Annotations - Grant-Davie/Rhetorical Situations and Their Constituents Essay

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Grant-Davie, Keith. “Rhetorical Situations and Their Constituents” Writing About Writing: A College Reader. Ed Elizabeth Wardle and Doug Downs. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011. 101-19. Print.


Grant-Davie sets up this writing with a documentary film on the civil war commentators bring the “dryrical data into human drama” (104). He then describes rhetorical discourses through the words of others that have attempted to define it, and providing insight to what he feels they mean. Basically what it boils down to in the opening part is that these two men that defined rhetorical are both wrong and right, proving each other along the way. Grant decided he wanted to further develop the idea of rhetorical discourse. Exigence - a problem or need that can be dealt with a forum of communication. Proposed 3 questions to ask: “..what the discourse is about, why is it needed, and what it should accomplish.” (106). Asking what the discourse is about (fact & definition)   is diving into what the central problem or issue is it can take a broad scope, and lead to the individual issues. Why is the discourse needed? (cause & value) what prompted the discourse in the first place? is now the right time for delivery of the discourse? EX: presidential speech after an attack. it is needed to address the people of what is happening. What is the discourse trying to accomplish? (policy & procedure) what is the end state of the problem/discourse? what is the rhetor’s purpose/agenda about the issue?

Constraints pose a problem with the rhetorical objectives. That is other people opposed to what they want to do or how to solve a problem.

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