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Blog 2

September 18, 2012

Writing rhetorically should always be the goal when constructing an essay. Writing rhetorically allows the reader and the writer to respond and adapt to each others needs. Rhetorical writing is a form of narrative that has no restrictions and allows the writer to expand on whatever they might want to without any limiting restrictions or purpose. Reid states that combining rhetorical and academic writing is not possible as academic writing places many limitations and rules on the writer that would not be allowed in rhetorical writing.

Most of my writing tasks throughout high school consisted of a set a rules that the writer must abide by and must not break. One specific example was during my tenth grade English course where the teacher had her own set of rules that had to be applied to every essay. The main rule was that no linking verbs were allowed in any of the essays. This rule did not enhance the essay in any way, rather making the writer rearrange the sentence to avoid the linking verb, many times making the sentence longer than it should have been. This goes against another rule that I was taught, which is always to be concise. Rearranging the sentence structure would most of the time make the sentence longer and harder to read, contradicting the rule of being concise. Although following a specific teacher’s rules is technically adapting to the reader’s needs, it still does not qualify as writing rhetorically.

Reid’s guidelines for writing rhetorically are excellent rules to follow. Writing about a subject that the the writer is interested in results in a narrative that immerses the reader into the story. It also allows the writer to go more into depth with the story resulting in following the “show, don’t tell” rule. The interaction between the writer and the reader results in the writer adapting to the audience and can allow for a closer relationship. I believe that I am writing this post rhetorically for many reasons. I am writing about a subject that I have experience with and I am targeting a specific audience. There are no restrictions on what I am writing about and no rules that I have to follow structurally.

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One Comment
  1. Your examples of how rules about writing becoming overbearing and cumbersome is really poignant. If someone always tried to follow a list of rules while writing, he or she would probably end up writing a terrible paper. I also agree that you are writing this post rhetorically. Your writing reflects the three criteria of rhetorical writing that Reid points out in the essay as opposed to following any specific rules.

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