Five Elements In The Rhetorical Situation

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1. What are the five elements in the rhetorical situation? Use TRACE to help you remember. According to Bitzer, a rhetorical situation has five elements.
- The text is the written argument, which has characteristics you can analyze.
- The potential reader or audience for the text ideally must care enough to read and pay attention, might change personal perceptions as a result, and perhaps will mediate change or act in a new way.
- The author writes an argument to convince a particular audience.
- Constraints include the people, events, circumstances and traditions that are part of the situation and that constrain or limit a targeted audience and cause them to analyze and react to the situation in a particular way.
- Exigence is the part
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Why is the audience important in argument? What types of positions might an audience initially hold? What possible outcomes are associated with arguments directed to each of these audiences?
The main purpose of argument is to bring some change in an audience. There are several possibilities of initial audience positions and possible changes or outcomes. I may be writing for a friendly audience, one that is in near or total agreement with me from the start. The planned outcome is to confirm this audience’s beliefs and strengthen their commitment.
An undecided audience may posses no clear reasons for their tendencies or beliefs. Possible outcomes in this case usually include a final agreement with me, a new interest in the issue and a commitment to work out a position on it, or a tentative decision to accept what seems to be true for now.
Other audiences may be neutral on my issue; uncommitted and uninterested in how it is resolved. My aim will need to be to change the level of indifference and encourage readers to take a position.
A hostile audience consciously disagrees with you and may be closed to the idea of change. Anticipated outcomes for such audiences might include avoiding more hostility and getting people to listen and consider possible alternative
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What is a discourse community? To what discourse communities do you belong? How does a discourse community help establish common ground for its members? It is useful to identify the audience’s discourse community. An audience’s affiliations can help define the nature of the audience itself. Specialized groups who share subject matter, background experience, values, and a common language are known as discourse communities. I am a member of the college discourse community where I attend classes. This community is characterized by reasonable and educated people who share common backgrounds and interests. The strategies for connecting with others, building common ground, and arguing within the context of each of my discourse communities can vary. I can improve my natural ability to work with audiences by learning some conscious strategies for analyzing and adapting to both familiar and unfamiliar

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