Rhetorical Situations And Their Constituents Essay

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In Grant-Davie’s article “Rhetorical Situations and Their Constituents” he quotes Bitzer who defined rhetorical situation as “a complex of persons, events, objects, and relations presenting an actual or potential exigence which can be completely or partially removed if discourse, introduced into the situation, can so constrain human decisions or action as to bring about the significant modification of the exigence” (350). Many articles in the news use rhetorical situations to have an effect on their audience to do something about the issue. Politics, for example, uses rhetoric to persuade the audience to take the side of an individual candidate or even battling companies will use rhetoric in articles about their products so that the public will choose them over a different company. Rhetoric can be found all over the news and while doing research I came upon the article “Are We Fracking Away our Health?” To analyze the rhetoric of this article, we must look at the exigence, audiences, constraints, and any unforeseen ramifications of the article.
Exigence defined by Grant-Davie is “some need or problem that can be addressed and solved through rhetorical discourse” (351). The exigence of an article can be answered by using three questions: “what is the discourse about,” “why is the discourse needed,” and “what is the discourse trying to accomplish” (Grant-Davie 352-353). In the article “Are We Fracking Away our Health?” the author Mary Anne Mercer writes about an issue in

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