Write Like a Leader Transcript

Dr. Jennifer Phillips-Denny:
Hello, pioneer student leaders. I'm Dr. Phillips-Denny from the Write Site. In this video, I will talk with you about using the rhetorical situation to write like a leader. You can think about the rhetorical situation as the context of your writing. And generally speaking, the rhetorical situation consists of three connected parts. Purpose, occasion, and audience. Leaders should analyze the rhetorical situation when planning, drafting, and editing their writing. Leaders who analyze the rhetorical situation produce more ethical writing. Ethical writing has a clear purpose, includes factual information and acknowledges diversity.

The rhetorical purpose of a text is the writer's motivation for writing. Leaders write a variety of texts for a variety of purposes. To define concepts, to explain processes, to present research, to compare and contrast options, to show cause and effect and to present solutions to problems, to name a few. Ethical writing has a clear purpose that the leader has thought about in-depth. Ethical writers consider other perspectives whether or not they agree with them, so they are able to present information in good faith.

A text's rhetorical purpose is closely related to the rhetorical occasion. If the rhetorical purpose of a piece of writing is the why, then the occasion is the when. The rhetorical occasion for which you are writing, generally determines the kind of evidence that is appropriate for that occasion. Sometimes an anecdote or analogy is sufficient to convince your readers. You might use a personal story or anecdote to illustrate your point or grab your reader's attention. This type of storytelling in your writing is considered the weakest kind of evidence, but it can be effective if you tell a story that demonstrates your trustworthiness and fair mindedness.

For example, the rhetorical power of storytelling, often compliments topics dealing with personal identity. An analogy might also be sufficient for your rhetorical occasion. You might persuade your readers that hate speech that incites violence is not the same as freedom of speech. This topic may seem incendiary, but because it is backed by fact, hate speech that incites violence is in fact not protected by the first amendment. Analogous evidence would be effective evidence for this topic.

More empirical arguments require evidence like statistics, articles written by experts and expert testimonials. Whatever type of evidence you use, ethical writers use factual evidence. Making up facts to support your own ideas is highly unethical. Similarly, ethical writers use documentation to clearly cite their sources, thus avoiding plagiarism.

Lastly leaders consider their audience in their writing. Your rhetorical purpose should meet reader's expectations, so you don't alienate your audience by either failing to provide the information they need or offending them. Ethical writing is inclusive writing. Writing that acknowledges diversity and is free of sexist, racist, and other forms of bigoted language. Readers trust ethical writers.

Effective writers often seek help with their writing and Write Site is here to help you analyze the rhetorical situation for any type of writing via our asynchronous and synchronous online appointments. Aristotle called the credibility or trustworthiness of a writer, ethos. By describing the importance of an audience's perception of a writer or speaker as trustworthy and fair-minded. Analyzing the rhetorical situation can make your writing more credible and I think we can all agree, that good leaders are ethical leaders.

Page last updated 4:06 PM, October 5, 2020