ERIC Number: ED188221
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Ethos in Technical Discourse: The Current State of the Question.
Marcuse, Michael J.
In the period from 1950 to the present, there has been a progressive realization of the rhetorical character of scientific and technical discourse, rendering such discourse subject to formal rhetorical study. Audience is now seen as a formative influence on discourse. Technical writing must be tailored to audiences, not simply in terms of translating fully formed meanings to an audience-appropriate level, but also in terms of the way audience affects the content, organization, and style of the discourse. Studies of audience in technical discourse have focused on matters of style, organization, and invention; some recent attention has also been given to pathetic features, including the rejection of the impersonal voice. However, pathetic and ethos-related components have been slighted in favor of the logical. Treatment of ethos-related features has been unsystematic and largely prescriptive because these have not been seen as elements of one essential dimension. A framework is needed that would place personality and credibility within a total analysis of the ethos-related component of scientific and technical discourse. (DF)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (31st, Washington, DC, March 13-15, 1980).