Rhetorical Situation

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The Rhetorical Situation :

The Rhetorical Situation Purpose Audience Medium/Media Stance Genre G - M A P S … is the foundation for communication … is the underlying factor that affects every exchange that occurs … affects every piece of effective communication, from a formal contract to a simple shoulder shrug and it relies on consideration of five factors They are The road map for communication

Genre :

Genre Genre is the category of writing being used. This is the easiest of the five factors because this is usually chosen for you and it is largely based on other factors of the Rhetorical Situation. For example, in a history class, the professor will tell you to report information ( genre ). The professor will also provide information such as: - Whether you are to write a paper or give a presentation ( medium ) and - Who it is for ( audience )

Slide 3:

Take a minute to consider what category of writing you used in recent communications. For example: When you contacted your relative, what genre did you use? What genre does your resume fall into? When you write a paper for an English literature class, what genre did your paper most likely fit into? Genre


Medium/Media How information is presented is also important. The medium (or media) , is what’s used to convey the message . Consider an informative piece on how women can save money throughout the year that appears in Time magazine and is broadcast on Lifetime Movie Network. The purpose and audience are the same, however the delivery method has affected stance and genre .

Slide 5:

Take a minute to consider what medium you used in recent communications. For example: When contacting your relative, did you call, write a letter, or e-mail? Is your resume, handwritten or typed? Did you use bold type throughout, pink paper and/or a resume program? When you enrolled (or dropped) a course, did you call or go to the office, fill out a form, and wait for a copy of the form? Medium/Media

Audience :

Audience When we communicate, we must always think about to whom the communication is aimed . This is the audience. Veterinary book for children Veterinary book for adults

Audience :

Audience Take a minute to think about how some of your recent communications changed based on the audience . For example: When contacting your relative, how did you describe a bad day at work? On your resume, did you describe a bad day at work, or just list your responsibilities? When you enrolled (or dropped) a class, did you mention any job related details or just that it was the reason for your recent decision?

Purpose :

Purpose Inform Entertain Purpose is arguably the most important aspect of communication. It is the reason why people have chosen to speak or write. Persuade

Purpose :

Purpose Take a minute to think about some of the reasons you had for recent communications with others. For example: Why did you contact a relative? Why did you update your resume? Why did you enroll (or drop) a college class?

Stance :

Stance How you feel about your communication often comes through in the words or the medium used. This is your stance . Imagine discussing a raise at work. You could demand the money, ask for it, or you could logically explain why you’ve earned it. Each stance shows that you want the money, however two display respect towards your boss, and only one shows a respect for the finances of the company.

Slide 11:

Take a minute to consider how you expressed yourself during a recent communication. For example: When contacting your relative, what words did you use? How long was the communication? How long are your usual communications? Is what words did you use in your resume? Are they neutral words or words that imply how you felt about your previous jobs When you enrolled (or dropped) a course, were you pleasant to the enrollment advisor or were you curt and dismissive? Stance

Rhetorical Situation :

As you can see, each factor of the Rhetorical Situation depends on the others. The purpose affects the medium , the audience , the genre , and your stance . By that same token, the medium will affect the audienc e you reach, the genre you use, and your stance - it may even change your purpose . No matter what factor you start with, the others must be considered if you plan to communicate effectively. Rhetorical Situation

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