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Learning Rhetoric Online (continued)

Thus far, I've noticed four different phenomena that occur in student writing to indicate a developing recognition of audience: students may openly disagree with what seems like the common consensus, students may begin to use disclaimers and apologies that anticipate their audience's likely response, they may begin to provide short examples or background information to establish credibility or they may begin to use language uncharacteristic to their typical vocabulary to enhance their credibility.

When students openly state their opinions without considering how their peers will react, they are at the beginning stages of audience recognition. They comprehend what others have said and they are willing to make their disagreement known. In one discussion the first student post indicated that she did not find the essay at all educational: "I thought Mitford's Behind the Formaldehyde Curtain was very disrespectful. I didn't understand her purpose in writing this essay." Several students responded to this post to disagree and provide information to prove the contrary. For example, one student's brief comment: "In a way I think that it's disrespectful for someone to mess around with a dead body like that. But I guess beauty pays its price." This student used uncertain language to present an opinion that differed from the one in the first post, taking into account the person he was responding to as well as the rest of the class.

next >>works cited
Learning to Communicate
The Importance of Group Development
Learning Rhetoric Online
Possib le Setbacks
Changing the Face of Online Education