Analyzing Your Assignment and Thinking Rhetorically
Rhetoric can be defined as the ability to determine how to best communicate in a given situation. Although a thorough understanding of effective oral, written, and visual communication can take years of study, the foundation of effective communication begins with rhetoric. With this foundation, even if you are just starting out, you can become a more powerful, more flexible writer. Rhetoric is key to being able to write effectively in a variety of situations.
Every time you write or speak, you’re faced with a different rhetorical situation. Each rhetorical situation requires some thoughtful consideration on your part if you want to be as effective as possible.
Many times, when students are given a writing assignment, they have an urge to skim the assignment instructions and then just start writing as soon as the ideas pop into their minds. But writing rhetorically and with intention requires that you thoroughly investigate your writing assignment (or rhetorical situation) before you begin to write the actual paper.
Thinking about concepts like purpose, audience, and voice will help you make good decisions as you begin your research and writing process. These concepts will be explained in more detail in the presentation below and in the pages that follow. You can find out more about each concept by clicking on the menu to the left.
Click on the video below to learn more about rhetoric and why it is important to your writing. Be sure the audio is turned up on your computer or device.