Rhetorical Situation

Rhetorical Situation

Rhetorical situation is the set of circumstances surrounding an act of rhetoric.

Eat Some CoCo Puffs

EAT Some CoCo Puffs is an abbreviation for each important part of the rhetorical situation. Each capitalized letter stands for a specific part of the situation.


Exigence is what prompts the speaker to speak and is usually in response to a certain situation or problem at hand. Don't get this confused with purpose though, for example, a speaker may deliver an oration regarding the foolish decision to repeal net neutrality with the purpose of persuading the audience to see this repeal as unjustified and unfair, but the exigence was responding to the negative effects of the net neutrality repeal.


Audience is what type of audience is the rhetoric speaking to? Would they like what they're hearing or completely despise it? Anything you can find out about the audience is helpful, who they are, what they support, how they would react, etc.


Topic is simply what you, or they, are talking about, what the rhetoric is based on.


Speaker is all the information you need to know or find out about the speaker. This can be things such as their experience, political views, career, education, etc.


Context is everything surrounding the rhetoric and occasion. Most of the time, you will want to find pieces of the context in forms of time (as in what year it is), what historical events are happening at the time, where/why the occasion is being held, etc.


Constraints is what is an obstacle for the speaker. Constraints consist of anything that holds the speaker back (holds their tongue). How should one deliver this message? For example, if the audience you are planning on talking to are cat lovers, you cannot go into your speech talking about how dogs are the best and why cats suck, that would be a constraint.


Lastly, we have the speaker's purpose. The speaker's purpose, most of the time, can easily be found within their [Claim]. To sum the claim up, it can generally serve one of three purposes: Get the audience to believe something, act upon it, or value it. Sometimes a speaker can have a purpose behind their purpose. They may have a claim that convinces the audience that their purpose is to tell them about one thing, or get them to act, value, or believe a specific thing, but their hidden purpose may effect a different group, or benefit themselves in some way. It is kind of a tricky subject, but with the right brains behind it, it can be very effective.


Although it is not a part of EAT Some CoCo Puffs, it is still important. Kairos is simply the best time for delivery of the rhetoric. At what exact moment should the rhetoric be acted upon to set it up for success?

The Whole Deal

The full sentence of this cute little abbreviation goes like this: EAT Some CoCo Puffs, Love Each Puff, And Smile. As for the Rhetorical Situation part of this though, it is only the first part. Love Each Puff goes into the Argumentative Appeals, and stands for Logos, Ethos, and Pathos. And the last part of it simply stands for the Arrangement and Style within the rhetoric.

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