In Project One you’re asked to analyze elements of the rhetorical situation or writing situation. The readings in this assignment discuss how we adapt our communication or writing to different contexts and audiences, and for various purposes in specific genres. We do this in our everyday lives. Whether leaving a note for a roommate, texting your family, emailing a coworker, or writing an essay for a class, a lot of things might depend on your thinking about the rhetorical situation—even if you don’t realize you’ve been thinking about it.

Since Project One asks you to discuss different “rhetorical situations,” the following exercise is designed to help you list some of the situations in which you write. School is only one situation, but you might look at your writing across multiple different classes, or over time. You can also use examples from your personal or professional life outside of school. Any situation in which you use writing can be connected to some or all of the writing concepts we’re studying. 

 respond to the following:

  1. List three or four situations in which you’ve written something in the past—a text message, a note, an essay, an email—any writing you can think of. “Situation” can mean anything—a different location, a different person, a different purpose—and can apply to any writing you do in your academic, personal, or professional life. These could be recent writing situations or situations across different periods of your life. 
  2. Who are you writing for in each of these situations? Is it one person or multiple people? What is your relationship to that person? Be as specific as you can.
  3. In each of these situations, how comfortable or confident do you feel about your own writing? Do you feel like you communicate effectively in that situation? If you feel less confident, what are some of the things you worry about when writing in those situations?
  4. In the two readings for this assignment, can you identify the writing concepts? List the audience, purpose, genre, and context — explore the rhetorical situation in which both Hensel and Tan are writing, and analyze what you can about each. As you identify the concepts in these readings, think ahead to the P1 Analysis Essay and consider any examples from these readings that might help support a point about writing that you make in your essay.