The organization, style used, and the content of the text are usually influenced by the rhetoric context of the writer. To establish the logic of the unique rhetorical context of a text, the reader needs to use the existing sources of information to determine the intended audience of the writer, the type of genre, and the writer’s purpose for writing the text. Thus, a rhetorical situation is the setting of a rhetorical act, which is made up of the writer or the speaker, also known as the rhetor, an issue or an imperfection marked by urgency referred to as exigency, the medium of sharing the information either a written text of a speech, and the audience or the intended receiver of the information. This paper tries to analyze three different sources of information about abortion, and the rhetoric situations that make the sources difference in relation to the context, audience, and the author’s purpose of writing and the role of the writer in writing the text.
With the increased debates and contradicting laws on abortion by different states, many writers have come up with articles on the arguably disturbing issue. For the purpose of this study, three different such article, by different author are discussed for the purpose of determining why and how the constructions are different as a result of the different in rhetoric situation. For these reason abortion rhetoric by Greg Koukl, Analysis: In the Supreme Court this month, abortion is the elephant in the courtroom by Marcia Coyle and an article by Susan Milligan; Is Abortion a human Right?, are discussed. This involves: the setting, the environment, the background or the occurrence that prompt the writer into writing on a given topic. These circumstances form the framework to a statement or an idea and enable the reader to understand a piece of writing. For example, the killing at an abortion clinic in Massachusetts and the blame on the pro-life can be said have provoked Greg to write his article on Abortion Rhetoric. This is after politicians and the pro- abortionist condemned the pro-life for the killings because of their ant-choice stand making them look like the “bad guy”. According to him the emotional and misleading rhetoric by pro-abortionist, “obfuscates the issue” so that people can’t see the obvious and distorts the actual facts of the circumstance.
The situation that motivated Milligan to write her piece is arguably the ruling by Belfast judge, mark Horner of Northern Ireland. The judge ruled those denying females, who are victim of incest or rape abortion services, violent “the European Convection on Human Rights which stipulates the baseline rights for signatory nations.” This causes a stir in Northern Ireland which had the strictest rule on abortion in Europe. The Amnesty International agreed with this ruling while some like the Vatican church opposed it. Marcia on the other hand, wrote following the increased cases on abortion on the Supreme Court. Most of the abortion-related cases filed in the American supreme court where due to newly introduced laws on abortion with a number of them facing hostility from the interested parties. The cases were new, and most people seemed to look forward for their ruling.
In writing a text, the writer has to first determine and understand his or her audience. This is where writers seek to understand the kind of people they are targeting or who they expect will read their texts. Understanding the audience help the writer to shape the piece in terms of the choice of words, background information and level of details, and the choice and use of analogies and references. Different in audience makes writer to have different articles, which might not agree, in order to suit the audience. In Abortion Rhetoric, for example, Greg directs his article mostly to the politicians, pro-lifers and the pro-abortionists. This is after the shooting in an abortion clinic in Brookline, by John Salvi which left two people dead, others wounded.
Politicians condemned the act and termed it as “mass murder,” ‘domestic terrorism,” and a brutal, cowardly act of murder. Pro-lifer was blamed for the act while the pro-abortionists all over America held a field day “with emotional and misleading rhetoric” to condemn the act. Greg uses revealing diction and irony to help the reader understand the reality and the crime committed by the pro-abortionist who leads to death of millions of innocent children as compared to few cases of shootings by some individuals who people claim to be pro-lifers.
Coyle’s article is mainly set for the adult public and the legal authorities who understand the law. This is after the increase in number of abortion issues in the Supreme Courts of the United States. The state law is usually challenged either by the pro- abortionist or the anti-abortionist regarding its demand on abortion. For example, the challenging of the California law by an anti-abortion group, where the law requires pregnancy centers to notify their clients of services available to income eligible women including the family planning, prenatal care, contraceptives and abortions.
Milligan, who is a senior political and foreign affairs writer, directs her article mostly the adults of the United Kingdom, the Catholic Church and the residents of Ireland. This is after a judge in Northern Ireland, where the laws on abortions are among the strictest, attached a new rhetoric to the procedure: which are human rights, the woman’s rights. Susan comperes the laws on abortion of the United State to those of the United Kingdom where the “women’s rights have been politicized”. Although the Amnesty International clarified abortions as a human right, they never endorsed the universal access to abortion. Thus, the Vatican church urged it followers not to subscribe to Amnesty International anymore.
The purpose of texts brings about different constructions of articles dealing with the same topic. This is the message, observation or commentary the author intends to convey through his or her text. It also comprises of what the writer wants the reader to do, think, feel or understand once they are done reading the article. For example, Greg condemns the “tragic institution of abortion” by “coherently” arguing against those who commit abortion and those who take the lives of those who do abortion.
As a pro-life, he wants the reader to see the ridiculousness and ignorance of the American public on the impacts of abortion. He wants people to understand although the pro-life is blamed for the death of abortionist and has carried the burden for too long with no one listening, the abortionists have taken out more lives in the name of choice. To achieve this, he uses a detached academic diction and a pathetic appeal to logic and the reader’s sense of reasoning. “I think the pro-abortion side has forced the pro-life to take the burden for too long. The irony is, the pro-life has taken the burden and has proved the case and still no one listens.” Coyle writes her article to inform the people on the numerous ongoing abortions cases in the Supreme Court where some state laws are challenged by the abortionist and ant-abortionist. To achieve this, she uses a didactic tone so as to sound like a high scholar in order to give credibility and sense of superiority to herself and the reader. This is to present both side of the case to the reader to show why the cases are important and to present the state of the laws and the institution of abortion through an academic diction.
Milligan on the other hand present to the reader a state of battle between two sides: one side supporting abortion as part of the human right hence should depend on the individual choice and the pro-life who are against the act. She comperes and contrasts the take on abortion in US and United Kingdom, especially the Ireland which has introduced the new law on abortion as a human right. She also uses logos to quote and juxtapose different opinions on abortion by different people and groups such as the Amnesty international and the Vatican church.
The role of the writer helps to develop the tone and further on the other already discussed aspect such as the content and the choice of words. To understand the role of the writer one needs to ask himself or herself; why they are interested in writing about a particular topic, if they are expecting in writing or whether they are wringing out of curiosity, if they are upset about the issue or they just want to entertain the audience. The role of the writer, for example in the “Abortion Rhetoric” is to bring into reality while condemning the public’s attitude and ignorance on the numerous deaths caused through abortion. Although Greg has written many other articles condemning the institution of abortion, he still feels that people are ignorance about it. He writes to inform and to convince people on the menace caused by abortion. He aims at putting the facts straight on what causes shooting and killings of pro-abortionist who kill innocent children every day, and hence provoke protests form people like John Salvi against the act. Milligan and Coyle role are to bring to the public the discrepancies and the disagreements between the laws of the states and the people who want to practice abortion or the pro-lifers who are against the act. Susan for example comperes a number of states such as US who has legalized the institution of abortion and other states like Ireland where the act is still a crime though considered as a human right by some judges and the Amnesty international.
In conclusion, all these aspects of text construction discussed above bring about different in content, choice of words, the details used, and the references or analogies used by different authors. Different authors construct their texts differently depending on the type of audience, the purpose for writing the context and the role of the writer in wring the piece. As a result, text by different authors may fail to agree although dealing with the same topic. However, all the aspects are not developed in isolation, but they are intertwined in the writing the piece. Moreover, if the writer feels the piece is not complete or right, he or she reflect on all the aspects to help modify the writing accordingly.
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