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Digital Rhetoric and Science

Rhetoric has been defined historically as the use of symbols, including language, in the act of persuasion. It can be argued that all communication is rhetorical in that it seeks to change belief or influence action. Some people think that science is not rhetorical, or in other words, that scientists simply uncover facts and present these facts plainly without needing to persuade. However, many scientists and researchers in the fields of communication studies, English, and rhetoric argue that when scientists present the results of their research, they are not just reporting facts, but are instead making arguments about how findings should be interpreted, establishing their own credibility, and attempting to create confidence in and enthusiasm for their work. Lawrence Prelli argues that scientific discourse ...

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