Rhetoric is concerned with interpretation as well as production. In other words, it can benefit you as both a reader as well as a writer1. In both cases, a person who masters rhetoric analysis focuses both, on the message that is delivered as well as on the way it is delivered. Again, this is not intended to diminish the importance of the message itself, but to draw attention to the way it is communicated. Being able to evaluate how the argument is made, gives a basis to evaluate the claim itself.
Applying rhetorical analysis as a reader means nothing more than being a critical reader, who is capable of understanding discussions, even if the content falls outside of their field of expertise1. This is an approach you are asked to take when reading and reviewing your peers’ work in the writing groups. Even though you are not (and cannot be!) an expert in all of the topics that your group members write about, you can (and have to!) provide feedback on the way that they use rhetorical moves to deliver their message. As a writer, mastering rhetorical analysis can make you more aware of the rhetorical structure of the text (which intuitively you already are) and enable you to adopt the various rhetorical moves and adapt them to better serve your purpose1. This gives you more powerful tools to produce effective texts, i.e. to become a better story-teller and “seller”.
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