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The Essential Enthymeme

Propositions for Educating Students in a Modern World

Edited By Jorge Juan Vega y Vega

The enthymeme in education is essential because it reflects what humans do when they think. It informs not only how we make inferences about the world to discover new knowledge, but also how we express those discoveries to influence the minds of others. Thus, the enthymeme provides an effective pedagogical approach to the analysis and synthesis of ideas in the classroom. In this volume, such an approach is applied to composition instruction, second-language learning, advertising, specialized medical texts, and detective fiction to help prepare students for the challenges of modern life. (Michael D. Hood)

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Chapter 8. The Process of Reasoning in Advertising (Daniela Ventura)

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Daniela Ventura Chapter 8. The Process of Reasoning in Advertising A. Advertising Comprehension through Cognitive Processes Our goal in this work1 will be the improvement of the cognitive processes underlying the reading comprehension of advertising texts through the conscious practice of enthymematical reasoning. The application of such an approach to the text involves, besides the enhancement of inferential reading, the development of the skills needed to argue, both at the spoken and written levels, as well as the improvement of writing skills in terms of coherence and effectiveness. The reasons for choosing advertising texts are multiple. The main one is related to the argumentative nature of advertising as a discourse practice. As M. Hood states in this book (Chapter 2), human beings are characterized by the tendency to defend their ideas through the formulation of statements followed by a reason. Such an affirmation model in which an explanation is added that justifies or supports a statement is, according to Hood, something natural and it is present in any form of human communication, from nurs- ery rhymes to funeral orations. Advertising discourse not only recurs to this model, but uses it in a systematic way so as to persuade the target audience to do something specific: that is, to buy the promoted service or product in a commercial advertisement. To achieve its goal, advertising discourse makes use of enthymematical reasoning which represents a process that necessarily creates argumentative dynamics (Cf. Hood), since “enthymeming is simply what people do […] whenever...

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