A rhetorical analysis of Naomi Rockler-Gladen, “Me Against the Media: From the Trenches of a Media Lit Class”

| May 25, 2014

What is the rhetorical situation?
• What occasion gives rise to the need or opportunity for persuasion?
• What is the historical occasion that would give rise to the composition of this text?
Who is the author/speaker?
• How does he or she establish ethos (personal credibility)?
• Does she come across as knowledgeable? fair?
• Does the speaker’s/author’s reputation convey a certain authority?
What is her/his intention in speaking?
• To attack or defend?
• To exhort or dissuade from certain action?
• To praise or blame?
• To teach, to delight, or to persuade?
Who make up the audience?
• Who is the intended audience?
• What values does the audience hold that the author or speaker appeals to?
• Who have been or might be secondary audiences?
• If this is a work of fiction, what is the nature of the audience within the fiction?
What is the content of the message?
• Can you summarize the main idea?
• What are the principal lines of reasoning or kinds of arguments used?
• What topics of invention are employed?
• How does the author or speaker appeal to reason? to emotion?
What is the form in which it is conveyed?
• What is the structure of the communication; how is it arranged?
• What oral or literary genre is it following? (Speech, journal article, sermon, essay, etc.)
• What figures of speech (metaphors, similes, analogies, etc.) are used?
• What kind of style and tone is used and for what purpose?
How do form and content correspond?
• Does the form complement the content?
• What effect could the form have, and does this aid or hinder the author’s intention?
Does the author or speaker address counterarguments (alternative viewpoints)?
• What alternative viewpoints are mentioned? Where does the author mention them?
• Does the author challenge or refute these counterarguments? How?
• How does the inclusion of counterargument advance the author’s own argument?
Does the message/speech/text succeed in fulfilling the author’s or speaker’s intentions?
• For whom?
• Does the author/speaker effectively fit his/her message to the circumstances, times, and audience?
• Can you identify the responses of historical or contemporary audiences?
What does the nature of the communication reveal about the culture that produced it?
• How do the allusions, historical references, or kinds of words used place this in a certain time and location?

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