5 The Larger ContextCommunication does not take place in a vacuum. Writers and readers both have knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes about particular subjects. What is happening in the larger world has a great deal to do with how we understand a text.George W. Bush’s 9/11 Speech
6 How do we analyze an assignment? What’s your purpose?What’s your topic?What’s your genre and medium?Who is your audience?How do you gain credibility?
7 Genre & Medium We are surrounded by genre and medium… Netflix classifies moviesLibraries classify booksMediums are our way of sending our messageConsider the sourceResearch reportNews ArticleBlogTake a look at your assignment
8 Topics Finding a topic is an exploration Focus on an area you don’t know and want to know more aboutFind out where experts disagreeAnalyze explanations of current trends and eventsExamine proposals to solve problemsCompare what people claim and the reality
9 Audience Imagine your readers…it’s not just me Readers expect to be challengedReaders expect claims to be backed up with reasons and evidenceReaders expect complex answers for complex problemsReaders expect writers to be engaged
10 Credibility Trust… Know what’s at stake Have your readers in mind Be concerned, considerate, well informed, aware, fair, careful, ethical and visually fluent.Know what’s at stakeHave your readers in mindThink about alternative solutions and points of view
11 We become better writers by being better readers… Chapter 2 – reading critically…
12 Soapstone – for reading & writing S – SpeakerIn reading: Who is the voice that tells the story? The author and the speaker are NOT necessarily the same. An author may choose to tell the story from any number of different points of view. Is someone identified as the speaker? What assumptions can be made about the speaker? What age, gender, class, emotional state, education, or…? In nonfiction, how does the speaker’s background shape his/her point of view?In writing: The voice that tells the story. Before students begin to write, they must decide whose voice is going to be heard. Whether this voice belongs to a fictional character or to the writers themselves, students should determine how to insert and develop those attributes of the speaker that will influence the perceived meaning of the piece.
13 OccasionIn reading: What is the time and place of the piece -- the (rhetorical) context that encouraged the writing to happen? Is it a memory, a description, an observation, a valedictory, a diatribe, an elegy, a declaration, a critique, a journal entry or…? Writing does not occur in a vacuum. There is the larger occasion: an environment of ideas and emotions that swirl around a broad issue. Then there is the immediate occasion: an event or situation that catches the writer’s attention and triggers a response.In writing: The time and the place of the piece; the context that prompted the writing. Writing does not occur in a vacuum. All writers are influenced by the larger occasion: an environment of ideas, attitudes, and emotions that swirl around a broad issue. Then there is the immediate occasion: an event or situation that catches the writer's attention and triggers a response.
14 AudienceIn reading: Who is the audience – the (group) of readers to whom this piece is directed? The audience may be one person, a small group, or a large group; it may be a certain person or a certain people. Does the speaker identify an audience? What assumptions exist about the intended audience?In writing: The group of readers to whom this piece is directed. As they begin to write, students must determine who the audience is that they intend to address. It may be one person or a specific group. This choice of audience will affect how and why students write a particular text.
15 PurposeIn reading: Why was this text written? You should ask yourself, “What does the speaker want the audience to think or do as a result of reading this text?” How is this message conveyed? What is the message? How does the speaker try to spark a reaction in the audience? What techniques are used to achieve a purpose? How does the text make the audience feel? What is its intended effect? Consider the purpose of the text in order to examine the argument and its logic.In writing: The reason behind the text. Students need to consider the purpose of the text in order to develop the thesis or the argument and its logic. They should ask themselves, "What do I want my audience to think or do as a result of reading my text?"
16 SubjectIn reading: What are the general topic, content, and ideas contained in the text? You should be able to state the subject in a few words or a phrase. How do you know this? How does the author present the subject? Is it introduced immediately or delayed? Is the subject hidden? Is there more than one subject?In writing: Students should be able to state the subject in a few words or phrases. This step helps them to focus on the intended task throughout the writing process.
17 ToneIn reading: What is the attitude of the author? The spoken word can convey the speaker’s attitude, and, thus, help to impart meaning, through tone of voice. With the written work, it is tone that extends meaning beyond the literal. If the author were to read aloud the passage, describe the likely tone of that voice. It is whatever clarifies the author’s attitude toward the subject. What emotional sense pervades the piece? How does the diction point to tone? How do the author’s diction, imagery, language, and sentence structure (syntax) convey his or her feelings?
18 ToneIn writing: The attitude of the author. The spoken word can convey the speaker's attitude and thus help to impart meaning through tone of voice. With the written word, it is tone that extends meaning beyond the literal, and students must learn to convey this tone in their diction (choice of words), syntax (sentence construction), and imagery (metaphors, similes, and other types of figurative language). The ability to manage tone is one of the best indicators of a sophisticated writer.