Length: 2.5-3 pages
Purdue Owl Rhetorical Situations
Please save your essay with your name and assignment type (ex. Selena Final Essay).
Purpose: To analyze a rhetorical situation
Background: Information posted by use of social media is not a new concept. Aside from a journalistic perspective, citizens of the Internet can freely post personal stories, pics, selfies, fiction, something “caught on smartphone,” and so forth. Many stories are posted with a specific intent, and sometimes there are legal and/or social ramifications with these stories. However, some stories that are posted make the news, become viral, and are critiqued by both fans, non-fans, the general public, and the media.
Because of the ability to post various types of information, people can have an ongoing conversation about the subject matter. But, questions arise as to the appropriateness of the information and whether or not ethics matter. Are people at risk who are in relationships because what is private can be made public? Should individuals go to a public place armed with a smartphone as a form of protection to record questionable behaviors, if necessary? Can an interpretation of a message (personal or otherwise) be perceived as a lesson by the public even if that wasn’t the intention of the message? Should posted information be given attention because of the harm the messenger may have caused?
Method: Read/view the stories: (Links to an external site.)White Woman Slapping Black Man at Football Game (Links to an external site.), The Body Shaming of WFAA Anchor, (Links to an external site.)TikTok Airline Attendant Goes Viral (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.), and Dad Chats with Infant Son (Links to an external site.)
Choose one of these stories or one that you have found interesting to write an argument that expresses your point of view of “displays of information,” or, rather, why a video goes viral. Explain the purpose of the information, how you think the information is perceived, and any ethical dilemmas.
When developing your ideas, think about why the information was posted. What are the reactions to the information? Is displaying the information a responsible act? Does the messenger need to take responsibility for what is posted? Does the information explain, educate, shame, protest an action, empower, or entertain? Should any of those factors matter? You can discuss social media as the medium for the information and a person’s right to post, but your focus should be about the rhetorical impact of the information.
In your introduction, decide how to introduce your topic. Set up the background, history, and/or problem of your topic; lead readers to your thesis/claim which will state your perspective.
In your first body paragraph, give a brief description or a brief summary of the story as it relates to your thesis.
Your remaining body paragraphs will be devoted to an analysis of your topic; in other words, you will discuss ways your topic makes its points and supports your thesis. You can also use evidence from the video and its accompanying article to further support your ideas.
Finally, conclude with your final thoughts that wraps up your ideas and may, possibly, reiterate key ideas that you addressed in your body paragraphs.
Length: 2.5-3 pages