Rhetorical Analysis

| May 19, 2015

Readings: (All the readings are required and are provided as links under Readings at the beginning of this unit.)
Chapters 5 and 6, Rules for Writers; “Writing a Rhetorical Analysis”; “Learning in the Key of Life”, Spayde; TED Talks on Education (RSA video), Robinson.
Assignment: Write an essay that analyzes one of the texts by either Robinson or Spayde.

Your essay will be an attempt to answer this question:
For its purpose and audience, how effective is this essay?

Some questions to consider in your analysis:
Who is the audience? What is the purpose of the essay? What is the tone of the essay? Do you think that the tone is appropriate for the author’s intended purpose and audience? What kind of support does the author use to support his claims? Narrative example? Statistical evidence? Logical argument? Expert opinion? Other rhetorical strategies? Are these strategies effective for the writer’s purpose?

Use the following guidelines to compose your essay:
First, read Chapters 5 and 6 in Rules for Writers.
Next, read “Writing a Rhetorical Analysis” and use these questions to take notes on your chosen article.

Read your chosen article carefully and actively, annotating the essay and taking notes in your journal.

Be sure you understand the author’s message fully before proceeding (See Summary Assignment).

Analyze the chosen text, in terms of composition, rhetorical strategies, and strength of its argument.

Write your own thesis that states your overall evaluation of the author/creator’s rhetorical strategies, which will be supported in the body of your essay by your detailed analysis of the text.

In your essay, begin by presenting the author’s thesis and summarize his/her key points. Then move to your own analysis of the article.

Be sure to use quotations from the author’s work in your discussion, and be sure to fully discuss each quotation that you use. For any course in the Humanities, always follow MLA guidelines.

Re-read the essay after you have drafted your own paper to ensure you have represented the material fairly, and to ensure you haven’t missed any pertinent information.

 

 

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