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Justin Brunelle

Professor Robert Cole

ENC 2135

09/02/2017

Political Diplomacy over Twitter Explained

Genre as a concept is complicated. It has many different uses, whether it be to entertain

the reader, to communicate information, or to sway opinion. The latter is frequently used by

politicians to push whatever agenda they might have. The genre of news and diplomacy are used

for this purpose. It can be proven through the context of digital artifacts that politicians, such as

our President, Donald Trump, utilize social media for this purpose all the time. The digital

platform Twitter is often used for politicians to sway opinion. Twitter allows users to write posts

to followers, expressing anything from emotions to actual news. tweets can be very influential,

sometimes reaching millions of people, and are often reported on by news agencies.

While the main function of genre is to act as a guideline for developing literature, it is

often used in a plethora of other ways to help the readers understanding. A writer follows the

guidelines of the selected genre when creating nearly every aspect of their work, and therefore

the reader can refer to the guidelines of the selected genre as context, to help them understand the

way they should feel about the literature.

An example of genre through a digital artifact is a tweet composed by President Donald

Trump. In this tweet, President Trump writes: Mitt Romney called to congratulate me on the

win, very nice! To add context, President Trump had been in a war or words with Mr. Romney

prior to this engagement, and there had been widely publicized concerns about both of their

demeanor. This spat had been going on for months, and was regarded as an example of President
Trump having an issue with his temper. This tweet was aimed to signify to the general public

that their issue had been resolved, and to therefore ease the publics concerns about President

Trump. This is convenient because it was expected of the President to resolve these type of

issues, and so this is an example of catering to an audience. The wording of it, especially his

calling Romneys gesture very nice, was meant to sound friendly and gracious, something that

the public eye was looking for in President Trump. In relation to genre, this artifact stands out

because it shows how writing is geared to different people. President Trump knew that his

audience was mostly worried Americans, and that they were worried about his demeanor. That is

why this tweet was worded to sound gracious, not necessarily because he genuinely thought it

was a nice gesture, but because he was aware that the general public would create a better image

of President Trump.

In this tweet, the genre used can effectively be called news. It is describing a relevant

current event in a manner that many people can see it. This is typical of the news genre. Like

most news, it is catered to an audience and contains some sort of author bias. The bias is seen in

the phrase very nice! It is used to make readers feel a certain way, in this case relieved. The

constraint of this type of genre is that it, for the most part, has to be factual. Supposed fake news

gets called out very quickly, and leads to a loss of credibility. For it to be considered effective

news, it also has to be something that readers care about. For this to occur, it has to be written

effectively and the primary source has to be someone either involved or who witnessed it.

Especially in President Trumps case, it is imperative that anything in the news genre is the truth.

Another constraint is that it has to be up to date. If the news being covered is not current, then it

is less effective at conveying a message. This constraint is ideal for the Twitter platform, though,

because politicians often join to relay their takes on current events. The main affordance that this
artifact has is the ability to influence peoples perception. It can either make them view the

President in a more or less favorable manner. Being that this tweet was composed by President

Trump himself, it was certainly aimed to garner positive attention. Another affordance of this

artifact is it boosts credibility and paves the way for other like tweets. If readers see things like

this start to happen, they will be less surprised when it happens in the future.

These constraints are related to genre because they exhibit the properties of the selected

genre. The nature of news as a genre is in accordance with these constraints. As previously

mentioned, it needs to be accurate and up to date to be considered news, much like a piece of

fictional literature needs to have a plot and characters. The affordances also relate to genre

because both news and genre can affect a readers perception, so both are valuable tools used by

politicians to influence voters. Much like news informs readers of current events, genre informs

readers of the way that they should perceive literature.

This artifact is circulated through Twitter, an ultra-popular social media platform. Twitter

has millions of users, and is a go-to platform for prominent politicians to reach voters. The sheer

volume of people, coupled with the low cost of usage, makes Twitter an efficient platform for

this purpose. This circulation method strongly matters to genre because news is often circulated

through Twitter, where it reached millions of people. A characteristic of news as a genre is that it

reaches massive amounts of people, making Twitter ideal for news distribution. It also relates

because news is a popular genre of tweet.

The purpose of this artifact is to inform readers and sway their opinion of the President to

a more positive light. This is done by the President posting about something that happened

between him and another politician, and then him giving his take on it. The audience is anyone

who uses Twitter, or views a news station that covers President Trumps tweets. This includes
his 23 million followers, as well as anyone who might see his tweets reported on other media

platforms. This allows the volume of viewers of President Trumps tweets to grow

exponentially, making Twitter an increasingly effective platform for the President to reach

people. This situates the artifact within genre because it contributes to the characteristics of the

artifact. Genre essentially is just the characteristics of literature, and the characteristics of this

artifact, such as it being a current event and its ability to reach millions of people, make it fit

within the genre of news.

Because the digital artifact written by President Trump embodies the meaning of genre, it

an be analyzed to help us understand genre and its uses better. While the genre news is used to

help the reader understand the meaning of the tweet, and the writer to gear his writing to a

particular audience, there are certainly also other effects that are not as obvious. From the

context President Trumps tweet, it is clear that the tweet is being used to sway public opinion in

his favor. It works to convey the desired message from the writer to the reader, and to make it

abundantly clear to the reader that the President is reporting on a real interaction that he had, and

makes the reader see the significance of the interaction.

Rhetorical Rational:

As my ideas developed, they started to become more narrow. I was originally going to write

about President Trumps twitter account as a whole. Upon review, however, it came to my

attention that the topic I had originally chosen would be too broad, and wouldnt be possible to

explain in the detail it would require. Based on that, I decided to use a specific tweet, and

describe how it was used to swap public opinion. This sort of development shows how the
creative process has a way of weeding out ideas that could not possibly work well, and replacing

them with better, more concise ideas.

Physically writing these drafts showed that I was open to change. It showed that the composing

process would eventually make it abundantly clear that my original idea was not as realistic as I

would have thought, and that I needed to make it more clearly defined. I faced an issue of not

being able to generate a consistent mental flow of ideas while I was writing. It made creating a

solid flow in my essay difficult, and so I began to break up the writing into different times

throughout the day. The majority of my writing was done by computer, and so I was able to

more clearly grasp what I was writing as I was writing it. This made it clear to me that I had to

change some things around. Throughout the day, I would also edit my essay from my phone as

ideas came available. This played a huge part in my composing process, as I was able to jot

down my thoughts on something the second I had them.

Both the one-on-one meetings were extremely helpful toward my goal of making the paper great

again. It was made clear to me that my original thesis was weak, so I revised it. It was also

pointed out that I had some redundancy which I could remove, as long as it was not at the

expense of helping the readers understanding. I was told that my essay was structured too much

like a five-paragraph essay, mainly due to the presence of a summarizing conclusion. The

concluding paragraph was then changed to reflect ideas mostly unique to the rest of the essay,

while incorporating some of what had been discussed in the previous paragraphs.