The Rhetorical Situation

The Rhetorical Situation

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This paper serves two purposes, the first describing the elements that are needed to construct an effective augment and second how to use these elements to achieve your goal. The topic which I selected is; of trying juveniles as adults who commit serious crimes and allowing the reader to make an inform decision on the facts that are presented.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, rhetorical is defined as the concerned with the art of speaking or writing formally and effectively to persuade or influence people. (Merriam-Webster). Rhetoric dates back to the time of Aristotle, who considers it a counterpart of both logic and politics, and calls it “the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion” (Wikipedia, Rhetoric). According to Aristotle, rhetoric provides a problem solving, learning, and discovery that gives a solution which is not guaranteed to be optimal (Wikipedia heuristic). In order for an argument to take place there must be an event or affairs that give rise to an argument or controversies that exist between the author and the reader (Phelps). A connection must exist between the writer of the work and the reader who will react either positively or negatively to what the author is trying to convey (courses.durhametech).
The five canons of rhetoric which trace the tasks necessary in designing a persuasive speech were first modeled by classical Rome of invention, arrangement, style, memory and delivery. Wikipedia Rhetoric). Today the Rhetoric Situation is synonyms with the acronym TRACE: Text, Reader, Author, Constraints, and Exigence, which are necessary to formulate an augment (Phelps).

. The elements of TRACE have a set of questions that must be critically analyzed regarding an argument as cited by Rustian Phelps:
• Text: What type of text is it? What is the author’s main argument? Is the thesis explicitly stated, or does the reader have to infer the argument from the supporting data? What style is the text, casual or formal? Does the author have a respect of the reader, is the language patronizing or arrogant? Is the language difficult to understand? Does the text appear credible, it is well organized or incoherent?

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Is the main augment supported with data from reliable sources? Dose the author use statistics without reputable resources? Does the author make conclusions or oversimplifies complex issues.
• Reader: Who is the targeted audience? Is the text meant for the general public who have an interest in the topic or the experts in the field? How is the text presented, short to the point or of detailed analysis? What does the author assume is the position of the audience in regard to the argument? Does the author assume his readers will be receptive or noncommittal, requiring effort to get the reader excited about the topic? Will the reader me motivated to change their mind or the situation (course.durhamtech).
• Author: Who is the author? What is the author’s area of concentration is the author an expert in a particular field, an interested layperson, or someone who has had an experience to share? How does the author’s area of concentration affect the view of the situation or topic? How reliable is the author, does the author belong to an organization in the field? Is the text from a nationally respected print publication or is the author a well-respected journalist? Does the author seem to respect other point of view, or is the article clearly biased? Overall the author’s background, experiences education, affiliation and value must be considered when analyzing an argumentative topic ( courses.durhamtech).
• Constraints: What may cause the author to fail to get the message across, are there special constraints that will influence the reader’s response to the subject (course. durhamtech). What might limit the text’s relationship with the reader, is it out of date or irrelevant? Does the author have a common ground with the audience; are they connected by common beliefs, cultural background, interest or desire? Without a common ground the author and reader have no connection.
• Exigences: What event or situation caused the author to want to write about this topic? What happened to cause this agreement? What problem might be solved by presenting this argument? What is the purpose of this text, to inform or change the mind of the reader? Is the topic equally important to both the author and the reader, or must the author convince the reader that the topic is important?

An understanding of the rhetorical situation can help in both the composition and analysis of an argument. Once the author is able to identify and analyze the elements of the rhetorical situation will allow the author to produce an article that will meet the audience’s needs and convey the intended message and purpose. (owl.english.purdue). In every situation where someone is attempting to persuade someone of something, is using rhetoric and using these five strategies will depend on the audience and the situation ( When dissecting an argument, using these five elements will enable the reader to fully analyze the intent of what the author is trying to convey.
To begin an analysis of an article, a reader can utilize the T,R.A.C.E analysis in the form of a bulleted list to obtain a clearer sense of what the author is trying to convey, or an annotated bibliography. ( Phelps).
I will analyze the article by Huma Khan,Juvenile Justice: Too Young for Life in Prison? I will present this argument using the bullet form of the T.R.A.C.E. analysis.

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