3 Understanding the rhetorical situation helps you determine the writer’s purpose and goals.
4 Primary Components of the Rhetorical Situation The speaker or writer and her motivationsThe audience (intended and unintended)The purpose of the speech or written textThe limitations of the message and how the writer works within those constraints.
5 Why is the writer writing Why is the writer writing? (Or speaking, texting, updating Facebook status?)As writers, we write because we want something from our reader. We can want…To informTo persuadeTo entertainTo educateTo shockTo inciteAnd, we often have multiple goals at the same time.
6 Rhetorical analysis means that you consider all elements of the communication, especially what the writer wants from you… and how she attempts to get it.
7 Try it. First, analyze the speaker Try it. First, analyze the speaker. Watch the video and then answer the questions.Who is the speaker?What is the writing about? What is its subject matter?Why is the message needed now? Why does it matter? What triggered the communication?What is the writer trying to accomplish? What are the goals or outcomes of this message?
8 Rhetorical Analysis: Speaker, Writer QuestionsPossible AnswersDoveBody image of women.The media’s influence on our perceptions of beauty; self-sabotage of women to meet impossible beauty standardsWho is the speaker?What is the writing about? What is its subject matter?Why is the message needed now? What triggered the communication?
9 What is Dove trying to accomplish? Beyond building self-esteem in girls and women, Dove has a primary goal to persuade viewers to buy products.
10 More Rhetorical Analysis: Audience Who is the intended or primary audience? Who is the unintended or secondary audience? How do both groups influence a message?Consider Facebook. When you update your status—to inform your friends of a problem you’re having—how do you shape your language… knowing that others will be reading it as well? How does that change your message?
11 Other factors that influence writing The genre (medium) the writer uses.Consider how your writing changes when writing an academic paper versus a text message.The delivery and timing.If your next paper was posted on the Internet, how would that influence your writing choices? How do outside events impact your message? What do you add or take out to accommodate these events?
12 How to Apply Rhetorical Analysis: Recap Determine the topic. What is the subject and its context?Determine the writer/speaker. Why is she compelled to speak out? What does he want from the reader? What assumptions can I make about the speaker?Determine the audience. Who is responding to this message? Where and why might they read it? Who is the unintended audience and how might they have influenced this message?Determine possible influences of the genre (medium) and outside events.
13 Successful rhetorical analysis includes “proving” what you think. Look for stylistic choices (tone, word choice, language, sentence structure, visuals, etc.) and appeals (logical, emotional, ethical) that the writer uses to support your rhetorical analysis. Then, present those findings to your reader.Last Words