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This is an old revision of DebriefingOnAspectsOfRhetSitExercise made by MorganAdmin on 2015-09-12 06:46:42.


Debriefing on Aspects on the Rhetorical Situation Exercise

in draft as of 9 Sep 2015

In these notes, I review some of your work on the AspectsOfTheRhetoricalSituationExercise as feedback on taking notes on digital artifacts. Your notes when taken together give us a sense of the complexity of the rhetorical situation the BCAC/Watermark web site has to address.

These are my notes on your notes of working with a rhetorical problem. They give us both a moment to consider what you're doing in detail and to extend that doing. Do not slight these notes! I expect that you'll incorporate what I present here into your further understanding and work with the materials in this course. They are not in place of what the text mentions, but in addition to the text.

My notes here are to point out good practices in rhetorical analyses. that's what we're all aiming for right now: good practice.

Examples -
of good observations
of the seeds of good analyses

An example of handling options

Some of you viewed the rhetorical situation as extending to the Watermark Center as well as the web site. That's interesting for our consideration because it opens up ideas on how the rhetorical situation of the two inter-relate. Here's an example of handling the options that notes how the exigence and the issue are related - and extending that consideration into the kind of discourse. What I admire here is how the notetaker stays with the two sites - Watermark Center and web page - over several aspects. That's staying with the idea long enough to start to develop it.

One other interesting observation: the web page uses epideictic discourse - it's praising art - but the page itself embodies deliberative discourse.

Overall, these notes demonstrate how open ended early consideration in notes can be.

In the current digital era, every entity requires a digital space. This space is itself a call for speech. However, because the speech is itself visual in nature via a webpage, great thought must be put into the presentation of these ideas. For example, the choice to create a blue-green-white theme calls to mind several modern ideals. These ideals tend toward clean, natural, "green", and simple.

In this occasion, the entity, an art center, is persuading the audience to become engaged in community based arts in multiple ways. These ways are listed across the top of the home page as menu items. The audience is being asked to learn "about" the art center. The audience is being asked to attend "exhibits" and "programs" or through noting upcoming events on the "calendar". The audience is being asked to "shop" and to "contribute". But the audience is also being asked to view and feel something about this digital space which represents a real space. The virtual becomes a kind of reality that may, in all likelihood, be much neater and attractive then the actual real space. It should be noted that only two of the images are of the studio itself. Others are images envoking ideals like the diverse set of hands or the Minnesota maps, from which a white educated male is smiling back in his denim shirt and Harry Potter spectacles.

Advice: Use the heads I provide as heuristic guides to observing.

Your notes should address the specific artifact you're looking at - both the specific artifact, and the specific occasion, and presuppositions. Rhetorical work starts by addressing specific occasions. This is to say that rhetoric doesn't address a general audience with a general message but places a specific artifact in front of a specific audience for specific purposes on specific occasion.

Your notes should address specific areas or objects on the page that you're looking at, and the notes should link those specifics to the terms you're using. Three text boxes, is each one epideictic? What makes each one specifically so? From this kind of specificity you can develop more substantive analyses. Each text box is worth a consideration - as is the use of Read More ... In notes, note that it's there. For our concern, we have to ask, How does that Read More... command work rhetorically?

You don't need to attempt to explain how the artifact works or if it persuades at this point - although you can include that. Be careful not to close off possibilities yet, however. Analyses follows on good observation.

How detailed? Notes above tell you. How much? 1 - 2 hours of active note taking of this page. Observation comes with practice, so give yourself time and opportunity to practice.

Take close note of the genre - in this case, there may be more than one at play - an observation that comes of presuppositions. It's a non-profit site that needs public support in bodes and $$. That is significant in driving the text, the choices of what to place on the page, and possibly other choices.

Don't short the presuppositions values, beliefs, etc. in your notes. You infer them from considering the context, from drawing on your knowledge of the world, and c. A couple of examples:

Analyses follows on good observation. Might even want to separate notes on observation of the aspects of the rhetorical sit from your analysis of those observations. Example here -

You are learning to read as a rhetorical analyst rather than a casual reader. That's the position we're working from.

Some observations from your notes The physical Notes on Kairos On the textualized rthet sit of the BCAC web page

Some of your notes develop the idea of textualized rhet sit.
examples here

the real rhetors are those who were hired to write the page, choose colors, etc. In this case, they are

the implied rhetor is inferred by us as analysts from the actual choices on the screen. the sense of the person who made these choices. we don't have a name, but we do have an occasion that we can infer from the page, and we have an ethos: some examples.

the intended audience is inferred by us as analysts from the rhetorical choices made: draw some examples from your observations.

the real readers are whomever actually encounter the site

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