Global or Receiver's View
Lloyd Bitzer's definition of "the Rhetorical Situation:"
-- "complexes of persons, events, objects and relations inviting
discussion which, if it is fitting to the situation, alters the
of the Rhetorical Situation:
"an imperfection marked by urgency"
-- the reason why we perceive a need to speak out on an issue or
situation (topic). There is a difference between the "ideal" (what
we wish were the case) and the "actual" (what is the case).
A. Why do we speak/act?
B. What do we want to
accomplish by our speech/action?
Audience - those with an interest and ability to to react to
A. Those who can/will
B. Those who can be persuaded to act or change.
Constraints - limitations and opportunities for what can be
said and how advocates and audiences shift back and forth
- those factors that shape the nature and content of persuasive messages
and purposes (that is, make the messages reasonable and sensible).
does this mean for prospective persuaders?
We are persuaded to act/change because of a
Persuasion begins with identifying and defining
Rhetors develop a solution which:
Rhetors then develop your message
-- which “fits” into the
constraints. Fitting into the contraints
Resolves the exigence
Responds to constraints
Can be enacted by audience
The Sender's View -- TAP
As you have learned in COMM 101 and 233 there is an
"iron triangle" consisting of the three elements a sender must consider in
order to construct an effective message. These three are mutually
determined, that is each one influences the others.
the sender's position, including
the central idea and rhetorical strategy. Terms roughly equivalent include
proposition, contention (debate); USP (unique selling proposition -
advertising); object, concept, cognition (persuasion theory).
- Those to whom the message is
directed who can participate in the sender's purpose.
- the goal the sender has in mind,
the outcome the sender hopes for as a result of the message.
Normally in persuasion the purpose is to gain some sort of behavioral
change. Some times purposes are only informational or attitudinal.
Structure of TRS/TAP --
Issues are questions that are inextricably
connected to the exigence. Answering issues (questions) is
necessary to resolving the rhetorical situation. Issues may be potential
or actual (actually raised in real conversation).
Types of issues
- fact - (conjecture or definition)
- (quality) -- value
- (procedure) – policy
Claims of fact. (existence of something/definition or
- sufficient and appropriate grounds
- reliable authority
- recent data
- accurate, typical data
- clearly defined terms. not loaded language
- distinguish between fact and inference.
Claims of Value (i.e., taste & morals /
good-bad) [make value judgments/ resolve conflict between
values/ quasi policy (rightness of it)]
- Establishing standards of evaluation (warrant) for what's at issue
- note the value's priority in this case.
- Establish the advantage (practical or moral) of your standards.
- Use examples to clarify abstract values
- Use credible authorities for support.
Claims of Policy (action / should or ought) – proof
- Clear proposed action
- need (justification)
- plan, (must be workable)
- benefit (advantages)
- consider opposition