Keith Grant-Davie’s Piece on Rhetoric

If you’ve glanced at all at the other posts about Keith Grant-Davie, you’ll know that not unlike his name, the article is heavy. It felt almost like a tongue twister and a mind melter trying to sift through everything he was trying to say. I think it was mostly confusing because he kept quoting and name dropping while also adding in his own arguments.

Nonetheless, here are the top 3 key points I think are important about his analysis of the rhetor and rhetoric:

1. “Writers who know how to analyze these situations have a better method of examining causality. They have a stronger basis for making composing decisions and are better able, as readers, to understand the decisions other writers have made.”

– Here I think it’s great that he summarizes exactly why you should even care about rhetoric analysis. If you know more about rhetoric, and in turn causality, you will basically be a better writer. He says it in a lot more words, but you should keep reading his article if you want to be a better writer and reader. He also wraps up the conclusion by saying that teaching student readers and writers to analyze rhetorical situations helps them to find their style and their role in the writing world.

2. “the four constituents I see in rhetorical situations: exigence, rhetors, audiences, and constraints”

– Keith Grant-Davie believes there are four rhetorical situations and while he goes deeper into all of them for the rest of the paper, what is key is that these are the ones that exist to him. You should know that these four are what he believes create the situation or add to the situation of a piece of writing. (I’m not sure if it was just me, but I had to Google what exigence meant…) Either way, he makes a pretty compelling argument for why he believes each constituent is important and convinces me at least.

3. “The rhetor’s sense of exigence, when communicated successfully to the audience, can become a positive constraint, a factor that helps move the audience toward the rhetor’s position.”

– This one’s the kicker. He just threw all four constituents into one sentence. It doesn’t get more clear than this. Through all of his jumbled jargon and quotes and analysis, this is the one sentence that combines it all. He wants us to care because the point of (most) writing is to get someone else to care about something you care about or to convey some sort of feeling, message, policy, etc. When it comes to being a convincing writer, he displays, quite literally with this sentence, that all four constituents matter.

—Sorry this was so long.

Leave a Reply