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Using Rhetoric in Writing Contexts

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Every time you want to communicate something to someone else you have to think about the rhetorical situation. The rhetorical situation changes each and every time, how you would compose a text to your mom would be completely different then how you would write a professional email towards a business associate. Analyzing the rhetorical situation is key in order to present your message to your respective audience. The rhetorical situation consists of the context, the writer, the reader, and the text, and you will need to analyze all of these in order to communicate with someone.

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Writing and Rhetoric in Context

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Writers use the four main components of the rhetorical situation every time that they write whether they realize it or not. These components consists of the text, the context, the reader and the writer. The text refers to the content of the piece—words, imagery, and media. For example, if one was writing a job application letter, you would use positive words and a more formal language. For a resume, you would mostly have the same approach but you would also incorporate action words and write a little more briefly.

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Effective Writing Considerations

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Before starting with any piece of writing, one must consider the specific situation, and what the end goal is. Through the readings, I learned that the four main components of the rhetorical situation include context, text, the reader, and the writer. The reader and writer are very similar in the fact that they both have knowledge, experience, memories, feelings, and desires. The only differences are that the writer has a purpose and intentions for why they are writing, and the reader has expectations and predictions of why they are reading, and what they will learn from reading.

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Rhetorical Response

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The context, the text, the reader, and the writer make up the four main components of the rhetorical situation. Context refers to all of the elements that shape the meaning of a writer's purpose. There are so many aspects to consider while writing. It is important to take into account all of these aspects to develop the correct formatting, style, genre, voice, and much more while writing. When considering an applying for a job, an applicant must always stay professional and keep in mind the audience which is probably a boss or someone holding a higher position in a company.

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Writing Effectively

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The key to writing effectively in a professional environment is to know and understand the rhetorical situation for which you are composing a text. The rhetorical situation of a writing can be broken up into four main components, and if a writer can master these different sections, his writing will be much more powerful and influential to the appropriate audience. The first aspect that needs to be taken into account is the purpose of the writing.

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The Rhetorical Situation

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The rhetorical situation that comes with any type of writing can be easily overlooked. The questions posed by it can be thought of subconsciously as the author prepares to write instead of with deliberate thought to answer all the questions posed. Any type of writing should be planned out; thoughts shouldn't be thrown on the page as they come with little thought for organization or the piece will not be as effective as it could be. In the past when writing I would write all my thoughts down and afterward go back and edit them.

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Rhetorical Situation

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When anything is put into writing, it can be difficult to convey the actual meaning of the words as the writer implied them. All too often anything from comments to news articles to fictional novels are interpreted incorrectly and the ideas that were originally entailed become something completely different. As a writer, it is important to maintain control of your thoughts. Analyzing the context, the text, the writer, and the reader as if it were a rhetorical situation helps writers convey their ideas effectively.

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Reading Response Prompt 1

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The four main components of the rhetorical situation are the text, context, the writer, and the reader. In the text of a resume or job application letter, there should be key words that attract the reader to want to hire the writer. The text should also be appealing to the reader so that the reader has a positive reaction upon reading the resume or job application letter. The writer should also include context that the reader would like to see. Past employment and experiences that would be beneficial to the writer’s chances of getting hired should be included.

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Building the Right House

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If composing a piece of writing is like building a house, then analyzing the rhetorical situation is like drawing up the blueprints. When building a house one must consider the needs and wants of the homeowners, your interest as a contractor in profit, the building codes, the lay of the land, and materials needed. When composing a piece of writing, one must consider the Reader, the Writer, the Context and the Text. Without analyzing these aspects of the rhetorical situation, chances are slim that you’ll build the right house.

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Introductions

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Welcome to Technical Writing!

So that we can get to know each other a little better, please post a reply to this message in which you

  • describe where you are from
  • give your course of study and year in your graduate or undergraduate program
  • talk about your areas of interest and career goals
  • tell what you would like to get out of this course
  • describe one of your favorite books and what you like about it
David Blakesley Photo

I'll start. I've lived in the Clemson area for almost six years now, having arrived as the new Campbell Chair in Technical Communication at Clemson in Fall 2010. I came here from Purdue University, where I was the Director of Professional Writing and Professor of English for ten years. I earned my PhD from the University of Southern California in "Rhetoric, Linguistics, and Literature." My areas of specialization include rhetorical theory, digital and visual rhetorics, print and digital publishing, information architecture and content management, and film theory and production. In 2002 I founded Parlor Press, an independent scholarly press that has now published about 230 titles. Parlor Press also manages production and editorial operations for a number of journals, including The WAC Journal, WPA: Writing Program Administration, Composition Studies, JAEPL, Community Literacy Journal,and PRE/TEXT. Last August, I completed my three-year term as the Faculty Representative to Clemson's Board of Trustees. Two of my current projects are development of the new Clemson-Adobe partnership (including the Adobe Digital Studio in Cooper Library) and the (new) Production and Design Studio in the 1941 Studio for Student Communication. This summer, I'm working on developing applications for the new Microsoft HoloLens.

I'm excited for this course because I love writing, innovating, and collaborating with others online, and a course like technical writing is all about innovation and collaboration. I enjoy helping students (or anyone) figure out new ways to do amazing things with writing, new technologies, and the Web (it's not always easy, I know). One of the most recent book series I've read and liked is James S. A. Corey's The Expanse, which is also a new SyFy TV series.

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