« Hayden McConnell ’20

Hayden McConnell ’20

Making the Topic of Rhetoric More Accessible to New and Current Members of the Field of Rhetoric

Can a successful video series provide an efficient understanding of rhetoric and its various components? Can it do all of this while also keeping its audience engaged? This project showcases successful multimedia rhetoric strategies for making complex disciplinary information accessible to both current members of the field of Rhetoric as well as new members. In the past decade, YouTube has become a huge platform for not only entertainment but also a space for learning. An abundance of videos exist that are both aesthetic and engaging and discuss scholarly topics of all kinds. More specifically, a large number of videos discuss rhetoric, but not many of these educational videos successfully visually stimulate and engage their audience. For example, they may have a strong rhetorical component of logos, but have absolutely no visual appeal or visual stimuli. The aim of this research and project is to create a series of Youtube videos discussing rhetoric in a way that also uses rhetorical strategies to successfully engage the intended audience as well as inform them of basic rhetorical concepts. The first part of this project analyzes historical and contemporary texts that define rhetoric and its various components and refines a working definition of rhetoric. This phase collects reliable information that could be referenced in the videos. Part two of the project applies the findings of the research to create a video series that includes several three to four-minute videos that expand on the question “What is Rhetoric.” The videos go into detail about the varying topics within Rhetoric such as Feminism in Rhetoric and the Five Rhetorical Canons. Trial videos were usability tested, meaning that peers and faculty reviewed and provided feedback which was then used to refine the final product. As a result, this project demonstrates the successful use of rhetorical strategies to create videos that clearly communicate an understanding of rhetoric to new members of the field.

Learn more at: https://youtu.be/izCDMa48F4E

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