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The Rhetorical Situation

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Rosa Thornley

on 12 September 2017

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Transcript of The Rhetorical Situation

rhetoric, n /ˈretərik/: The art of using language effectively so as to persuade or influence others, esp. the exploitation of figures of speech and other compositional techniques to this end; the study of principles and rules to be followed by a speaker or writer striving for eloquence
The Rhetorical Situation
Audience reader/listener
writer /speaker
What is the primary purpose of the piece - to inform, to persuade, to entertain, to provoke thought?
What is the assertion being made about the topic? What is the evidence that supports it? What assumptions underlie the message? Is the analysis logical?
Is the message one which the writer/speaker is qualified to speak on?
Is the message shaped to meet the needs of the audience?
What do they know about the topic already? What do they need to know to understand the message? What is their likely attitude toward the message? What values and worldview (cultural eye) do they hold?
What common ground do they have with the writer/speaker? What assumptions may they hold about the topic that are/are not the same as the writer/speaker?
Who is the writer/speaker in regard to the message? Is he an expert, a researcher, a questioner? What is his point of view in regard to the message - for/against, conservative/liberal, religious/secular, etc...? Does he care deeply about it? Is he fair in his portrayal of it?
Who is the writer speaker in regard to the audience? Is he a peer, an authority? Is he a stranger or know to the? Older or younger? Knows more or less about the topic? etc...

All experiences, beliefs, values, morals, and forms of knowing that contribute to the
understanding of the message - the cultural eye
All experiences, beliefs, values, morals, and forms of knowing that contribute to the
understanding of the message - the cultural eye
The language of the message: mathematics, braille, computer programming languages, alphabets and the conventions for arranging them into words, sentences, and paragraphs , Morse code, etc...
Physical and psychological connection between rhetor and audience.
In speech, contact is generally visual and auditory: photography, painting, music, video, MP3, etc...
Writing: ink on paper
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