mcclellanreading_Bitzer - How to Read and Understand an...

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How to Read and Understand an Academic Article (Bitzer) 1. What does the author claim that s/he will do in the article? “This essay, therefore. .. (1) should be understood as an attempt to revive the notion of rhetorical situation, (2) to provide at least the outline of an adequate conception of it, (3) and to establish it as a controlling and fundamental concern of rhetorical theory” (p. 3) 2. Summarize the support for each of the above claims. Part 1: “Rhetoric is situational” (p. 3) “Meaning-context is a general condition of human communication and is not synonymous with rhetorical situation” (p. 3). “A work of rhetoric is pragmatic; it comes into existence for the sake of something beyond itself; it functions ultimately to produce action or change in the world; it performs some task” (p. 3-4) o “In short, rhetoric is a mode of altering reality, not by the direct application of energy to objects, but by the creation of discourse which changes reality through the mediation of thought and action” (p. 4) Part 2: 7 characteristics of rhetorical situation (pp. 5-6) “Rhetorical situation” definition (p. 6) o Exigence = “imperfection marked by urgency; it is a defect, an obstacle, something waiting to be done, a thing which is other than it should be” (p. 6) ± “An exigence which cannot be modified is not rhetorical” (p. 6) o Audience = “A rhetorical audience consists only of those persons who are capable of being influenced by discourse and of being mediators of change” (p. 8) o Constraints = “Persons, events, objects, and relations which are parts of the situation because they have the power to constrain decision and action needed to modify the exigence” (p. 8)
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This note was uploaded on 02/07/2011 for the course COMM 321 taught by Professor Erinmcclellan during the Spring '11 term at Boise State.

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mcclellanreading_Bitzer - How to Read and Understand an...

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