Reaction to Rhetorical Analysis

Over the last few weeks, we have been working on rhetoric in terms of textual and contextual analysis in preparation of writing an essay analyzing some form of rhetoric on campus or in a specific event. Reflecting back on the essay I wrote for this topic I think my essay went fairly well. In the beginning of examining rhetorical analysis I was slightly confused. This was mostly due to the fact that the articles I was reading to explain rhetoric were very on the more difficult side to read. Regardless, I was able to differentiate between the different ways of using rhetoric and means of analyzing it in order to craft an essay.

I chose to do a textual analysis for my essay. Though some of my friends told me that this would the harder option I felt more comfortable at analyzing text than pulling context from an event. I think it is interesting that once examined text can have a specific meaning behind it and how the phrasing of certain things and the formatting of certain elements can have an impact on the audience.

Once again I found that I had too many things to say and not enough space to say it. However, this time I didn’t go over the limit a crazy amount (only a paragraph this time, not two pages). I feel like I am beginning to become more concise in the phrasing I use and getting to my point quicker and more cohesively. A difficulty I found while writing this essay was that I didn’t know how to begin my introduction. It’s sometimes hard to start an essay when you don’t know exactly what your essay is going to turn in to. Despite this, I think for the future when I don’t know exactly what I am going to write about, I will try my professor’s route an try starting in the middle and then go back to the introduction after I have established my topic.

Overall, though there were a couple bumps along the way I think the essay went fairly well. It certainly has helped me better understand rhetoric and how it can be applied in the world.


Post #8: The Rhetorical Situation

Let me first start off by saying this: What did I just read?

Taking on the unit of rhetorical analysis in my writing class, tonight I read an essay by Lloyd F. Bitzer about the rhetorical situation. My first thoughts on the essay were, “Am I missing something? Why is this so hard to understand?”. Throughout the entirety of the essay, while Bitzer argues an extremely thorough and well developed idea about rhetorical situation, he does so using very complex sentences that make it difficult to understand sometimes. So since I spent more time translating this essay than reading it, let me break it down for you in simple terms.

In the first chunk of the essay, Bitzer introduces the topic of his essay which will be about explaining rhetorical situation in an easy way to make it possible for readers to understand while also communicating why and how it is an important part of studying rhetorical analysis. Following this, Bitzer goes on to talk about a sample passage and then explains to the audience how the example is proof of how the situation influences the observations to be made. He finishes this section by establishing that rhetorical communication, or as his calls it discourse , comes in to play in response to a specific situation.

After several passages, Bitzer finally begins defining what he has been talking about since the beginning. Not very helpful for the reader. Here Bitzer answers the question: what does rhetorical situation even mean? A rhetorical situation is people, events, objects and relations that present a demand which can be removed if rhetorical language is applied to change people’s opinions. Every rhetorical situation contains three elements: the exigence, the audience, and the constraints. The exigence, latin for demand, is the obstacle or problem trying to be solved. The audience is the people listening to the argument that can be influenced by the speaker. And finally, the constraints are the preconceived beliefs that the audience comes to the table with: attitudes, facts, traditions, interests, motives, etc.

The next thing Bitzer does is talk about and explain some general characteristics of rhetorical situations. Big ideas that he touches on are that rhetorical language is brought about by the situation, any rhetorical situation is trying to invoke a specific response but the situation must motivate the specific response to be made, and finally all in all rhetorical situations all have a very dignified structure that organizes it. In the end, Bitzer concludes by saying that in a perfect world there would be no need for rhetoric, however since the world presents problems that can be changed through communication there is a practical need for practicing the rhetorical situation.

Essay Reflection

Second essay of college down, many more to go. After submitting my Digital Literacy Narrative, which I shared pieces of in my last post, I got to meet up with some of the other students in my class to see how their experiences faired to mine. Overall, we seemed to agree that once we got started writing the essay it was easy to get our ideas flowing and finish the essay. One of my classmates, Bella, said that, “I didn’t think the essay was that bad; I found that once I started writing it was easy to finish.”

One of the things we talked about was the process of writing the essay. Brandon said that, “The hybrid really helped me out because my outline was really short bullet points and the hybrid maybe it easier for me to transition to the draft.” However, I disagreed with him on this point. When I made my outline, I had already mapped out a lot of what I was going to say so by the time I got to the hybrid there wasn’t really a need to add a whole lot. Despite this I can still see where he comes from.

Someone i connected to was Brian who said “I had trouble going over the page limit so I had to rearrange pictures to fit space.” I too had the problem of going over the page limit in my final draft and therefore had to figure out a way to get the paper to five pages while also keeping the details and pictures I had included in the essay. As a whole though, my group mates and I all thought that this essay was not as bad as we thought it was going to be. Hopefully that feeling continues as we move throughout the semester on to different essay topics.

Digital Literacy Narrative

This past month in writing 105 we have been working toward constructing an essay analyzing our writing habits over the week. This week is the week we submit it! The beauty of this assignment is that since it is a digital essay we can link pictures and other things to other places so we don’t exceed the five page maximum. Naturally, being the person I am, I exceed that limit with a seven paged draft. So, below I have linked some pictures and writing passages from my essay so they can be accessed outside the essay. Enjoy some pictures of my texting and snapchatting as well as some examples of my academic and creative writing. 🙂

Texting Examples:

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Left- Texting with mom vs. Right- Texting with friend


Snapchat Examples:

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Silly examples of snapchatting with friends


Academic Writing Example:

“Communications design is an extremely competitive program, with 80,00 students enrolled in its program country-wide, that harnesses the creativity of students to produce countless products in the form of advertising, package design, graphic design, and many more. To better understand the depth and complexity of this major, Syracuse allows students to meet professors, professionals and students who are able to relay their experiences to further inspire the future generation of communications designers. Through this opportunity, students are able to understand the major of communications design at Syracuse, get ideas for potential careers after college, and get informed about current trends and issues in the field.”  -Excerpt from DES 103 essay on Comm Design

I was assigned to write this essay in my design 103 class that reflected what we had learned about communications design based on the lectures we’ve had for the past few weeks. This excerpt is the end of my introduction for this essay and is a very good example of how I keep my tone very professional when I write for a class.


Creative Writing Example:

“Nate- I-,” Anthony says in a shaky breath. Looking over at Anthony I immediately see the growing stain in his shirt between his chest and abdomen.

            “Anthony!” I cry as he slumps down onto me. I grab his shoulders and manage to turn him over onto his back. “You’re gonna be okay, we’ll fix you up don’t worry,” I ramble as I tear through my first aid kit in my bag. The gunfire has ceased and the only noise I hear is the pounding of my heart in my ears.

            “No, Nate,” Anthony gasps. I cut his shirt down the middle and expose the bullet wound that landed itself in his upper abdomen. His blood is already covering my hands as use his shirt to try to stop the bleeding of his wound.

        “ROBYN!” I yell. I press down harder with the shirt seeing that it is quickly becoming saturated with Anthony’s blood.

            “Nathan,” Anthony whispers in an almost calm tone.

            “You’ll be all right,” I try to comfort.

            “Nathan,” Anthony says with more force in his voice. I press my lips together to keep hold of my emotions. Behind me I hear Robyn gasp as she approaches us in a run. “You need to take care of Johnny. You need to promise to go back to him.” I want to tell Anthony that he will be able to go back to Johnny himself, but I can already see the light fading from his eyes.

            “I promise.” I grab Anthony’s hand.

            “Tell him to fight. Tell him that he can make a difference. Tell him… I love him.” I nod. I am about to respond to Anthony’s final wish when he sharply inhales and lets the air escape him in one final exhale. His tight grip on my hand relaxes and I know that I’ve lost him.

My best friend is gone.

Immediately I feel Robyn’s hand rest on my back as she kneels down beside me. I know she is already crying from the sniffle.

– Excerpt from chapter 7 of novella “Exposure”  ( if you like this maybe I’ll post more excerpts:) )

This project actually came from my English class, where we were assigned to write a dystopian novella. In my story, I created a world where, in the aftermath of a chemical war, a small group of people emerges with mutated genes that give them extraordinary abilities. I chose this scene to show as an example specifically because it is a very emotionally charged scene that is very gripping to read.I love the process of generating characters and plot that are intriguing to read and hope to one day write more stories like this one. It is this creative process that reminds me of my artwork. Each step of the process is very thought out and the author is essentially able to paint a picture with words. I assume this is why I like creative writing as well as art because “it is often difficult to tell when we are dealing with writing and when with art,” (Baron 695) since writing is an art in itself that is used to generate emotion and reaction.