Working with Rhetorical Awareness


Written communication in the workplace is of utmost importance. I have previously written about User-Centered Design (UCD), and now will write about the use of both User-Centered Design as well as Rhetorical Awareness in the workplace. It may now seem difficult for you, millennial, but with a few helpful guidelines, you will be well on your way to being an efficient writer in the workplace. Purdue Owl explains that rhetorical awareness for workplace writing must include persuasive writing. Due to the need for persuasive writing,  a rhetorical situation should take place. This situation should include audience, purpose, context, and stakeholders.

Audience and Purpose

By understanding your audience, you can adapt to how you believe they will respond best and understand your purpose clearly. An audience-centered approach to communication is a great idea for writing in the workplace. This approach requires one to prepare prior to writing. This is, you must prepare your purpose. By knowing exactly what you are going to write, you can map out your email or document completely. You must then adapt your purpose to your audience. Tell them the goals of the document and why it is being written. If your audience is able to understand the purpose with few to no questions, you know you have successfully accomplished the audience-centered approach to rhetorical awareness.


When you are thinking about context as a piece of rhetorical awareness, think about the situation or occasion that you are informing your recipient about, why you are informing them, and how you are informing them. As a millennial writer, you should shape the way you write sentences based on contexts. Since you are new to the work place, most of your contexts in your written communication will most likely be work-based contexts or project-based contexts. Those receiving your emails will be extremely appreciative to know what the context of the email is in the first few sentences. That is, you should let them know if you are writing to them about a certain job task they have been working on or a new task or project that you wish for them to begin.


Stakeholders are very important to remember when writing with rhetorical awareness. You must write your documents and emails in such a professional manner in the off chance that the head of the company will be reading your writing. Your emails must be appropriate, professional, clear, and concise. Do not worry millennial, we have all felt the stress of sending an email to an important person. Take a deep breath and remember what you have learned. Be polite and to the point and you will impress your co-workers, boss, and also those at the top.

Persuasive Writing

Now knowing the parts of a rhetorical situation, millennial, we are going to focus on persuasive writing  as a part of rhetorical awareness. In the business world, it is crucial to establish a persuasive tone in your writing. You want to be able to persuade co-workers to work toward company goals or to listen to each person’s ideas and suggestions. The power of persuasion can also help bond cohesive work groups. To be a successful persuasive written communicator, you must first establish credibility. It is known that people listen better when they feel that someone has authority over them in a certain aspect of their job. Try not to sound overbearing or extremely strict, but rather let your co-workers know that you have complete control over the goals of the company and that they should feel safe with you having some degree of power. In addition to establishing credibility, convey benefits to your co-workers. When asking them to complete a task, let them know what is in it for them. When asking individuals to work over-time, remind them of the bonus they will be receiving during the holidays. Make your co-workers feel that they are of extreme importance to the company, which of course they are.

And with that, millennial, I think you should greatly understand how to implement rhetorical awareness into your workplace written communication. Best of luck!


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Hi there! My name is Ella Stapp and I am currently a Junior at the University of Colorado. I am in the Leeds Business School and am majoring in Operations Management. I am hoping to obtain a career in restaurant ownership and management. I have started this blog for an online class I am taking, but am looking forward to add professional as well as personal experiences on here. Happy reading!

4 thoughts on “Working with Rhetorical Awareness

  1. Hey Ella! First and foremost, I loved the title of you post. It is clear and concise and gets directly to the point, no small talk. You did a good job of relating with the reader and establishing you credibility as a millennial through personal experience.Your overall structure is clear, leaving little room for confusion or misinterpretation on the part of the reader. I liked how you outlined each of the key factors first then went into detail and described how to apply them in reality.
    Over all, great job! I look forward to reading your posts in the future.

  2. Hi Ella,
    I am looking forward to working together on our group project!
    I really appreciated how you right away explained what you were going to discuss in the blog and provided the link to the Purdue Owl article about user-centered design. Your mention of the importance of the writing strategy and how it is relevant being a millennial in the workforce made the topic intriguing. You decision to not only finish your into with key components of persuasive writing/UCD was nice because it showed me what to expect for the rest of the paper. I also liked how you bolded the key strategies (audience, purpose, context and stakeholder). The high quality of the intro was reflective of the work throughout the rest of the blog. I enjoyed the read!
    Tessa Snow

  3. Hey Ella! I really enjoyed your post and I appreciated how clear and straightforward your writing was. The way in which you broke up your advice into four sections, Audience and Purpose, Context, Stakeholders, and Persuasive Writing made you post flow nicely and made it easy to follow. I thought you did a great job explaining exactly how context affects a piece of writing. I know before I had been a little confused as to what the context of the email of why it was so crucial, but I thought that you explained the concept very clearly. I also appreciated your advice on how to sound professional without coming off as overbearing or pretentious. It’s all about being clear and concise, while also sounding friendly to show your coworkers that you care about the tasks at hand! Great job!

  4. Hi Ella, the structure and organization of your post was extremely easy to follow, which instantly drew me to your post. I liked how you started off your post with a friendly, relatable tone and continued to maintain it throughout the rest of your post. Your four different sections were well written and offered useful advice. I especially liked your section about audience and purpose. I agree that it’s crucial to first identify your purpose prior to writing and then adapt to fit your audience. Your section about stakeholders was unique and it was great how you encouraged your readers. Good job!

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