Tasnim Khan (She/Her)

Digital Receipt #2/Digital Receipt #2

Digital Receipt #2

Posted by Tasnim Khan (She/Her) on

Rhetorical analysis is a way of interpreting and understanding how language is used to persuade or convince an audience. In her article, “Backpacks vs. Briefcases: Steps toward Rhetorical Analysis,” Laura Bolin Carroll discusses the use of visual and aural cues, such as the choice of bag, to make judgments about a person’s character and abilities.

I have practiced rhetorical analysis in my own life without realizing it, for example, when I was a student in high school. I remember one instance when I was choosing which bag to bring to school. I had a backpack that I normally used for carrying books and other school supplies, but I also had a briefcase that I had received as a gift. I decided to bring the briefcase to school that day because I thought it would make me look more professional and mature.

In this situation, I was using rhetorical analysis to make a decision based on the visual and aural cues of the two different bags. I knew that a briefcase is traditionally associated with professionalism and maturity, while a backpack is often associated with youth and informality. By choosing to bring the briefcase to school, I was trying to communicate to my teachers and classmates that I was a serious and capable student.

However, this decision was not based solely on my own perceptions of the bags. I was also influenced by the expectations and norms of my school and society, which value certain traits and behaviors over others. For example, I knew that my teachers would likely view me more favorably if I brought a briefcase to school and that my classmates might perceive me as more mature and responsible if I did so.

Overall, this experience showed me how rhetorical analysis can be used to make judgments and decisions based on the interpretation of visual, aural, and sensory cues. It also highlighted the role of societal expectations and norms in shaping our perceptions and behaviors.

Skip to toolbar