Rhetorical Situations


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  • The Norton Field Guide to Writing. 3rd edition.
  • Rhetorical Situations

    1. 1. + Rhetorical Situations
    2. 2. + 1. Purpose  To explore thoughts and emotions  To express ourselves  To entertain  To record words and events  To communicate with others  To try to persuade others
    3. 3. + Identify Your Purpose  What the primary purpose of the writing task is  To entertain  To persuade  To Inform  To demonstrate your knowledge or writing ability  What are your own goals  What are your audience’s expectations  Do they affect the way you define your purpose
    4. 4. + Thinking About Purpose  What do you want your audience to think? Feel?  What does this writing task call you to do?  What are the best ways to achieve your purpose?
    5. 5. + 2. Audience  Affects your audience in various ways  What you write, how much you write, how you phrase it, choice of genre  Audience will interpret your writing according to expectations and experiences  Remember: You may make assumptions in your writing, but you need to supply evidence and back-up
    6. 6. + Identify Your Audience  Known  People who you are familiar with as well as people you don’t know  Unknown  Most difficult because you can’t be sure what they know and what they don’t know or how they will react  Multiple  Most common
    7. 7. + Thinking About Audience  Whom do you want to reach?  What is your audience’s background – their education and life experiences  What are their interests?  Is there any demographic information that you should keep in mind?  What potential circumstances may affect their reading?  What does your audience already know – or believe – about your topic?  What is your relationship with your audience?  What does your audience need and expect from you?  What kind of response do you want?  How can you best appeal to your audience?
    8. 8. + 3. Genre  Kinds of writing  Each as a particular convention for presenting information Identify: Does your situation call for a particular genre?
    9. 9. + Thinking about Genre  What is your genre, and how does it affect what content you can or should include?  Does your genre call for specific strategies?  Does your genre require a certain organization  Does your genre affect your tone?  Does the genre require formal/informal language?
    10. 10. + 4. Stance  Attitude towards your topic  Identify Your Stance  What is your attitude? Objective? Critical? Curious? Opinionated?  Affected by your purpose  Tone is created through the words you use and the way you approach your subject and audience
    11. 11. + Thinking About Stance  What is your stance and how can you best present it to achieve your purpose  What tone will best convey your stance  How is your stance likely to be received by your audience  Should you openly reveal your stance
    12. 12. + Writing in Academic Contexts Add your voice to a larger conversation.
    13. 13. + Key Features  Evidence that you’ve already considered the subject.  A clear, appropriately qualified thesis.  A response to what others have said.  Good reasons supported by evidence.  Acknowledgement of multiple sources.  Carefully documented sources.  A confident, authoritative stance.  Indication why your topic matters.  Careful attention to correctness.
    14. 14. + Academic Rhetorical Situations  What genre does the assignment require?  What do you see as your instructor’s purpose for this assignment?  What is your purpose – apart from fulfilling your instructor’s expectations?  Who is your audience?  How can you convey a confident, authoritative voice?