I rarely stop to consider what my reader is thinking as I am writing an academic essay for class. It is very easy to fall into the routine of simply writing off the importance of who your reader really is since all you really care about is impressing your teacher to get a good grade, right? Writing 220 and gamification opens up a whole new world of writing for us to explore! It will enable me for the first time in quite a while to forget about my grade and simply focus on understanding who my audience is and finding the right way to convey my messages to them.
In Rhetorical Reading Strategies and the Construction of Meaning, Haas and Flower confront the common perception of what reading is by arguing that readers need to take into account the authors rhetoric, or purpose, context, and affect on the audience through a rhetorical reading. This article completely changed the way I think about reading and writing. Especially as a student, it is far too easy to get into the habit of “mindlessly” reading texts for class. By this, I mean reading with my eyes halfway closed and the television on in the background…oh c’mon you know we’ve all done it! I have never truly taken the time to consider the motivation of the author while I was reading a text or utilize rhetorical strategies to understand the text on a deeper and more comprehensive level. If we construct “a complex multi-faceted representation of meaning” between the experience of the reader and the motivation of the author, we will be able to read much more effectively. This is something that I am going to strive to do from now on with any text that I am reading, whether for class or for pleasure. This will also be something that is crucial for my writing, and I am excited to experiment with new techniques to target my own readers this semester.