Gladwellbackgroundthe Term Rhetorical Uc Los Ang

Gladwellbackgroundthe Term Rhetorical Uc Los Ang

Gladwellbackgroundthe Term Rhetorical Uc Los Ang

Unit 3 Pre-Reading Assignment – Talking to Strangers by Gladwell

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The term “rhetorical situation” refers to the circumstances that bring texts into existence. The concept emphasizes that writing is a social activity, produced by people in particular situations for particular goals. It helps individuals understand that, because writing is highly situated and responds to specific human needs in a particular time and place, texts should be produced and interpreted with these needs and contexts in mind.

As a writer, thinking carefully about the situations in which you find yourself writing can lead you to produce more meaningful texts that are appropriate for the situation and responsive to others’ needs, values, and expectations. This is true whether writing a workplace e-mail or completing a college writing assignment.

As a reader, considering the rhetorical situation can help you develop a more detailed understanding of others and their texts.

In short, the rhetorical situation can help writers and readers think through and determine why texts exist, what they aim to do, and how they do it in particular situations.

Your Task

Collaborate with your group to research the following areas: writer, purpose,audience, topic and context/culture.

You can use the internet to do this basic research. Good places to look for information might be: personal and professional book reviews (,,, etc.), the website of the author, the website of the publishing company, the book itself (cover, front and back pages, etc.), personal and professional blogs, and news or magazine articles.

  • Writer: Who is communicating? What is the writer’s background? What are the writer’s credentials? What is the writer’s attitude?
  • Purpose: Why is the writer communicating? What are they trying to accomplish? Is the writer trying to inform, persuade, entertain, startle, excite, sadden, enlighten, punish, console, etc.?
  • Audience: To whom is the writer communicating? What is the audience’s background? What is the audience’s attitude? What is the audience’s purpose for reading?
  • Topic: What is the text about? What is the subject matter?
  • Context/Culture: When was the text written? Where was the text written? Who is involved in the community or conversation? What is the impact of the text on the culture?