Rhetorical Strategy: Describing

Presented by Professor Tammy Turner, MAT, MLS

Consider

  • Purpose
  • Audience
  • Genre
  • Stance
  • Media/Design


Objectivity versus subjectivity depends upon genre (example: news report v. memoir).


Vantage Point: Where you are located in relation to what you are describing (influences what you can describe)


All the details add up to a dominant impression which may be explicitly stated or just implied based on the details


Explode a Moment


Geeta Kothari's "If You Are What You Eat, Then What Am I?" (p. 922-927)

1. What details does Kothari use to describe Indian v. American food?

2. How does the food she describes connect to cultural identity (she notes she is "not American" but also "not Indian")?

3. Which moments are exploded? Why did Kothari pick these moments?

4. What kind of introduction did Kothari use? Was it effective or ineffective? Why?

5. What kind of conclusion did Kothari use? Was it effective or ineffective? Why?

6. How did Kothari guide the reader? Title? Thesis? Topic sentences? Transitions? What about the quote at the beginning of the piece? ("To belong is to understand the tacit codes of the people you live with." - Michael Ignatieff, Blood and Belonging) Was this effective or ineffective? Why?

7. What is the rhetorical situation for this piece (audience, purpose, genre, stance, media/design)? How did this situation influence the piece?


"Janus" by Ann Beattie

http://bsa.edu.lv/docs/en.pdf


1. What is the rhetorical situation for this piece? (Audience, purpose, genre, stance, media/design)? How did this situation influence the piece?

2. What types of descriptive strategies does Beattie use? Are they effective or ineffective? Why?

3. What is the dominant impression Beattie's details are adding up to? Is this explicitly stated or implied? Which details caused you to come to this conclusion?

4. What is the vantage point used in "Janus"?

5. Is this written subjectively or objectively? Why was this viewpoint chosen?