1 Defining the Rhetorical Situation

Jenna Sheffield

Everyone who writes for the web (or for any medium, really) needs to understand the rhetorical situation in which their writing exists. The rhetorical situation is essentially a fancy way of saying the audience, context, and purpose of a communication. In other words, as I am writing this section of the book, my audience is you (the readers who I’m envisioning might read this book); my purpose is to inform and educate about the skills needed to write for the web; and the context might include anything from when this section is being written to how it’s being composed.

Imagine this scenario.