayne Booth's The Rhetoric of Fiction: "Fiction is inescapably rhetorical."

p. 181-183 examples from The Odyssey
p. 183 J.E. idea for Homer

p. 184 discussion of flat and round characters The Shipping News (Quoyle) and Hard Times (Gradgrind)

p. 189-190 more of The Scarlet Letter, if people are into this (this time reinforcing setting)

p. 192 questions about setting

Plot and Conflict

p. 196-198 A Doll's House examples

p. 198 Huck as a first-person narrator

p. 200 third-person narration


p. 209 Thoreau's "An Essay on Civil Disobedience"

p. 226 Eavan Boland's poem, "It's a Woman's World"

p. 228 Alice Walker's short story, "Everyday Use"

p. 235-245 Glossary of Rhetorical Terms

Return to Main Page of Books on Learning, Thinking, Creativity and Technology