Rhetorical knowledge is the ability to analyze contexts and audiences and then to act on that analysis in comprehending and creating texts. Rhetorical knowledge is the basis of composing. Writers develop rhetorical knowledge by negotiating purpose, audience, context, and conventions as they compose a variety of texts for different situations.
By the end of first-year composition, students should
Learn and use key rhetorical concepts through analyzing and composing a variety of texts
Gain experience reading and composing in several genres to understand how genre conventions shape and are shaped by readers’ and writers’ practices and purposes
Develop facility in responding to a variety of situations and contexts calling for purposeful shifts in voice, tone, level of formality, design, medium, and/or structure
Understand and use a variety of technologies to address a range of audiences
Match the capacities of different environments (e.g., print and electronic) to varying rhetorical situations