(image: http://erhetoric.org/Erhetoric/images/tweet%20by%20bell.png)

View the tweet on Twitter here

Looking at the Texualized Rhetorical Situation

Practice in observing and taking notes

Start with Longaker's observation (pp 20-21) that in digital contexts, the aspects of the rhetorical situation we used in the previous exercise continue to apply, but with some complications. So for this exercise, I've modified and annotated the aspects that we used before.

How to proceed

Read this entire page before you start. Then re-read it as you work through.

0. Go to your wiki name page and create a new page titled TexualizedRhetSitInATweet - followed by your initials.

1. To get a more nuanced sense of rhetorical exchange, re-read L& W on The Texualized Situation, pp 15 - 21.

2. To get a sense of the textualized rhetorical situation applies, read NotesOnTheTexualizedRhetoricalSituation.

3. Copy and paste the code below into your new wiki page to use as a framework for your notes on the tweet from Frances Bell. Use this framework to guide your observations in a set of notes the tweet I’ve embedded and linked to on this page.

4. Observe and take notes on your observations. I've included a screen shot of the tweet on this page, and a link to the tweet on Twitter. You should click the link to see the tweet in its rhetorical context.

Notes on taking notes

In this pass in making notes, you want to see how far you can develop each aspect. There is nothing superficial about a tweet. It might seem like a tiny, bounded artifact, but it is contextualized in a much larger digital space. And because it's so small, you can focus attention on it closely.

In taking these observational notes, don't be concerned about making a point or coming to conclusions: It's too early in consideration to do either. In taking notes, you're gathering observations about the artifact on which you can later ground an analysis. Hold off on evaluating. Use neutral language, and view the tweet from outside the rhetorical exchange.

If you are not familiar with Twitter, go to its main website - twitter.com - and have a look around. Locate some other tweets. Research to understand how the forum and genre tend to work.

Each aspect deserves 5 - 7 sentences or points each. Perhaps more. As Longaker notes, understanding a rhetorical message depends on understanding the presuppositions in which that specific message and the interaction is embedded. That understanding comes of active consideration of the artifact and its context.

The link to the tweet will lead to the tweet as presented on twitter. From there, you can see responses to the tweet, as well as bring up the tweeter's profile page, and so on. This twitter material is information about an implied rhetor - not the actual rhetor.

When you click through, you'll see that there were responses to Bell's tweet. Are these part of the textualized rhetorical situation? Yes - in that the responses let us infer things about the implied rhetor and intended audience of the tweet, (Collectively, the tweet and the responses create a new rhetorical situation. We can talk about this when we meet.)

From L&W

We develop a sense of the implied rhetor by noticing the kinds of presuppositons the text appears to depend on, [and] we develop a sense of the text's intended audience from those same presuppostions. The text addresses its intended audience as a person who shares certain kinds of values, beliefs, and knowledge. On the basis of these values, beliefs, and knowledge ... the rhetor and the audience can make certain kinds of judgements. 17

Each aspect deserves 5 - 7  sentences or points each. Perhaps more. As Longaker notes, understanding a rhetorical message depends on understanding the presuppositions in which that specific message and the interaction is embedded. 

=== A description of the artifact ===
Describe the tweet, both the text and image. Consider the date, time, place. Our focus is on the text and image of the tweet, but the replies will help you infer elements of the situation. For the text, consider length, the nature of the sentence (it isn't one), the level of formality ....

=== the implied rhetor ===
From the artifact, what can you infer about the implied rhetor? Not just demographic info but values, beliefs, knowledge ... 

=== the intended addressee ===
From the artifact, what can you infer about the intended addressee? Again, not just basic info but values, beliefs, knowledge ...

=== the occasion ===
From the artifact, infer the **specific** occasion. This is part of kaios, along with the exigence. Something occasions the rhetor to tweet and sp shapes the text. 

=== the exigence ===
From the artifact, infer the exigence. 

=== the kind of discourse=== 
Deliberative, judicial, epideictic. There are two kinds of discourse involved: one in words and text, and another in image. 

===the forum and genre ===
This is going to need some consideration. It's not enough to note that the forum is Twitter. Consider the aspects of that forum that the rhetor uses to shape the artifact. Spend some time considering the 140 character limit, for instance; the structure of following others; the use of an image and a hashtag.

=== the physical material ===
Even texts on screens have physical presence. They are on various screens on devices. On large screens, texts show up on windows they share with other texts and images.  Digital messages also have physical side in their creation: cameras, on-screen or physical keyboards. So creating tweets has a physical dimension that influences the rhetorical construction and reception of the message. How is the rhetor using these?

=== the presuppositions ===
Draw on what you have inferred from your consideration above and what can discover readily by reviewing the twitter stream. The more you develop this, the more you will understand the text and how it works rhetorically.

===the issue or question===
From the artifact, and what you have considered above, infer the issue or question. It may not be a big one. It may not play a large part in the rhetorical exchange, but there will be an issue or question present that the tweet responded to or managed.

To finish this exercise

5. Draw on y0ur notes to compose a couple of informal but extensive paragraphs about how this tweet responded to or managed kairos in this particular rhetorical situation. (see L&W, pp 20-21)


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