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Transcript of Rhetorical Situations
What is Rhetoric?
Rhetoric is the way you use language to inform, entertain, or persuade.
Elements of the Rhetorical situation:
Five elements compose the rhetorical situation: writer, purpose, audience, topic and context.
An understanding of each of these elements and its relationship to all the other elements will help you throughout the writing process.
You, the writer have the most important role in the rhetorical situation because you ultimately decide what goes into your paper.
The Ego-less Writer: Writing serves the purpose of the reader and not the writer.
Know your personal characteristics, points of view, assumptions, and interests. The more you know about yourself, the more control you have over the choices you make when writing.
Successful writers have a clear purpose in mind when they write. Students forced to take composition classes often write without a clear purpose in mind.
What are three questions you may ask yourself to determine your purpose for writing something?
Writing purposes can be best expressed in an infinitive statement:
to + verb
In the past, you have probably written
to tell a story,
What factors affect the choices of the writer?
your political beliefs
your parents and peers
your cultural and religious beliefs
A genre is a category of writing. For example, you might be asked to write fiction, an autobiographical narrative or story, a news article, a review, an editorial, a process analysis or an argumentative essay. The genre you choose hinges upon your purpose and the needs of the audience or intended readers.
What are some of the genres of writing you have explored.
The audience is your intended group of readers. Basically, who you think will read you work.
With any writing the audience is affected by many of the same factors that influence the writers.
Successful writers reward their readers with significance.
What do we consider when thinking about our audience?
at a minimum, you need to consider the following:
social group memberships
What are some other factors to consider?
Why do these factors matter?
When you are given an assignment, the first thing you probably think about is what the paper will be about. Or what the
When coming up with your own topic, you should consider the requirements of the writing assignment (genre and purpose), the required length of the paper, and the complexity of the issue.
Lastly, we must consider the context. Context is defined as the “situation” or “occasion” that generates the need for writing.
The context is affected by the time period, location, current events, and the cultural significance of events or people under consideration.
exists EVERY TIME you sit down to write. Each time you write, you need to examine all the elements of the rhetorical situation carefully in order to meet the needs of your audience.
The more you know about the rhetorical situation, the better chance you have of gaining control of your own work.