Week #2: Backpacks

Carroll’s article discussed how we practice rhetorical analysis in our daily lives without realizing it; we have also become informed consumers of rhetoric. I may have practiced rhetorical analysis while commuting to my classes without knowing. As I enter a train cart my first instinct is to look at the other commuters around me on the train. Who is standing alongside the doors in an empty train cart? Why does an individual make their way across the cart to sit in a specific spot? When analyzing the commuters on the train, I analyze how they dress and often compare their sense of style to mine. Though it might seem a bit unsettling to analyze strangers on the train, I do this as a way to pass my boredom. When comparing my style to a stranger, I first look at the color palette as a whole. Choosing to wear bright colors or a more neutral tone can inform a person about their personal interests or values. For instance, as a nature-loving person, I often wear more earthy tones such as green or brown. The conclusions that I drew based on whether someone wore a dress or a pair of jeans are influenced by social media: TikTok and Instagram. Fashion trends that are circling around the internet are always followed by assumptions about those who follow them. Whether I am fully aware of it or not, the conclusions I made, based on clothing, are a result of the social influences in the fashion industry. The way that an individual presents themselves allows me to understand the context when practicing rhetorical analysis. 

A rhetorical situation that I found myself in is asking for an extension on a final paper. The framework of the situation or the exigence was the abundance of workload in other classes; therefore, making it more difficult to allocate time to spend on writing my paper. My teacher at the time was my audience and I had to develop a well-thought-out argument to support my case. Yet, there were constraints as the deadline for the paper was already discussed and students other than myself may have already finished writing the paper.

Lis Osea Castro Colmenares (they/them/their)


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