Dear Readers and Writers,
Welcome to the sixth week of our Reading, Writing, and Rhetoric course. In this module, we will be focusing on Audience and Lexis, so that by the end of it you will gain confidence in the meaning of these terms and the way in which we will be approaching them from the rhetorical perspective. You will become proficient in distinguishing between the intentional and the actual audience and in connecting the audience to the concept of Genre, which we studied in the previous module. Let’s briefly recap what we learned in the preceding modules to see how it connects to the new content and how the concepts in this module build on what we already learned. What we already know is that there are various means of communicating, from written to spoken word, from sign language to a road sign. We are immersed in constant communication as we learn to navigate it and respond to it. But in order to read it correctly and respond to it effectively, we need to operate with a rhetorical mindset, and the principal elements of rhetoric we studied in the preceding modules, such as rhetorical situation, exigence, and audience, set a foundation to our understanding of a discourse community, which is a group relying on communication in order to function and be successful. Any discourse community is characterized by possessing six distinct qualities, one of which is genre, or the very specific type of text or artifact that the discourse community produces in order to communicate effectively among its members. When choosing a genre, we must consider the audience who will receive this type of text and shape it accordingly by carefully selecting the content and the format of our text. So we take a closer look at the types of audiences that the rhetors must consider while composing their communications.
As you complete this module, you will be introduced to the concept of Audience and the two types of it. We have already briefly explored the audience in Module 2, where you learned about is as one of the main elements of the Rhetorical Situation, and in this module, we will explore it further. Specifically, we will investigate how knowing our audience shapes our communication. The first written activity will be your Discussion post, in which you will envision presenting one topic to two different audiences and trace the differences to the text that this difference in the audience will make.
Your second written activity will be the Written Assignment, in which you will combine your knowledge of the content from not only this but also the previous module. Each communication you engage in or you receive demonstrates just how tightly connected the concepts of audience, genre, and lexis are, and you will demonstrate your awareness of this fact in the assignment culminating the work you completed in the past two modules.