Assignment: Rhetoric and Audience Assignment

Assignment: Rhetoric and Audience Assignment Words: 3124

Before you start writing any text, you should iris gain an understanding of your rhetorical situation. Once you know how to identify & analyze the elements of rhetorical situations, you will be better able to produce writing that meets your audience’s needs, fits the specific setting you write in, ; conveys your intended message ; purpose. Each individual rhetorical situation shares five basic elements with all other rhetorical * Text / Writing (i. E. , an actual instance or piece of communication) situations: * Reader / Audience (i. E. A recipient of communication) * Author / Writer (i. E. , someone who uses communication) Constraints or Purposes (i. E. , the varied reasons both authors and audiences * Exigency / Cause or a Setting (i. E. , the time, place, and communicate) environment surrounding a moment of communication) These five terms are updated versions of similar terms that the ancient Greek thinker Aristotle articulated over two thousand years ago. While Aristotle terms may be familiar to many people, his terminology more directly applied to the specific needs ; concerns of his day.

This resource uses more current terminology to more accurately identify the kinds of rhetorical situations we may encounter today. 2. How can a reader use the rhetorical situation to analyze an argument essay? One of the most important things to remember is to leave your opinion at the door ; look at the writing with an open mind. Then ; only then can you make a sound judgment when you analyze the essay. Then analyze how well the essay’s evidence supports its thesis. See if appropriate conclusions are drawn from the evidence the essay offers, or if it draws dubious conclusions from scanty evidence.

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Check if there are solid counterarguments or opposing evidence that the essay skips over. Evaluate the quality of research the argument relies on to cake sure it comes from credible sources. Analyze the essay’s logical flow of ideas. Consider how well the essay presents its arguments and if they come in an appropriate order. Always check for the “straw man” argument, where an essay sets up a simplified version of an opposing viewpoint to knock it down easily. Find logical assumptions that the essay makes to support its argument. Analyze the rhetoric that the essay uses to convince the reader of its argument.

Look for figures of speech such as metaphor ; simile that draw on a reader’s emotions or that exaggerate a claim. Look for rhetorical vices, such as the repetition of a work to begin successive sentences, the repetition of sounds in a sentence or direct appeals to the reader. Analyze how these devices & others work to support an argument in place of evidence. How can a viewer use the rhetorical situation to analyze an image? The goal of any rhetorical situation/analysis of an image, whether it is a photo, sign, text or a video/movie clipper is to demonstrate your understanding of how the piece communicates its messages and meanings.

One way of looking at this process is that you are breaking the piece down into parts. By understanding owe the different parts work, you can offer insights as to the overall persuasive strategies of the piece. Often you are not looking to place a value judgment on the piece, and if there is an implicit or implied argument you may not be ultimately taking a side. It’s worth asking then: is rhetorical situation/analysis of visual documents any different than this basic description? Yes and no. Sometimes you will encounter an interplay of words ; images, which may complicate the number of rhetorical devices in play.

Additionally, traditional schooling has emphasized analysis of certain texts for a long time. Many of us are not so accustomed to giving visual documents the same kind of rigorous attention. We now live in such a visually-dominated culture, that it is possible you have already internalized many of the techniques involved with visual communication (for example, every time you justify the text of your document or use standard margins, you are technically using visual rhetoric). With that said, writing a rhetorical situation/analysis is often a process of merely finding the language to communicate this knowledge.

Other times you may find that looking at a document from a rhetorical design perspective will allow you to IEEE it in new ; interesting ways. Like you would in a book report or poetry analysis, you are offering your “reading” of the visual document and should seek to be clear, concise, and informative. Do not only give a re-telling of what the images look like (this would be the equivalent of stopping at plot summary if you were analyzing a novel). Offer your examples, explain the rhetorical strategies at work, ; keep your focus on how the document communicates visually.

How can a writer use the rhetorical situation during the planning phase of writing a paper? Always remember that writing takes time. Once you find out when your assignment is due, you need to devise a plan of action. This may seem obvious ; irrelevant to the writing process, but it’s not. Writing is a process, not merely a product, it entails a great amount of prevailing & general overall planning, and it never ends. Even the best professional writers don’t just sit down at a computer, write, ; call it a day.

The quality of your writing will reflect the time ; forethought you put into the assignment. Plan ahead for the assignment by doing pre-writing: this will allow you to be more productive ; organized when you sit down to write. Also, schedule several blocks of time to devote to your writing; then, you can walk away from it for a while ; come back later to make changes ; revisions with a fresh mind. Use the rhetorical elements as a guide to think through your writing. Thinking about your assignment in terms of the rhetorical situation can help guide you in the beginning of the writing process.

Topic, audience, genre, style, opportunity, research, the writer, ; purpose are just a few elements that make up the rhetorical situation. Topics ; audiences are often intertwined ; work to inform each other. Start with a broad view of your topic such as skateboarding or pollution ; then try to focus or refine your topic into a concise thesis statement by thinking about your audience. Here are some questions that you can ask yourself about your audience: * Who is the audience for your writing? * Do you think your audience is interested in the topic?

Why or why not? * Why should your audience be interested in this topic? * What does your audience already know about this topic? * What does your audience need to know about this topic? * What experiences has your audience had that would influence them on this topic? What do you hope the audience will gain from your text? For example, imagine that your broad topic is dorm food. Who is your audience? You could be writing to current students, prospective students, parents of students, university administrators, or nutrition experts among others.

Each of these groups would have different experiences with ; interests in the topic of dorm food. While students might be more concerned with the taste of the food or the hour’s food is available, parents might be more concerned with the price. You can also think about opportunity as a way to refine or focus your topic by asking yourself hat current events make your topic relevant at this moment. For example, you could connect the nutritional value of dorm food to the current debate about the obesity epidemic or you COUld connect the price value of dorm food to the rising cost of a college education overall.

Keep in mind the purpose of the writing assignment. Writing can have many different purposes. Here are just a few examples that I have found: * Summarizing: Presenting the main points or essence of another text in a condensed form. * Arguing/Persuading: Expressing a viewpoint on an issue or topic in an effort to convince others that your viewpoint is correct. Narrating: Telling a story or giving an account of events. * Evaluating: Examining something in order to determine its value or worth based on a set of criteria. Analyzing: Breaking a topic down into its component parts in order to examine the relationships between the parts. * Responding: Writing that is in a direct dialogue with another text. * Examining/eliminating: Systematically questioning a topic to discover or uncover facts that are not widely known or accepted, in a way that strives to be as neutral & objective as possible. Observing: Helping the reader see & understand a person, place, object, mage or event that you have directly watched or experienced through detailed sensory descriptions.

You could be observing your dorm cafeteria to see what types of food students are actually eating, you could be evaluating the quality of the food based on freshness & quantity, or you could be narrating a story about how you gained fifteen pounds your first year at college. You may need to use several of these writing strategies within your paper. For example you could summarize federal nutrition guidelines, evaluate whether the food being served at the dorm fits those guidelines, & then argue that changes should be made in the menus to better fit those guidelines.

Once you have thesis statement just start writing! Don’t feel constrained by format issues. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, or writing in complete sentences. Brainstorm & write down everything you can think of that might relate to the thesis & then reread & evaluate the ideas you generated. It’s easier to cut out bad ideas than to only think of good ones. Once you have a handful of useful ways to approach the thesis you can use a basic outline structure to begin to think about organization. Remember to be flexible; this is just a way to get you writing.

If better ideas occur to you as you’re writing, don’t be afraid to refine your original ideas. 3. Why is the audience important in argument? You need to say things that appeal to them. If you have a group of twelve year olds, you’re probably not going to talk to them the same way as you would to a group of thirty year olds. How important is audience to student writing? The answers to this question may vary among the faculty across the disciplines, but abundant evidence suggests that a clear description of an intended audience is the key to crafting effective writing assignments.

One might even argue that ramming writing assignments for specific audiences may be the single most effective thing we can do to help students acquire the skills and habits of good writing. To begin, it helps to recognize that a clear idea of an audience is necessary for all effective communications. In fact, audience is the very reason we communicate. Always. Even when we write in journals, which we may think of as private, an audience lurks. In writings that we as students do for our courses, our need to think about the audience helps us to evaluate information & plan effective rhetorical strategies.

It makes us ask important questions. What does my audience know? What does my audience not know? Need to know? Which information is most important? Why? How do I make this information clear to someone who might not understand? What do I need to understand more fully myself in order to be clear to my audience? What is my audience likely to accept? What might my audience be inclined to reject? Why? How do I use information & reasoning to help my audience understand my point? As we write, we must answer these & other questions, & to do so, we must evaluate, analyze, & think critically.

The need to convince a particular audience often helps us discover something about ourselves that complicates, & then enriches, our own understanding. The audience helps guide research, the evaluation of sources, & the selection of content; it shapes persuasive elements, influences style & dictates diction. And this concept is not new. Aristotle communication triangle has three parts: (1) the topic, (2) the writer or speaker, & (3) the audience. In placing the three components in a triangle, Aristotle indicates that they are inextricable & of equal importance in the communicative act.

Knowledge of a topic (1) is given purpose & shape wrought the writer’s (2) thoughtful consideration of audience (3). Therein lies the value of writing in the academic setting. When the assignment is difficult-as it should be-both problem and solution lie within this rich nexus. ; when students think hard about how to communicate a complex topic to an audience, they must sometimes consider the possibility that it is their own biases ; erroneous thinking that make the topic incomprehensible to an audience. Yes, at this point, they’ve got some thinking to do. Amp; that’s good. Thinking about the needs of an audience can drive inquiry ; research at more advanced bevels as well. ; this phenomenon is not limited to the humanities and social sciences. What types of positions might an audience initially hold? Audience will hold a number of different initial positions. Those initial positions include; * A friendly audience, * An undecided audience, * A neutral audience, * A hostile, resistant audience, * An unfamiliar audience, * A linked audience What possible outcomes are associated with arguments directed to each of these audiences?

The audience is important because without the audience you have no argument. You’re stressful to convince the great unwashed to your beliefs, hence why you need an audience. The audience may initially be a friendly audience, or a subject audience, a neutral audience, a hostile audience, an unfamiliar audience, or a linked audience. Possible outcomes are convincing the masses or piles to your cause, pushing people away from your cause to the opposing side, people could remain bias, and people could become angry and/or fierce towards you and your argument. 4. What is discourse community?

A discourse community is a group of communicators with a common goal or interest that adopts certain preferred ways of participating in public discussion. These preferred ways of discussion are called discursive practices. Generally, these discursive practices involve various genres (academic papers, books, lectures, debates, TV and radio programming, etc. ) and require the mastery of certain special terminology or jargon. Generally, “membership” in a discourse community requires a certain level of expertise in the common goal; the more “expert” one is considered, the more influence one has over the preferred discursive practices.

The boundaries of discourse communities are often hazy, and frequently overlap, and many broad discourse communities have smaller, ore specialized sub-communities. Most people participate regularly in several different discourse communities. To what discourse communities do you belong? Body language, Attitude, and Same Interests is good and bad. All members of the community who share the same language, body language, attitude, and the same activities and will often reject others who are not like them.

A stereotypical Identity, let’s say in a neighborhood is usually more than one community. You can place yourself in a variety of communities. There isn’t only one Safety and Comfortable place, you have to carry yourself in a certain way depending who oh are with. Everyone will always assume things because of where you come from and a discourse community can sometimes define who you are. When I was in high school I could be a football player and teammate, but at home I had to be different, However, I changed this when I graduated from high school.

I joined the army right out of hi school and the variety of people you meet there is just like an audience, different in every aspect. Going to college depends how you look at things, for me it has been good because have met new people and done things that otherwise I wouldn’t have done. The culture and language difference as led to me making new friends and learning a variety of new things. You feel safe and often have the attitude you have because of the community you have grown up in, say by the age of 16 to 18 or so.

How does a discourse community help establish common ground for its members? An audience’s affiliation can help define the nature of the audience itself. Specialized groups who share subject matter, background, experience, values, and a common language (including specialized and technical vocabulary, jargon, or slang) are known as Discourse Communities. They can be comprised of all scientists, all engineers, or all mathematicians. Their common background, training, language, and knowledge make it easier for them to connect, achieve common ground, and work toward conclusions.

The (DC) itself creates some of the common ground necessary for successful academic inquiry or for other types of argument. 5. What is the universal audience? Simply put, an unknown Audience. The basic premise is: The universal audience is an imagined audience that serves as an ethical and argumentative test for the rhetoric. It requires the speaker to imagine a composite audience that contains individuals from diverse backgrounds and to discern whether or not the content of the rhetorical text or speech would appeal to individuals within that audience.

Scholars Permian and Albrecht-Teach ascertain that the content addressed to a universal audience “must convince the reader that the reasons adduced are of a compelling character and that they are self-evident, and possess an absolute and timeless validity”. The concept of the universal audience has received criticism for being idealistic because it can be considered as an impediment in achieving persuasive effect with particular audiences. Yet, it still may be useful as an ethical guide for a speaker ND a critical tool for a reader or audience. What are the special qualities of this audience?

It makes you think outside the box, since you don’t know your target audience you must rely on your experience and knowledge of writing. Asking what issues does the audience hold? What constraints, attitudes or assumptions influence them? The Factors that influence the views on their attitudes and assumptions? Then based on your profile, speculate how your audience will affect or influence your choices or strategies for making your argument. Why is it a useful idea? It inspires a high level of argumentation by influencing careful research, intelligent reasoning, and a clear writing style that is requirements for this type of audience.

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