The context of a rhetorical act, made up (at a minimum) of a rhetor, an issue (or exigence), and an audience.
Put another way, a rhetorical situation occurs when a rhetor, an audience, a medium (such as a text or speech), and a context converge to create a rhetorical act, such as writing or speaking.
Agency: Rhetors are agents of change; a rhetorical act carries with it the burden of agency.
- Use threshold concepts to move into practice of writing as a social act -> problem solving!
- Try to answer some of these questions based on the choice you made in your first freewrite:
- Writing is a Knowledge-Making Activity
- How does reading also spawn ideas? In what ways does writing about your selected piece (from the first freewrite) continue this formation of ideas?
- Writing Addresses, Invokes, and/or Creates Audiences
- Describe the imagined audience of your piece. Based on the reading, what leads you to this conclusion? Does your piece "[blur] the boundaries between writer and audience?" (p. 21)
- Writing Expresses and Shares Meaning to be Reconstructed by the Reader
- How is your understanding and relationship of your selection unique? How does it demonstrate something about your goals and motives?
- Words Get Their Meanings From Other Words
- In what ways might context (time/technology/regionality) alter the interpretation of your selection?
- Writing Mediates Activity
- What activity might your selection have mediated in your life?
- Writing Is Not Natural
- What limitations might restrict the effectiveness of your selection's meaning?
- Assessing Writing Shapes Contexts and Instruction
- In what ways are you "assessing" your selection? What makes your selection "good" writing (or not?!)?
- Writing Involves Making Ethical Choices
- What specific consequences, inherent in your selection, can you identify? In other words, what might the author of your selection have had to grapple with ethically?
- Writing is a Technology Through Which Writers Create and Recreate Meaning
- Is your selection digital? Would it make a difference if it were? What technological preferences do you have for reading and writing?
- Freewrite: Choose one or several of the above questions to address in your writing.
Find Yourself a Rhetorical Situation
- Let's do some investigation...
- Find a piece that interests you. It doesn't really matter what it's about at this point.
- You goal is to be able to describe it's rhetorical situation: genre, audience, context, purpose.
- Over the weekend, your assignment is to create a piece of writing that follows these genre conventions.
- Create a "Shitty First Draft" and submit it to the "Genre Writing" link in Blackboard before Monday's class.
- Take your time in developing an understanding of the genre you are writing in. The key here is to practice conventions.