Bitzer's Rhetorical Model

1168 Words5 Pages
Scott McWhirter
English 101 Section 043
Professor Hayes
March 31, 2011

Bitzer’s “The Rhetorical Situation” “Penguin responses to climate change in the Southern Ocean” by Jaume Forcada and Philip N. Trathan (2009) was a study conducted to analyze and predict the migrating patterns of different species of penguins due to changes in climate. (p. 1618) Also, Forcada and Trathan investigate whether or not certain species of penguins possess phenotypic plasticity (the ability of an organism to change its phenotype in response to changes in the environment) (p. 1618). In order to properly conduct a textual analysis of this article, Lloyd Bitzer’s “The Rhetorical Situation” will be consulted. This rhetorical model consists of three
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Although the authors of this article regularly use a multitude of sources, data, and statistics to support their hypothesis, there are several (not all) which seem to be overly used and randomly cited. This may serve as a constraint to the audience because if the information presented does not seem to be entirely relevant, it may be a painless assumption for the audience that the issue at hand is not an incredibly urgent one, but instead, a rhetoric discoursed just for the sake of rhetoric. Also, the overwhelming wealth of information shown may serve as a distraction from the simple fact the rhetoric is trying to convey: penguins are affected by climate change; in result, penguins affect the environment. The information does not, however, prove to be faulty, but each piece of data seems to be calculated accurately. For example, a table is provided that names each species of penguin, the threats against them, and their resulting response to that threat. This makes it very clear whether each species has the ability to adapt, or if the climate change has just caused them to disperse. Also, each piece of data is affiliated with a source, which increases the audience’s opinion of the writer’s character.
Another aspect of the research that does seem to constrain the author’s point of view, however, is the fact that no actual experiment was conducted by F & T.

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