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The rhetorical situation
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The rhetorical situation

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  • 1. Understanding the Importance of Context
  • 2. Today’s Agenda Overview The Rhetorical Situation  Lincoln Example Assignment: Watch Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin speeches (identify ethos/logos/pathos in each)  Clinton: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeFMZ7fpGHY  Palin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCDxXJSucF4 Also: Argumentativeness test write-up due Friday
  • 3. “As per our negotiation, I agreeto your suggestion of 923.”
  • 4. Kairos The relationship between text and context: neither is static! Having kairos;  The right message at the right time, OR:  Cultivating the context for the right message (See: ethos/pathos/logos/kairos chart on p. 21)
  • 5. Rhetorical Situation Analysis Texts have meanings because of their con/text For a reader: an attempt to understand a piece of rhetoric—a text—by looking at its situationality—its context. As a writer, it is an attempt to understand a situation in preparation to deliver the best text possible for the occasion.
  • 6. The Rhetorical Situation: TRACE Text Reader (audience) Author (speaker) Constraints Exigence
  • 7. Text The piece of writing/speech that has been or is being produced. Key questions: What does the text say? What kind of text is it?
  • 8. Reader/Audience The nature and disposition of the people reading/hearing the text. Key questions: Who seems to be the intended audience?
  • 9. Author/Speaker The goal and purpose of the writer, as well as the background, experiences, and values that will determine ethos. Key question: What do you know or can you assume about the writer?
  • 10. Constraints The circumstances or perceptions that might influence the audience or the writer’s responses. Key questions: What has already been said on the subject? What is the general state of the world outside of the specific context of the topic.
  • 11. Constraints: Text How is writing a book different from writing a newspaper column where you have a certain number of column inches available? How is a poem different than an essay? What type of language is used?
  • 12. Constraints: Reader Does the source account for who it is aimed at? Why are ads placed in a teen magazine different than those in a car magazine? What values does the reader have that will effect what the author can and cant say and what will and wont be persuasive?
  • 13. Constraints: Author What values constrain the author? Are there things that an author has to overcome just because of what they look like? Does the author have ready- made credibility for some reason, or do they have to earn it by telling a story or using certain language?
  • 14. Exigence The event or impulse that impels or causes the writer to want to communicate. The exigence is what starts the controversy going; it is whatever is making people mad, whatever is driving them to change the world. Key questions: Did something happen that sparked the need for communication? Is there something in the world the author is trying to change? What is the authors purpose?
  • 15. Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers broughtforth on this continent a new nation, conceived inliberty and dedicated to the proposition that all menare created equal.Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testingwhether that nation or any nation so conceived andso dedicated can long endure. We are met on a greatbattlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate aportion of that field as a final resting-place for thosewho here gave their lives that that nation might live. Itis altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot
  • 16. Monday’s examples What’s the rhetorical situation for Kucinich? For McCain?
  • 17. Today’s Agenda Overview The Rhetorical Situation  Lincoln Example Assignment: Watch Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin speeches (identify ethos/logos/pathos in each)  Clinton: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeFMZ7fpGHY  Palin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCDxXJSucF4 Also: Argumentativeness test write-up due Friday