The most important parts of communication


Writing is one of the most important parts of communication, especially in college, through essays and discussions, and in the workplace when communicating with senior managers and junior staff. Writing is also critical in daily interactions with different audiences, such as siblings and friends. Given the prevalence of writing, it is essential to acquire critical skills and preparation that enable one to be effective in communication with others. Notably, I did not have an in-depth understanding of writing, which I have acquired and thus felt well equipped to become a successful writer. It has been enhanced by the realization of the importance of identifying rhetorical situations that allow a writer to be well prepared to communicate through writing.
Understanding rhetorical situations are undoubtedly vital for writers looking to perfect their writing skills. Rhetorical situations allow the writer to modify or change the reader’s perspective (Purdue Owl). Traditionally, rhetorical situations were perceived as strategies to persuade readers, an interpretation borrowed from Aristotle’s rhetorical concepts: ethos, pathos, telos, kairos, and logos. The five concepts encompass credibility, appeal to emotions, attitude, setting, and reasoning, respectively (Purdue Owl). However, in the modern world, rhetorical situations play a deeper role in enabling the writer and the audience to identify with each other. For that to happen, the communication should register an audience, setting, text, purpose, and author.
Notably, the five concepts of rhetorical situations are important to the writer. The setting involves the environment in which the communication takes place. The setting can be based on the time, season, place, or community involved (Purdue Owl). In a 2017 article by Jacobs, scientists realized that setting plays an integral part in influencing communication. The study involved not little” signs, which according to the findings, can be counterproductive depending on the environment. For instance, people were more likely to litter if the area was already littered or the signpost was in the wrong place (Jacobs). The findings reported in Jacobs’ article also relate to writing, where the writer or author has to be critical of the timing of their communication, the environment, and the community to ensure that they do not collude with the main message; rather, they go in tandem.
Another important aspect is text, which refers to a form of communication (Purdue Owl). The text encompasses the medium, tools used to create text, and tools used to read the text. As vital as the setting, it may fail in helping the writer identify with the audience. It was evident in Washington, DC, when do not litter signs were placed on smart litter cans. The results showed that the setting where the signs were posted had little to no impact on the amount of litter (The Lab DC).
There is also the purpose, which is the aim of communication. It can either be the author’s or the audience’s purpose. The purpose is achieved when the two parties have complementing purposes; however, when the purposes conflict, then rhetorical situations are not created (Purdue Owl). The purpose is also subject to the attitude, for instance, a comedic attitude to entertain. For instance, Steve Jobs’ 2005 commencement address was meant to encourage and motivate Stanford’s 2005 graduands, which was evident with the phrase, “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish” It was enhanced by using personal anecdotes to elicit the emotions of the graduands. Notably, during such a period, graduands are more likely to appreciate such motivational and advisory messages as they face new challenges chasing after their careers. Hence, Jobs’ address undoubtedly created a rhetorical situation.
However, the most important aspect of the rhetorical situation is the audience. The audience encompasses the recipients of the communication. In Jobs’ address, they were new graduands, as in the case of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s address to the 2015Wellesley’s graduands. The two commencement addresses feature vital aspects that show that the audience is arguably the most critical concept in writing. In their addresses, Jobs and Adichie used personal anecdotes to encourage the new graduands, which would probably not have been used if the audience was older. Knowing your target audience before writing is very important. There are many factors that determine the audience in this case. Including age or kinship. The way of communicating and writing for children is not the same for adults, so the vocabulary and tone differ here. In addition, writing for a friend is not the same as writing for a teacher. So these things must be taken into consideration.
The attitude in Jobs’ and Adichie’s address was calm and lacked seriousness since they were addressing a young group of graduands which is evident through phrases such as “No big deal” by Jobs and Adichie’s use of humor when referring to her yellow headwrap. Evidently, in achieving a rhetorical situation, the audience overlaps with purpose. The audience also overlaps with the author, as seen in the commencement addresses where two successful persons, Adichie, an award-winning writer, and Jobs, Apple’s founder and CEO, motivate and encourage the new graduands. It also shows that purpose overlaps with the author.
Another important concept in writing that must be considered is genre. Genre is the form of writing. Writing is an effective means of communication, so applying the best genre helps in better communication. The prominent genre of writing includes narrative, descriptive, persuasive, expository, and creative. Genre affects writing and writer’s skills by highlighting the social and cultural context of writing that includes features and structure of writing. For me, defining genre in my daily writing is very important, as genre in writing for a friend is different from what is in writing a research paper for university. Writing for a friend The article is somewhat short, in colloquial language, and may contain emojis. Unlike a research paper; It should be long, stylized and contain vocabulary. We can say that audience and purpose may determine the genre in writing.
Moreover, writing cannot be done at once and abruptly. There are many elements of writing. One of these elements is the circumstances of a context. Context is a framework of writing. Moreover, the time, area, target audience, genre, and culture in the surrounding are all included in the context of writing.
With the above-realized concepts, my understanding of the writing process is richer than before learning about them. I usually thought that writing was quite easy and that I could come up with writing that could easily catch people’s attention. However, I have learned that I must ensure I can create a rhetorical situation, with the most vital concept being the audience. Without considering the audience, one can easily leave out vital information. For instance, in academic writing, the teacher is usually the primary audience; however, assuming the teacher is knowledgeable and leaves out some details may result in a failed grade. It comes due to ignoring the purpose of the audience, which in the case of the teacher would be to evaluate my understanding of a topic (The Writing Center: University of North Carolina). Another important idea I would like to retain is reflective writing. It has improved an individual’s writing process (Tchiprout).
Notably, writers can face new situations that may be challenging to develop a successful write-up. However, one can overcome such situations with various skills, one being critical thinking. It allows the writer to delve deeper into a situation and unearth hidden issues or gaps they can address. Therefore, it reduces bias and , which comes from scrutinizing the situation (LaBracio). However, the writer must know the audience, purpose, setting, text, and themselves as authors. With the five concepts of the rhetorical situation, the author can apply critical thinking to make the new situation easy.
Undoubtedly, I find knowledge in identifying and creating rhetorical situations to be most important for a successful writer. It is evident in Jobs’ and Adichie’s commencement addresses that they were fully aware of their role as successful authors in their respective careers. Hence, they could motivate new graduands who also look up to successful people like them. Moreover, their attitude showed casualness from using personal anecdotes to familiarize themselves with the graduands. It was enhanced by the use of humor to make it easy to communicate with the graduands since it was an official setting but not a serious attitude as graduations are celebratory events. With such concepts, the authors could identify with the audience and facilitate communication of their ideas.

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