A Reflection on my Writing
This is the first of a series of Writing for Reflection assignments that appear throughout the textbook. These assignments are intended as informal ways to think through your own experience of writing and learning in relation to the ideas presented in this book. They need not be formal essays. Here is the first assignment: To gain a clearer picture of your writing experiences before coming to college, describe in a few paragraphs the various kinds of writing you have had to do in school and out. In each case describe the situation you wrote for (for example, at the end of a term in a world history class, for a community newspaper, or as part of a political campaign), the kind of writing you did (for example, a biography of a writer, a sports news story, or a sales brochure), and how that kind of writing fulfilled the needs, demands, or opportunities of the circumstances.
As the preceding discussion has made clear, rhetoric is the practical art of making successful statements in specific situations. If the purpose of communication is to interact with others – to influence, to cooperate with, to oppose, to control, to comply with, to negotiate – then you have a greater chance of success if you think about the following points: • What the situation is • Who you are communicating with • What you want to happen • What ways you might achieve that end How can we use language in purposeful, practical ways to achieve our goals? That question is the heart of rhetoric. Successful communication varies from person to person and situation to situation. There is no simple, single “good rhetoric,” no one way to write. You must always think about the specifics of the situation: what you want to accomplish, with whom, and through what available means. In college you will find yourself writing in a variety of new situations, and you will need to think through how you want to respond to them. That is, you will need to develop a “rhetoric for college” – a way of thinking about your writing for the next few years that will help you get what you want out of college and also satisfy the writing demands college places upon you. At other points in your life you may need to develop a rhetoric for your profession, a rhetoric for sales, a rhetoric for managing people, a rhetoric for city politics, a rhetoric for talking to your children, or a rhetoric for talking to your loved one. Right now, however, your most pressing need is likely to be a rhetoric for college writing.
Please as I am an international student, I want to write simple, not modular
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