Rhetorical Analysis Essay

The object of this assignment is to enable you to write a well-constructed rhetorical analysis that makes a claim regarding the rhetorical tools (persuasive strategies) demonstrated in a text. A rhetorical analysis focuses on the following question: “How successfully-or not-is the author in persuading his or her audience?” Because this lens primarily focuses on the relationship between the author and the audience, it examines how the author constructs him- or herself for a particular audience through the appeals of logos (logic), ethos (credibility), and pathos (emotions). For this assignment you may choose any academic article we will read as a class, any academic or news article assigned in another class, a political speech, or a documentary. In a rhetorical analysis, you need to: • Provide a short summary of the text you will analyze. • Devise a thesis that you will develop and support throughout the essay. • Contextualize the text (identify the author, intended audience, and important background information) • Identify the writer’s purpose for writing the article. • Identify how the author effectively or ineffectively creates meaning (ethos, pathos, logos – How does the author establish his/her credibility? How and why does the author evoke emotion? What logical arguments are used effectively/ineffectively?) • Identify any other persuasive strategies used in the text (style, diction, analogy, etc) • Integrate quotations and paraphrases to develop your interpretations. • Organize your material in a logical, coherent manner.

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