Rhetorical Analysis

Purposes of Unit 2 Rhetorical Analysis

  • Critical Reading Strategies
  • ‘Listening’ as an essential skill to entering the conversation
  • Writing useful, accurate, and concise summaries
  • Distinction between quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing
  • Rhetorical Situation: Audience, Purpose, and Context
  • Introduction to Rhetorical Appeals: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos
  • Analyzing Texts
  • Revision and Reflection

Assignment Description

While the first part of Unit 2 focused more on practices of listening and summarizing (what is it that an author is saying, who is it written for, and why) this next writing project asks you to use add to the conversation through writing a 1,000-1,500 word Rhetorical Analysis of one of the three readings you’ve summarized. The goal of a rhetorical analysis is to understand how a text influences particular people at a particular time. Through this writing, you will take a step back from the text and consider it from multiple perspectives that result in a heightened awareness of a text and better understanding of what an author accomplished.

This is also the point where you engage and develop new ideas through bringing in the analytical tools of rhetoric— including the appeals (logos, pathos, and ethos) — to analyze the effectiveness of a text. So rather than a straight-forward and objective summary, you will need to find examples and evidence from the text to support claims that you make in your essayabout how the text is communicating and why.

This analysis will enable you to think about a text with more depth and in turn, make better composing decisions when you produce your own text.

Looking forward, the Unit 3 essay will ask you to pull all your experience summarizing and analyzing texts together in order to compose an exploratory essay connected to our course’s theme [insert course theme]. As you write and compose your rhetorical analysis for Unit 2, you may want to consider the issues and questions related to [course theme] you find yourself drawn to or circling around. Writing these down in a document or notes can help prepare you to find a topic you are passionate and engaged with for our upcoming unit.

Learning Outcomes (What you should aim to learn/accomplish with this essay)

The rhetorical analysis will:

  • Maintain a purpose by…
    • Articulating a clear thesis.
    • Accurately describing the rhetorical situation of the text.
    • Engaging ethically and intentionally with what matters and is at stake for others addressed or affected by the writing.
    • Creating coherence throughout.
  • Identify appropriate evidence by…
    • Including an accurate and effective summary of the text being analyzed.
    • Providing adequate textual evidence through direct quotes and paraphrases to support the purpose.
    • Identifying how and why rhetorical strategies are used in the text.
  • Demonstrates control of style by…
    • Demonstrating clarity and organization.
    • Making purposely grammar and mechanics choices that convey an academic ethos.
    • Incorporate direct quotes and/or paraphrases effectively and accurately to meet an academic citation genre of choice (e.g. MLA, APA, or Chicago).

Important Note: Just like our personal narrative, we will move through writing as a process instead of something you do all at once. Leading up to the deadline for the rhetorical analysis draft, you will be provided various brainstorming, organizing, and drafting strategies to try out. In addition, we will have another peer review and feedback cycle. The aim of all of this is so that the work we do in our class can meet you where you are at so that you can revise and improve over time.

And just like the personal narrative, do the best you can to draft your rhetorical analysis, but know that you will be provided feedback and an opportunity to revise and strengthen your essay.


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Rhetorical Analysis

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Assignment Details

Description: As a rule, rhetoric can be defined as speaking or writing in a particular way to achieve a desired effect. To do a rhetorical analysis, you must examine how well an author’s rhetorical strategies work to persuade a target audience to embrace a message. For this essay, I choose one of the five career-related articles below and compose a rhetorical analysis in which you evaluate the quality and authority of the piece and its argument.

Article

Benjamin Herold’s “Jobs at All Levels Now Require Digital Literacy. Here’s Proof.

IMPORTANT: As you begin composing your essay, consider who the target audience of the text and what the author’s overall goal are. Then, examine what strategies the author employs to achieve their purpose. Is it an emotional appeal meant to tug at your heartstrings? Is it a “black & white” article filled with facts and statistics? Is the author reinforcing their credibility through techniques like personal testimony, well-known organizations, and important scholars? Use the “Basic Questions for Rhetorical Analysis” to help guide you through the process of deciding whether or not the author has chosen effective and appropriate appeals for their text and audience. Note: Each of your paragraphs must provide evidence to support your belief that the author has successfully or unsuccessfully achieved their goals. DON’T simply summarize the article.

Requirements: You should submit a 750 word essay (not counting the work cited page for the article you are analyzing), typed and double-spaced. Use Times New Roman font in 12-pt size. Format your paper according to MLA guidelines.


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