Uploaded by Julia Miller

Cornell Notes - Rhetorical Situations

Cornell Notes
Topic: Rhetorical Situations
Questions/ Key Points
● Why do authors create
their works of writing?
Date: 9/9/19
● All writing is created with some sort of purpose or intention.
○ These purposes can range from entertainment, to
persuasion, to informing the reader about a topic.
○ Typically, writing has more than one purpose too, but one
purpose tends to take priority over the others.
How does the intended
audience of a written work
factor into the content and
delivery of the text?
The purpose is typically how the author wants the readers or
audience to feel after experiencing the work.
○ Not only does considering the audience effect the
purpose of the text, but it also affects other aspects of the
text such as length, phrasing, and genre.
○ Writing is always expected to meet the expectations of an
○ Audiences can be categorized into three groups:
■ Known - People who the author knows the
expectations of, or people known by the author
■ Multiple - The work may be passed on to other
people, and therefore would need to meet multiple
peoples’ expectations.
■ Unknown - The audience’s expectations are not
known by the author.
○ When considering an audience it is important to examine
every important aspect of their background and
circumstances in order to get an intended response.
Why does the genre
matter to a piece of written
Genres are the category that the work itself falls in to establish
the content, although it is not the work’s content itself.
○ For example, it could be a poem, letter, email, etc.
○ The genre is rather important because different genres
could allow for or require different writing strategies to be
used as compared to other possible genres.
What is an author’s stance
and how does it affect the
content of the author’s
written work?
An author’s stance when creating a textual piece for work is the
author’s opinion on the topic addressed.
○ Stance can provide the audience with insight into the
author’s mindset based on the content of the text.
Why does the medium, or
platform in which the work
is presented, matter to the
work, and how are
different mediums viewed
and distinguished?
What is the design of a
written work?
What is Academic Writing,
and what is expected for
works that fall into said
Stance is also closely linked to the text’s tone, which
represents the author’s emotion portrayed by the text.
Stance can also be adjusted according to the other
aspects of the rhetorical situation in order to appeal to an
audience more.
■ For example, the relationship to the audience is
an important aspect for the author to consider
when creating their stance, as some stances may
come off as offensive.
Sometimes stance may also be kept hidden in the writing
to prevent some bias.
Medium is the method in which a work of writing is presented.
○ Some examples of mediums are online documents,
handwritten messages, news broadcasts, and printed
○ Every medium has specific characteristics that contribute
to the appearance of the work, which is the work’s
■ Sometimes the required medium is given to an
author to use, but it is also frequently decided by
■ Design is also connected to the font of the text
and the overall organization of the content.
Academic writing is a situation in which an author can use their
work to put their stance into a larger conversation about a topic.
○ Academic writing is typically based off of many sources
for accuracy, which should be cited correctly and have a
rather high level of believability.
○ A thesis should also be implemented to distinguish the
work’s stance from other authors’ stances.
■ Then the thesis should be backed up with
exceptional amounts of accurate evidence to both
strengthen the stance or weaken opposing
○ Academic writing also tends to be rather impersonal to
the author, and should avoid the first person and passive
○ Abbreviations should be maintained at a minimum for
academic writing.
Summary: Whenever an author creates a piece of written work for any form of media and purpose, there are
many aspects of the rhetorical situation to consider. Particularly, the audience is one of the most important
components to consider, because an author wants to gear the content and structure of their work to evoke a
specific kind of reaction. However, as the audience is an important aspect, the author also has to add their
own opinions into the article through stance on the topic of the work, or through deciding the media and
genre for the work to be found within. Some authors may specifically make work in the field of academic
writing, where the author shares their opinion on an ongoing topic of conversation and supports it with
concrete facts that separate it from other stances.