3U: Active Listening, Questioning, and an Interview

Let’s begin with another short video clip from American Rhetoric. Please remember that the rhetorical devices we have discussed so far are:

  • anaphora: beginning phrases, clauses, or sentences with the same sounds or words (“we will fight in the air; we will fight on the sea”)
  • alliteration: beginning a series of words, phrases, clauses, or sentences with the same sounds (but not words). “He was detained, demoted, and dismissed.”
  • enumeratio: a list (think numbering). The list is used to emphasize or to explain
  • hyperbole: an exaggeration, often intended to ridicule
  • distinctio: redefining something to shape your argument

Next, you will work a partner to create a two page interview in script form in which one of you is a reporter investigating a controversy in the media. In this interview, you will:

  1. choose a controversy for your interview. I have provided a short article about a controversy on the back of your handout; you may choose others if they are approved by me.
  2. choose a specific role for the interviewee. Who is he/she? What is the connection to the controversy?
  3. ask a variety of questions based on the kinds of questions we will examine in a few moments
  4. ask questions in a tone consistent with your stance on the controversy (if you support the person you are interviewing, the questions may be “softer”; if you disagree with the actions of the interviewee during this controversy, your questions will be more hard-hitting).
  5. demonstrate active listening by restating the interviewee’s words at least once
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