Plato, “Apology”

Days prior to watching this video, I felt a little overwhelmed by the length of this hour long video.  I have sat through hour long speeches before and sometimes it was agonizing and the thought of sitting through an hour of a speech by a narrator just did not seem to interest me. After watching the video the whole way through my thoughts have changed on my previous perspective.

The one major reason my interest was peaked was due to the narrator. Any person can read a loud but I think it does take some character to read and enunciate correctly. Especially with this kind of deep text, because this is no easy literature what so ever.

With that being said, the narrator kept me focused the whole time. The way he read the text made me really focus on the text and gave insight as well. Insights to different techniques Plato used throughout this speech in that room within the passage. Following through with the video made me really feel like  was being spoken to and was really getting grasp on what it was probably like to be in the presence of that speaker and the historical time setting. You can really get a sense of the rhetoric being used by the speaker with his usage of figures of speech directed towards the audience.

Source: Plato, “Apology”


Myself am an aspiring journalist and from my experiences in the classroom, Pope Francis’ prayer is saying what needs to be said about Fake News. We are constantly in the visual presence of fake news stories shared across several social media platforms. Journalists have the power to inform the people and give them the truth. Why wouldn’t we raise questions to superficiality? Journalists are a voice for the people. Pope Francis’ prayer executes directly of what a journalist should do. Fake news is “the venom of our judgements”. Fake stories may be published but the writers involved are not journalists or writers, they are manipulators of the facts. Journalist do not target anything, topic, or person using their own opinions but instead use different sides of the story to inform. This is the role of journalists.


Plato, “Phaedrus”

In Plato, “Phaedrus”, I noticed this passage, In good speaking should not the mind of the speaker know the truth of the matter about which he is going to speak?”.

Here Socrates is about to go on to explain the sheer importance of truth in speaking. He goes on to give an example about horse and the fact that what is being said is to be judged and kept in opinion by the listeners. Ultimately, the truth becomes persuasion or that is what I gathered from this text. I agree in the way the speaker does have to be truthful in what he or she speaks or writes about. Suppose a speaker is giving a speech, and that individual is knowledgable in their topic. This in return would give him the full attention of the audience and their respect. Now, a speaker who gives listeners b.s. and the speaker can tell the audience is not buying it then persuasion may come into play. If the speaker does not give up and goes through with their false information then this may be up to the speaker to practice the art of persuasion to their audience. The main lesson after all of that being said is to be truthful because no matter what people will judge you based on character and how you execute.

Source: Plato, “Phaedrus”


In the Introduction to the Canons of Rhetoric, I was shown and explained five canons that come into play when producing a public speech. The video made me pause and think a few times in the past I may have overlooked each of these categories; invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery. The way I used to prepare for public speeches was very unorganized and kind of going with the flow.

Ultimately, the video demonstrated alternative ways to hit a public speech right on the nail. The first canon was invention or in other words, the brainstorming of ideas. I believe this step is crucial when delivering any speech. In class, I constantly think of what I want to say on the material being discussed. The invention canon, can be useful and point a speaker towards topics they may want to talk about. The invention also includes developing a thesis which from past experiences I have failed to do.

The arrangement canon to me is parallel with the way to structure an ordinary English essay. The writer has all the information in front of him and her and can then decide in which order they wish to present or talk about the information.

Reflecting on past experiences the style canon seems to be the most important. The style of speech a speaker chooses to use can really make or break the whole essence of the speech. The style is made up of literary techniques to help the speaker keep their focus with the audience listening using techniques such as tropes and figures of speech to help back up information the speaker is saying. For me this is the most crucial.

The next canon, memory, is an area I have not had much experience in through out my academic years. Yes, I have had to memorize vocabulary and dates but not whole speeches. This canon made me come to the conclusion that through simple memorization techniques, the speaker can be confident with their subject at hand. Visual aids seemed to stick out the most in the video. I have used visual aids in the past to help me get through a speech or brief lesson. Also, the video talked about flash cards with phrases to re-jog your memory during a speech. I have to say I can agree with this technique but I also realized this may be a visual distraction for your audience while speaking to them.

The final canon is delivery. This also seemed to be more of a refresher rather than new material. From mistakes made and corrected I have come to realize in my sophomore of college that the tone of your voice can do a lot when speaking to your audience. The tone sets the mood and gives emotion to your words when speaking. Last but not least, hand and body movement in my opinion should left to a severe minimum. The audience should be focused on the words coming out of your mouth, not what your hands are doing. Although, the use of minimum hand movement can help you explain things more vividly to your audience.

Source: Introduction to the Canons of Rhetoric


Oral Interpretation

In the Oral Interpretation the two main ideas that really stuck out to me were close reading of content and close reading for emotion. I watched the video from Dr. Jerz that goes through the poem, “On Being Brought from Africa to America”. During the video, I realized the importance of close reading for content. The author may use words that have several meanings and I believe it is up to the reader to interpret these words with their appropriate meanings. The video showed myself that the author does not simply use certain words to match a rhyme scheme at all times but rather give an emphasis on the meaning of the content. The second idea that enhanced my knowledge of poetry and oral interpretation is the idea of close reading for emotion. In the past, I have read poetry and expressed my feelings based off what the author has written. The video opened my eyes to the idea that an author uses words to generate emotion rather than the other way around. The two ideas I have never really put thought into before but now this new material makes me curious to go back and re-read poetry I have read in the past to see if I can close read for any miss-interpreted phrases, words, or emotions.

Source: Oral Interpretation


This is my second course here at Seton Hill where I have had to blog post. When I first created my blog for news writing with Dr. Jerz I was a tad bit overwhelmed at the fact my thoughts and analysis on ideas would be online and published forever.

At first, my posts were vague and did not really dive deep into what I had to say about the articles and videos I read or watched. However, I did not stop posting instead I pushed myself to really interact on a new medium of communication. Overtime I watched my posts gradually grow in length and diversity to really get my opinions on subjects that were given to me for my class.

With this being said, I think posting blogs for any class really has its pros. Blogs gives students a chance to interact with each other outside of the classroom. Another upside to blog posting from my experience is that even if you are not comfortable with speaking in the class, you can still give your opinion on the material for a larger audience to view and take in.

Source: Intro to Weblogs at Seton Hill University