According to the textbook neo-aristotelianism was the approach of using the canons of rhetoric as the "units of analysis." In the communication field, this was the first technique used for rhetorical criticism.
The Three steps in analyzing the artifact are: Reconstructing the context in which the artifact originally occurred, the five canons applied to the artifact, and evaluating the effect the artifact has made on the audience. When reconstructing the context the critic must look at the rhetor and the background of the rhetor. They must also look for the occasion of the rhetoric, therefore what influenced the rhetor to choose this particular topic and determine why they took they approach that they took. While reconstructing the context you must also look at the audience. The rhetor creates the rhetoric to target specific individuals or groups.
The next step in analyzing the artifact is applying the canons. The five canons are invention, organization, style, memory, and delivery. In the invention the rhetor must present the ideas through Logos, ethos, and pathos. The organization is the structure of the rhetoric, and how it is going to be put together. Some portions of the rhetoric have greater weight and value and must be places accordingly. The canon of style deals with the language used by the rhetor. Figures of speech, images and ect. Delivery is how the speaker presents and communicates the rhetoric; Postures, movements, gestures, and of course, eye contact. The final canon is memory. Memorization of the speech is sometimes useful and important.
Finally, when analyzing the artifcant you must "assess the effects." It is important to view the results and influence of the rhetor on the audience. The results will depend on the rhetors intentions and goals, so these must be kept in mind when evaluating the results. The rhetor may have initial and long term effects on the audience.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless...