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Rhetorical Analysis

Rhetorical Analysis of Purpose & Audience


You are faced with professional communication tasks all the time in your everyday life, whether as a student, an employee, or a member of a club, group, or team. Pick a communication task that you recently faced—something you’ve already completed. This task could be anything in any medium (e.g., writing, speaking, making a poster): a course assignment, a group project, a work project or task, or a project for an extracurricular club or group. If you have been asked to communicate, then you can think rhetorically about that communication project. Once you have picked a task, use PAD (Purpose, Audience, and Design) to analyze the rhetorical situation for this task.

Address the following:

  1. PAD
    • Purpose: Why am I communicating?
    • Audience(s): Who am I communicating to/for? iii. Design: What should it look like?
  1. Based on your analysis, how and what would you craft to ensure that your message is most effectively communicated to your audience.
  1. Compare your decisions described above to what you actually did when you created and delivered your message (the physical product or speech act).
    • Do you see yourself making rhetorical decisions even before you knew what rhetoric was? Where and how?
    • Do you think your analysis based on PAD would have produced more effective communication?
    • Why/why not and how?

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