Work in pairs. Create a new wikiname page on which you will keep your notes and links to sources for this exercise.

Step One) Go to a government news release site such as or a corporate public relations newswire such as or

Step Two) Select a recent press advisory or release from the list (from within the last seven days). A highly popular or an event-specific story may be a good place to start.

Step Three) Select and search for phrases (in word groups of three, preferably including one proper name) on both the web and the Google news aggregate site ( Use quotation marks to perform a more honed search. So, rather than searching for a string of terms, search for an exact phrase from the original release, for instance: “three U.S. servicemen, missing from World War II, have been identified and will be returned to their families for burial with full military honors.” The quotation marks will direct the search engine to search for that particular phrase, rather than for web pages that happen to have individual words (e.g., families, burial, honors) within their content.

Step Four) If you’ve located some hits, analyze the results and compare what you have found to the original press release. In what different types of documents has the press release content been used? For what purposes? For what audiences? Are there any authors listed on the original release? On the new documents you have found?

Make some distinctions here: In each example, what's been selected from the original? What's been left out? What's been placed in a new context - appropriated for an alternative use? Who is doing the re-circulating: mass media offices? private citizens in blogs and tweets? Link to your examples, and copy and paste material to illustrate what you find.


Go to the BSU News release page <>, and use the same technique to see and how BSU Press releases are recomposed. (Might also look at <> for examples and situations on trying to control recomposition.)

Go to Twitter. Try the same technique in locating traces of published texts. You might have better results if you search off a news-release headline.

Still on Twitter: Search on a # trend. Locate links to sources, and find retweets. Consider how the tweeter contextualizes or re-contextualizes the source.


How considering re-circulation changes our necessary understanding of
How we can describe and analyze rhetorical velocity: terms

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