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Rhetorical Situation: Purpose and Audience

Rhetorical Situation: Purpose and Audience

Author: Mackenzie W

This lesson defines the rhetorical situation and explains purpose and audience.

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Terms to Know

The reader of a text, which can be intended (targeted by the author) or unintended (not specifically targeted by the author).


The intended goal or value of a text.


The study and the art of speaking and writing effectively.

Rhetorical Situation

An author’s purpose, presumed audience, personal background, and cultural and historical context, and how these items factor into an author’s writing choices.