Analysis of an argument -rhetorical analysis
Analysis of an Argument (Rhetorical Analysis)
The Purpose of the Assignment:
We live in a world where we are continuously exposed to rhetoric and propaganda. Whether it appears in its more obvious forms of advertisements and political speeches, or in more subtle forms such as the language of teachers, song lyrics, movies, and (especially) the news we watch, rhetoric is inherently a part of communication. While we are all aware of rhetorical strategies to some degree–we speak differently, for instance, to family, friends, and teachers–much of the subtlety of rhetoric passes by without our notice. In the process, it influences our beliefs, values, and behaviors in ways that we often do not consciously recognize. Becoming aware of the power of rhetoric and how it works is one of the keys to critical thinking and self-aware decision making. Writing an analysis of a specific instance of rhetoric will help hone these skills.
The Assignment: In this essay, you will choose a text from among those that we have read in class. Your assignment is to rhetorically analyze the overall effectiveness of the essay. You may need to address such issues as: Who is the audience? How does the author establish her/his credibility? What is the authors purpose? What kinds of appeals is the author making? How effective is that effort? What strategies does the author use? Are they effective? Is the thesis explicit or implicit? How do the style and tone relate to the essays purpose? Consult Suggestions for Organizing a Rhetorical Analysisfor reference.
Format: Your essay must be double-spaced, 4-5 full pages in length (12 pt. font), include title, no title page. Follow the formatting guidelines covered in class and in Rules for Writers chapters 6 and 55. Adhere to MLA format, including citations and a Works Cited page. Must provide drafts. 2
Criteria for grading: Does the essay address the audience, situation, and purpose of the text being analyzed? Does the essay have a clearly stated thesis that develops an analysis of specific rhetorical appeals? Do the paragraphs develop well-defined claims with specific supporting evidence from the text? Are the paragraphs linked together into a well-developed and unified argument? Are the sentences of the essay developed effectively and free of mechanical errors? Is the essay formatted correctly, including MLA-style citations?