Purpose, Audience, Nature of the Medium
The Rhetorical Situation
Purpose (claim), Audience, Nature of the medium
1) Purpose and claim
Why did the author write this text? And why did the author write this text in a certain way? What is the occasion for the text e.g. some specific incident or event? What is the intent of the piece: TO INFORM, TO NARRATE, TO PERSUADE, TO DESCRIBE? See https://www.mrsmacfarland.com/dp-curriculum/text-types for more information on different text types and their purposes.
Consider the following:
– what the author said and the diction used
– what the author did not say
– how the author said it and the alternative ways it could have been said
-what the intended effect is e.g. to reflect, to call to action
What is the author's claim in the text? What is the main idea that the author is proving in the communication?
Who is the target audience? How does the text’s language and rhetoric suit the audience? Are there groups excluded from the intended audience? Is there more than one intended audience?
Beliefs, Values, Attitudes (special interest groups)
3) Nature of the Medium: What are the characteristics that define the text? Consider the differences in the variety of texts such as newspaper articles, magazine ads, editorials, blogs, etc. What modes of writing are included: expository, narrative, descriptive, argumentative? Does the author adhere to the conventions of the genre or stray from them? What is the impact of the medium and how the message is received? Consider the text type.