The Rhetorical Situation

The Rhetorical Situation
EPW 733 Seminar in Composition Theory
Why do you write and
for whom?
Rhetoric: What is it ?
 Rhetoric:
Using language effectively to persuade, inform, educate, or
 Rhetorical Situation:
The circumstances in which you communicate.
Ethos (ethical)
Logos (logical)
Pathos (pathetic)
“Super. That’s
how milk makes
you feel. The
calcium helps
bones grow
strong so even if
you’re not from
Krypton you can
have bones of
 Age
 Experiences
 Gender
 Location
 Political beliefs
 Education
 Background
Why do we write?
 Entertain
 Persuade
 Inform
 Educate
 Shock
 Call to action
Why should we care???
Where can we find Rhetorical
 Conversations
 Emails/Texts
 Ads
 Television
 Politics
 Magazines/Newspapers
 Everywhere!
A recipe for rhetorical analysis
To my favorite niece– It was great to see you at the barbecue last weekend. Here is the original recipe
for the Vidalia onion dip I made for the party:
(2) 8 oz pkgs of cream cheese – put the cream cheese out to soften about an hour ahead of time
(2) medium Vidalia onions, coarsely chopped
¼ cup mayo
¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese (you can use the cheese like Kraft that comes in the plastic jar)
Mix all these ingredients together in a mixing bowl – then take a 1 ½ or 2 quart glass round baking
dish, spray it with PAM (or similar store brand to prevent sticking.) Scoop the mixture into the
baking dish and sprinkle more parmesan cheese on top—and bake at 350 degrees for about 45
minutes (it is done when the cheese on top starts to turn a golden brown color and the mixture
starts to bubble on the sides). (Every oven is different—so baking time could take a little longer of
less—but about 45 mins or so usually does it)
Now, here are the changes I make—to fill a 2 quart baking dish I use 3 good size onions (larger than
med size) and if you can’t get Vidalia onions, just use the big yellow onions. And I increase all the
other ingredients a little to make up for the extra onions I put in – and then sometimes it will take a
little longer to bake – but check it at 45 minutes and go from there—it should be almost done in
45 mins. And don’t forget to serve the dip with Scoops. ENJOY!
 What is the purpose of this text? What is
the context?
 Who is the intended audience? What do
the word choices tell you about the
intended audience?
 Who is the author? What do the word
choices tell you about the author?
Please read the essay, “Kentucky Town of Manchester
Illustrates the National Obesity Crisis” by Wil Haygood in
your Graff text. Then, in 1-2 pages discuss who Haygood’s
audience is and how the article might be different if the
article were actually written for a newspaper in Manchester,
In your journal, free write about a time when you recall
making a conscious effort to identify your audience when you
were writing. (One page).