Feb. 25 Group Work – Keri, Courtney, and Felipe

Pages 48-53 in Holcomb & Killingsworth

During class, work in groups to discuss the following sections of the assigned reading. Your discussion should include:

1) what does and does not make sense

– What did not make sense: They did not discuss what the “norm” is. When I am writing, how do you know that it is not the norm and is actually a deviation?

– It is interesting that in scientific styles of writing the use of passive voice is quite prevalent, when on the other hand we are encouraged to rid our writing of passive voice and use the active voice instead. Academic writing is not scientific writing?

– It makes sense that a writer has to switch his rhetorical appeal when focusing on specific audiences. (Scientific Community example, pg. 50)

– Why is the section on arbitrary norms so different from the section on community norms? In both sections they talk about rhetorical affects of regions and how people perceive certain types of styles as well as diction. The difference between arbitrary norms and community norms does not make much sense to us. However, what does make sense is the fact that rhetorical approaches differ regionally.

2) what you consider to be most important in your section

– I think what is most important is that you have to be aware of the fact that your writing style / diction should change depending on your audience.

– The 5 canons of rhetoric are very important for our section because we are talking about the norms of style.

– It is very important to know how to apply these norms to your own writing, but this also confuses us because we see little difference between each type of norm.

– It is important to use deviation in academic writing. The genre does not have to be about a specific type of writing all of the time; genres can blend with one another.

3) how you might use it in your own writing

– (refer to “2”)

– I may adopt certain types of norms but also blend them together, especially when writing in a different region or to audiences that are not my typical target.

– Being aware of the norm and not wanting to just follow it. You want to provide fresh / new information so that your reader is constantly interested / being persuaded (rhetoric).

– When writing different genres it is important to take into account the norms found in your region. This is especially useful once we graduate and become involved in different workplaces, maybe even around the world!

4) and any other remarks you think would be useful!

– I wish they talked more about diction because to me word choice is so important in rhetorical style. Word choice also plays such a large role in regions worldwide because words are all defined differently depending on where you are in the world. Also, sentence structure is different worldwide so I wish they talked about what is important to take into account when writing for a international audience.

– Become a universal writer!


11 thoughts on “Feb. 25 Group Work – Keri, Courtney, and Felipe

  1. I am very impressed by what you have here. It is very easy to read in the bullet point format and it references page numbers throughout. I agree with the statement “I wish they talked more about diction because to me word choice is so important in rhetorical style. Word choice also plays such a large role in regions worldwide because words are all defined differently depending on where you are in the world. ” Different dialects use words uniquely within their writing and they may emphasize different points than that of modern english. I would really like to go over what word choice implies of prose style in class in the near future.

  2. I agree with Camille, I am a big fan of the way this is written and organized. “What is the norm?” is a great question, and something that often goes unanswered. The suggestion of universal writing is much easier said than done. Something that I also struggle with is different types of writing passive vs. active, one teacher tells you one way to write, the other the opposite. I am hoping to discuss writing dialects in class, because word choice can make or break a good writing piece.

    1. In response to Emily’s comment, I also really like the way this post is set up. It’s very easy to read and allows you to jump around without loosing your place. I also would like to talk about the question “What is the norm?” In more detail in class. Even just by attending different classes here at SU writing professors wants different styles and voices for their assignments and classes. It’s hard to really pinpoint what the “norm” is, especially when you take personal style and voice into account. I also found “word choice” very interesting and would like to cover that as well.

  3. To reiterate what the above posts have said, I really like how you formatted this. It is very clear and concise. I really like the idea of changing styles based on audience. It is something that I do not do enough. I often keep the same style regardless of audience because that is what I know and what I am good at, but it is something that I will definitely work on in the future.

  4. As my classmates mentioned above, I also appreciate the organization of your post. I agree with your statement about the 5 rhetorical canons being important in regards to norms of style. I feel as if many rhetoricians essentially fall back on these rhetorical canons to effectively get their message across or even persuade their audience. I think it is interesting when one thinks about the rhetorical “norms” that are typically used by everyone. I think the idea of rhetorical norm(s) is so broad that it may be hard understanding a few norms within writing. As far as diction goes, I know my section (41-48) briefly touched on language and wordiness.

  5. You guys did a great job with your analysis of your section, so great job with that. First off, I noticed the part about using passive voice in “scientific writing only” and how you should rid your writing voice of that in other forms of writing. I disagree with that, you should be able to write passively in creative writing, whether it’s fictional or nonfiction.
    I agree with the idea that diction should change depending on audience, because there are many times where I read something and I’m thrown off and can’t focus on the topic being discussed because the word choice is incorrect for the topic. I also think I am too casual in some writings that should be more formal, so it’s important for me to remember that as well. I should probably go back and reread that section!

  6. I’m probably beating a dad horse by now, but I really like how you guys dissected and organized your section. I feel like the five rhetorical cannons are essential when writing, especially when it comes to style. You must know when and how to change up your writing style when you are targeting specific audiences. If you fail to this the point you are trying to get across, will either go over their head or have an opposite affect on the reader. Like you touched on one of the ways this is done is through sentence structure and the words that are being used.

  7. It’s obvious that you guys had a great discussion of these concepts in class. I specifically like when you say, “It is important to use deviation in academic writing. The genre does not have to be about a specific type of writing all of the time; genres can blend with one another.” I write a lot of nonfiction, but I find it very effective to shift into another genre sometimes. While writing a recent autobiographical argument, for example, I began the piece with an almost fictional narrative of an important day in my childhood. Being aware of the genre norms and knowing how to adapt them can add depth and emphasis to your writing.

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