Take out your texts and break down the rhetorical situation of each (exigence, rhetors, audience, constraints). Give an example for each category.
For example: the exigence is to show that grammar rules aren’t always applicable, and I know this because….
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Why do your texts disagree?
“ My texts both discuss plagiarism, but they target different audiences and are produced by different rhetors.”
Potential Project Ideas
How is “correctness” in writing presented differently in your texts?
How is plagiarism defined differently by various sources?
How is the role of grammar in writing interpreted differently?
How are the “writing rules” interpreted by different audiences?
-Must have a script for me to grade
-If you are working in groups with more than a couple of people, you should consider adding more texts (maybe 3-4).
-You can make a video like “Grammar School with Snooki,” where you look at how different texts portray writing rules, grammar, plagiarism, or correctness. Analyze like the teacher analyzed Snooki’s Tweets
“ How to” guide
-Make a guide for how to analyze when to follow writing rules. Use your texts to show how they use grammar for different audiences. Think of the Stephen Fry video on language.
Your “How to” guide should be followed by a narrative that explains to me why you decided to write the guide (what’s the point?)
Traditional paper using the structure you used for the DC ethnography
Analyze the rhetorical situation of your texts, and make an argument about why they disagree
In “Reading Strategies and Construction of Meaning,” Christina Haas and Linda Flower researched the reading strategies of students, concluding, “student readers seem to concentrate on knowledge content, what the text is about—not taking into account that the text is the product of a writer’s intentions and is designed to produce an effect on a specific audience,” meaning that student readers rarely question or analyze texts that are presented to them (136). According to Haas and Flower, students tend to view reading and writing as “merely an information exchange: knowledge-telling when they write, and ‘knowledge-getting’ when they read,” implying that students often perceive the information they receive as factual, without taking the time to question biases or potential flaws in the writer’s ideas (136).
Also discussing the importance of analyzing the texts that we read, Keith Grant-Davie explores rhetorical situations in, “Rhetorical Situations and Their Constituents,” where he identifies a rhetorical situation as “a situation where a speaker or writer sees a need to change reality and sees that the change may be effected through rhetorical discourse,” arguing that texts are rhetorical situations intended to get the reader to react (105). Grant-Davie breaks down a rhetorical situation into four constituents, including the exigence or purpose of a text, the rhetor or author, the audience or intended reader(s), and constraints, which he identifies as factors that can help or hinder the strength of the rhetor’s message (105).
Taking into account Grant-Davie and Haas and Flower’s discussions on rhetorical situations and rhetorical reading, I have decided to rhetorically analyze three texts discussing the role of grammar in writing, because I think that it is important for students to understand that the use of grammar in writing is dependent on the rhetorical situation in which writing happens. Grammar rules are constantly changing, and students need to make choices about when and how to follow these rules in order to effectively convey their ideas through writing.
In order to explore the ways in which the use of grammar in interpreted differently in various situations, I have chosen to analyze Stephen Fry’s video, “On Language,” Richard Coon’s cartoon, “Grammar Use in the Classroom,” and Sam Fry’s blog post, “When is it Cool to Break the Rules?” While all three of these texts discuss the use of grammatical conventions in writing, they are written by different rhetors and targetting different audiences, which lead their purposes or exigencies to change. By analyzing these three texts using the rhetorical strategies outlined Haas and Flower, I plan to explain how these sources disagree in their portrayal of grammatical conventions.
By analyzing these three texts using the rhetorical strategies outlined Haas and Flower, I decided to write a “How to Guide” for elementary school students, showing them how grammatical conventions are flexible.
By analyzing these three texts using the rhetorical strategies outlined Haas and Flower, we decided to create this video to show college students that grammar rules are not all there is to good writing…
Things to remember
Use specific examples in your headings, videos, or guides. Show us HOW you interpreted the rhetorical situation.
Use quotes from your articles and/or videos, and reference specific parts of the cartoons that you might use. Be as specific and detailed as possible.
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Have a draft of your project or paper. Something that I can look at to see where you’re headed.