The definition of rhetoric, according to Merriam-Webster, is the art or skill of speaking or writing formally and effectively especially as a way to persuade or influence people. As we are about to enter the workforce in a couple of years, or months for some people, we must begin to set ourselves apart from our peers in the eyes of potential employers. This is where rhetorical awareness comes into play.
You must be persuasive when writing in a “work” setting. An example of this is when you are writing your resume. The ultimate goal of your resume is persuading a potential employer to give you an interview. In order to be as effective as possible, you must evaluate your rhetorical situation. According to Purdue Owl, there are four main things to consider in this “situation”. This includes the purpose of your piece, who you are writing to, who may be affected by the work, and the context of the piece.
One of the key elements to writing effectively and persuasively is to identify who you are writing to, or your “audience” says ‘The Internet Writing Journal’. This is where user-centered design becomes a factor. This is a concept where you focus your writing on who you are writing to/for. During the process of your writing, you must consider your audience and fulfill their needs and wants. What message are you trying to convey? How are you going to convey your points? While preparing this remember to consider the needs, wants, expectations, etc of whom you are writing to.
Continuing on, another key strategy when writing persuasively is the manner in which you write. Be sure to cover everything you want to, but to do so in a concise and clear method. Avoid repeating multiple phrases, using extravagantly large words, and packing too much into your piece. Be as clear as possible in your writing and also avoid leaving space for speculation by being too vague. Grammar is also an important factor to consider when writing. If you have a hoard of grammar and spelling mistakes, your credibility and respect can go down the drain. Not only is it unprofessional and lazy, it shows that didn’t think the document was important enough to check for simple mistakes. This could be a huge turnoff for employers, and something so simple could result in you not getting an interview.
The main idea behind the user-centered design writing concept is to cater to the reader. Take into account all of the aforementioned strategies in order to properly build your work around the reader.
It is an amazing skill to be able to write effectively. Your career can be made or broken by how well your resume or cover letter is written, and those are just two examples out of many more. Executive Secretary gives a great explanation as to why it is so important to be a capable writer. The majority of corporate positions require constant written communication whether it be emails, proposals, etc. The website says one of the best things to do to improve your overall writing skills is to read. Just read. If you read a copious amount of work such as articles, books, journals, etc you will begin to notice how to properly write for different circumstances. You will slowly become more proficient the more you read. Reading works that are well written automatically sends good writing skills to your subconscious.
All in all, being able to effectively write in the workplace, and out, is a wonderful skill to possess. By using rhetorical awareness, setting the rhetorical situation, and catering your work to the user, you will be able to write with purpose and persuasion.