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Audience, genre, and rhetorical situation are the concepts of developing a theory of writing. These elements are important for becoming an excellent writer. An audience is the person for whom a writer inscribes, or the author makes up. A writer customizes a style of language, tone, and content giving to what he knows about his audience. Genre means a kind of art, literature, or music branded by a precise system, content, and style. For example, it could be hip-hop music, comedy, poetry, film noir, and a chick flick. A rhetorical situation is a rhetorical event consisting of an issue, an audience, and a set of limitations, which can be represented clearly by the rhetorical situation trio. Lloyd Bitzer who wrote a powerful piece on the ground of rhetoric titled ‘The Rhetorical Situation’, in 1968, identified these three crucial components that explain a rhetorical situation.

When exploring what those relations mean to a theory of writing I have examined three sources. Gloria Anzaldua’s “How to Tame a Wild Tongue”, Lloyd Bitzer’s “Rhetorical Situation” and Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter From Birmingham Jail”. Anzaldua gave me an extraordinary point of view on how to influence your target audience. She composed an article about her language and culture and her viewpoint on living in the United States as a Chicano. She utilizes the composition to voice her dissatisfaction about not being allowed to utilize her own special language of Chicano Spanish and the distance she feels from both English and Spanish speakers. Anzaldua contacted her audience in an interesting style. She wrote in a way that enabled her to contact her audience so they could comprehend her message. She did this by including language that her audience wouldn’t recognize. She included terms of Spanish alongside English in her alignment so the audience could feel the contention that she does.

Bakhtin, Russel, Halliday, and Devitt did a fantastic practice of clearing up the genre concept and its inferences in writing and instruction. The word genre has its origins in a French word for kind and a dictionary sense of “kind, sort, style” (Genre 83). Halliday finds sort as a mode or counsel of correspondence, one of the printed and verbal methods accessible inside the register that enables communicants to understand the circumstance type (Genre Function 37) In “ The Problem of Speech Genres,” Bakhtin argues that genres mediate all communicative activity, from novels to military commands to everyday short rejoinders (1986). He also stated that

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The speaker’s speech will be manifested primarily in the choice of a particular speech genre. This choice is determined by the specific nature of the given sphere of speech communication … when the speaker’s speech plan with all its individuality and subjectivity is applied and adapted to a chosen genre, it is shaped and developed within a certain generic form. Such genres exist all in the great and multifarious sphere of everyday oral communication, including the most familiar and the most intimate. (78 Bakhtin’s emphasis)

Genre, therefore, does not just constitute literary reality and its texts. They constitute all speech communication by becoming part of “our experience and our consciousness together” and mediating the “dialogic reverberations” that make up communicative interaction. (78,94) An example of a genre would be Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail (1963). Martin Luther King discusses numerous viewpoints alluding to social equality and African-American dissents. One of his primary concerns in the letter is that African Americans and everybody who sees injustice and racism in the public eye should dissent in a peaceful manner. This letter could without much of a stretch be considered as a convincing kind, however, it is likewise obviously a story and could likewise be viewed as instructive. Right off the bat, it’s a letter as that was its unique capacity, however it could likewise be perused as an educational or convincing article. He’s endeavoring to change the manner in which individuals consider his message, which is mass incorporation. The vast majority that were placed in prison guarding their convictions would be angry or disdainful or accusatory, yet MLK was expressive in getting his motivation over, in spite of his circumstances and his condition. This letter could easily be considered as a persuasive genre, but it is also clearly a narrative and could also be considered informative. Firstly, it’s a letter as that was its original function, but it could also be read as an informative or persuasive essay. He’s attempting to change the way people think about his message, which is mass inclusion. I don’t know if any content in the letter surprised me as much as Dr. King’s calm but commanding tone throughout the letter. Most people who were put in jail defending their beliefs would be resentful hateful or accusatory, but MLK was very eloquent in getting his purpose across, despite his situation and his environment. I had arisen to consider genre as a strict hard quick standard of sorting and grouping composing, however, that isn’t the situation by any stretch of the imagination, type is distinctive in each circumstance or setting of composing.

Bitzer clarified the rhetorical situation when I had no clue what rhetoric was. In his composition, he makes a noble showing of altogether clarifying the tough idea of the rhetorical situation. He doesn’t utilize a quick one-model definition since he especially understands the complexity of any rhetorical situation. “I propose in what follows to set forth part of a theory of situation. This essay, therefore, should be understood as an attempt to revive the notion of rhetorical situation, to provide at least the outline of an adequate conception of it, and to establish, it as a controlling and fundamental concern of rhetorical theory” (Bitzer 3)

Despite the fact that I inspected each source through the eyes of either genre, audience, or rhetorical situation it is not as though each source only contained one of those key terms. Truth be told, it is an incredible inverse. In each source genre, audience and rhetorical situation all interact within the text. This is what in my opinion makes a piece of writing successful it must include a genre, reach and audience, and be encompassed within a rhetorical situation. Genre interacts with audience in that genres can dictate the type of audience you are trying to reach and knowing the genre of your writing can help you understand that audience you are writing for. Genres are not concrete rigid rules for categorizing writing they are flexible and can overlap and be subject to interpretation in a sense. Audience interacts with rhetorical situations because your purpose in writing is to reach your audience and communicate your message. To do this effectively you must know who you are writing to and their understanding and expectations of your writing. Without these three components all together and interacting you don’t have successful writing. I have realized that in order to produce a “good piece of writing” genre, audience and rhetorical situation must be present.

Works Cited

    1. Anzaldua, Gloria. How to Tame a Wild Tongue.
    2. Bitzer, Lloyd F. The Rhetorical Situation.
    3. Heilker, Paul, and Peter Vandenberg. Keywords In Composition Studies. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook Publishers, 1996.
    4. Bawarshi, Anis. Genre the Intervention of the Writer.
    5. King, Martin Luther. Letter from Birmingham Jail; ‘I Have a Dream’ Speech. Perfection Learning Corp., 1990.

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