Rhetorical Situation

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A. The rhetorical situation is the expected context and circumstance surrounding the written piece of work. Without this situation, there would be no actual purpose to the writing. The rhetorical situation actually pieces together different structural elements of the work—like the occasion, purpose, topic, audience, and voice. The occasion is usually time-restrictive. For instance, a person may be chosen to write a very specific paper around Christmas time based on the history of related carols, or the holiday joy. The purpose is the reason for writing the essay; the reason that the writer is taking the time out of their busy schedule to write this essay. The topic is the subject of the paper, like whether it is about “How You Feel about Writing”, or about the baby seals dying in Alaska. The audience is who the paper will be written to and read by. Language used in the essay should be changed based on the audience—for instance, large and complex words will not be used in an essay to be read by fourth and fifth graders. Voice is the element that the writer uses to get their message across as clear as possible; whether slang or jargon is used, and what tense and “person” it should be written in. The seven-step process of writing that the book uses in its approach to teach eager-minded students to make their writing more effective starts with prewriting. This refers to strategies you can use to generate ideas before you actually begin writing. This step identifies with Dietsch’s “an idea becomes an effective essay”. During this stage, you are delving deep within your mind to identify how you will form an effective work. The second and third stages are identifying the thesis, and then supporting said thesis with evidence. Without evidence, the thesis will maintain no credibility, and will simply be an abstract idea with no structural backup. Dietsch touches on this by saying, “develops as the writer rethinks”. The writer must rethink their thesis and the evidence...
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