So far, I have learned a great amount regarding rhetoric, argument, reports, and the overall writing process to become a more effective writer and consumer of information. Reading and learning about the rhetorical situation and “becoming rhetorical” has made me more aware of all the aspects which go into creating and understanding a text. This has allowed me to work across analysis and production and transfer these insights from one situation to another. I am now able to apply rhetorical thinking to an array of texts and contexts both in and out of the classroom.
One of the first activities we did in class brought to my attention the different ways reports are given to speak to a specific audience. I saw the different elements of the CNN report next to the FOX report and noticed the reporting techniques each used to translate their intended message. When analyzing both I also learned the importance of author credibility, which involves the use of pathos, logos, and ethos. Analyzing these elements gave me important pointers to use in the process of my Invention writing project.
Arguments within a report can be written (like the NY Times article we first read) visual (CNN and FOX report) or multimodal. Learning about the different options reports can take on in regards to modality, medium, genre, etc. has allowed me to move away from classical argument forms and into a more effective audience based text which will more effectively communicate my intended message.
In the “10 Historic Events” document, I learned how interpretations of the same event can be unique depending upon who is writing about it. It was interesting to see how the author has the ability to effectively speak towards a specific stakeholder group to address their concerns surrounding the situation. When writing my IW assignment, I noticed how differing viewpoints can be translated to fit the intended audiences’ point of view. It was surprisingly easy to find a news article with two different interpretations. When analyzing the two I took into account who was the communicator, what was their message, who was the audience, and what is the exigence for the text. I asked myself what was the authors interest in the topic being discussed, what is at stake for them, how do they attempt to build credibility etc. By placing each report into the rhetorical situation I was able to see how the different interpretations communicated to their intended audience.
I’m really enjoying this class, which is honestly something I’ve never said about an English course before. I’m looking forward to the rest of the semester to strengthen my writing abilities and move towards “becoming rhetorical”!!!