Circumstantial Implications [Ripa]

When considering a piece of writing, it is imperative to also examine the circumstances under which it was written. Often, circumstantial implications are either deliberately or inadvertently manifested in the idea put forth, suggesting a particular authorial intent. In each of the cases of the three major texts we have analyzed thus far– Civilisation by Kenneth Clark, The Ascent of Man by Jacob Bronowski, and “A Room of One’s Own” by Virginia Woolf– the authors craft their assertions through pedagogical approaches. This is as a result of the circumstances surrounding the pieces of writing: they are all meant to educate, though they may vary relative to their specific desired outcome.

Both Brownowski and Clark intend to inform and persuade their audience to adopt a certain viewpoint (their personal perspective), on the matter at hand– the development of civilization. As their viewpoints were televised live, they catered to a national audience and received broader coverage, resulting in their access to more ample resources.  Because they had resources such as commercial backing at their disposal, both Clark and Bronowski’s arguments are strengthened through incorporation of tangible depictions relative to their theses.  In contrast, Woolf’s intended audience was a more concentrated demographic: it consisted of a room full of female students in a lecture hall at Cambridge University. It was not televised, and she did not have the resources to travel the world in fortification of her premises. Rather, she had to make due with figurative imagery, and symbolic discourse, which was primarily effective as a result of her circumstances and primary intention– to empower.

In my own experience, I have been required to write on two distinct platforms about my personal assessment of the texts discussed this semester, and I have found that the mediums do affect the underlying essence of my evaluations. For instance, the construction of my argument is more clearly divided when using Scalar. This structural breakdown of ideas is largely due to the format of Scalar, in which a path is created, but a page can and should still be able to stand on its own and make a compelling argument. Similar to Bronowski and Clark’s experiences, Scalar provides a method of incorporating tangible evidence relevant to my thesis, as its multimodal nature allows for the inclusion of images and other sorts of media. Although it is substantially more tedious, I would argue that is most effective than its counterpart(s) of Microsoft, Pages, Google Docs, etc. Though paragraphs may stand alone, they tend to melt into one another to create a flow, which is less pivotal when constructing an argument via Scalar. Although these platforms are more familiar and less time consuming, a traditional paper cannot carry as clear and substantial an argument as one written in Scalar.

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