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Burkean Identification: Rhetorical Inquiry and Literacy Practices

Twitter and Facebook are two of the most popular social media platforms. Users now have communities open to them at all times, thanks to Facebook and Twitter. The sites are continually changing, giving new opportunities to investigate the nature of self and community. Burke’s target demographic is the general people, who constantly utilize social media platforms to identify themselves, particularly recent graduate students and new college professors. The article aims to take a close look at the subject of digital social media and learning and to go deeper into it. Because the educational sector has become increasingly reliant on technology innovation, the author believes it is critical to investigate how technological tools and social media platforms benefit classroom teaching and learning. The author employs rhetorical analysis devices such as ethos, pathos, and logos to enlighten her audience on the contribution of Burkean Identification by hauling them to a time before social media and encouraging them to reconsider how social media and Burkean Identification can be used in the educational sector.

The author begins by delving into the issue of how social media has a good impact on the educational sector. MacDonald and Walsh employ ethos to persuade the audience that they have extensive knowledge of the subject at hand, persuading them that the information supplied is credible and dependable. The authors investigate how identification persuasion is used in social media networking sites to physically and digitally impact people through encounters. In an attempt to achieve this, the authors illustrate how social media activities such as tweeting and sharing may drive action and create new realities for both the user and her audience. To persuade their audience, MacDonald and Walsh demonstrate how social media affects different people both digitally and physically. Most social media users, for instance, are impacted both consciously and unintentionally (MacDonald and Walsh 7). This is because the information provided is directed towards a certain set of individuals who “identify” with it somehow. A speaker uses stylistic identifications to convince the audience; his act of persuasion may be intended to cause the audience to connect with the speaker’s interests. When someone tries to convince someone else, the author asserts that identification occurs: one side must “identify” with the other (MacDonald and Walsh 7). The individual who has been convinced recognizes how one party resembles another somehow. The authors utilize their authority and extensive knowledge of the subject to persuade the audience that the information provided is accurate. They also provide illustrations to support their views, allowing readers to connect with the subject.

MacDonald and Walsh employ pathos by crafting an emotionally engaging tale relevant to the audience’s daily lives. She provides clear illustrations of how social media determines what is trending and what is not and how this influences viewer behavior. The authors encourage readers to consider how many times they have utilized social media to design their homes, outfits, and even school projects by mentioning this. They also discuss the advantages of social media, such as how Facebook walls and Twitter feeds have aided in establishing virtual communities (MacDonald and Walsh 6). Humans are social beings, which are normally drawn to the community for more reasons than merely social ties. The creation of one’s identity necessitates the presence of a social audience. In today’s digital era, the community is no longer defined by our local environment, such as our family, schools, political systems, or actual neighborhoods (MacDonald and Walsh 9). Communities in the cloud are virtual and remote. The authors encourage their audience to consider how social media affects many aspects of their lives. They can relate to the author’s passion for the subject, and they are persuaded of the relevance of social media in their everyday lives.

On the other hand, MacDonald and Walsh use logos to persuade their audience by citing facts and illustrations of social media’s effects. It is indisputable that social media has largely supplanted one-on-one relationships in various areas of life. The underlying reasons for these shifts have yet to be completely explored to determine what these shifts in patterns may signify for future generations. The fact that social media is rapidly replacing one-on-one relationships has both positive and negative implications. On the other hand, the hashtag perceives social media sites like Twitter and Facebook as huge reservoirs of connected, structured knowledge. Users are offering options for resolving problems. Thanks to Facebook and Twitter, users now have constant access to communities (MacDonald and Walsh 10). Because these sites are always evolving, improving, and morphing, they allow for a more in-depth assessment of self and community. Writing teachers may use these platforms to explore rhetorical concepts, improve students’ critical literacy skills, and facilitate collaborative learning. The author suggests that instructors and students use the concept of “identification” as a teaching and learning framework (MacDonald and Walsh 13). When used in the classroom, the concept of “identification” can help students and teachers better understand what it implies to be the author and audience.

Social media platforms are characterized by continual updates, modifications, and shifting natures, allowing for self and community inquiry. Using Burkean identification, MacDonald and Walsh investigate how individuals in communities interact with social media platforms. Writing teachers have access to social media networks that allow for the examination of rhetorical principles, the development of critical literacy skills, and the construction of a collaborative learning environment. The authors of the article hope to persuade readers to switch from augmentation to identification to explain how individuals are interconnected.

Work Cited

MacDonald, Lauren E., and Stephanie L. Walsh. “Burkean identification: Rhetorical inquiry and literacy practices in social media.” Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Education 3.1 (2014): 5-16


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