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Chapter 9. Solving Problems Through Poli... > Rhetorical Problem Solving for Polic...

Rhetorical Problem Solving for Policy Statements, Manuals, and Procedures

Although policy statements, manuals, and procedures require the same rhetorical problem-solving process as reports do, their major concerns are different. Because the discourse of these documents is essentially directive, persuading the audience is not often a major part of the rhetorical problem, as it is in discursive reports. The writer does not have to present persuasive reasons for the reader to follow medical protocols, for example, or have to justify the logic of the company organization chart in the new employees' manual. Thus, rhetorical problem solving for these documents takes on a different cast.

Instead of worrying about persuasion, the writer must be concerned with usability, verification, and logically sound reasoning. The clarity and accessibility of the documents are crucial. In fact, manuals and procedures are the documents that most clearly adhere to the old-fashioned notion of hard-core technical writing. They seem to dwell in the land of objective truth, objective data, and unambiguous writing, where a word means one thing and one thing only.


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