Rhetorical context refers to the circumstances surrounding any writing situation and includes purpose, audience, and focus.
Think of a particularly troublesome writing assignment youâ€™ve faced. You might have had trouble even knowing how to begin. Similarly, you may have heard students complain that they â€œdonâ€™t know what to write.â€� Such struggles frequently arise because the writer has not identified the assignmentâ€™s rhetorical context. One of our jobs as instructors is to provide students with information that will help them identify an assignmentâ€™s rhetorical context.
The following links will give you a better understanding of rhetorical context and help you to incorporate that understanding into your writing instruction.