Rhetorical Analysis

“For your second paper, you will be conducting a rhetorical analysis. Remember that a rhetorical analysis is an exploration of how a text persuades and whether or not it is effective. That means you will be looking closely at your chosen text to find out how it works – how does it engage its audience? What types of appeals does it use? What is its structure and style?

The topic is up to you: what kinds of texts are you interested in? For example, advertisements, speeches, plays, poems, images, music videos, editorials, academic articles, comments/reviews, etc.? Choose a text you are interested in spending some time with. The purpose of rhetorical analysis is to think more deeply about messages we receive in order to make better decisions and craft stronger messages ourselves.

You will find helpful information on and examples of rhetorical analysis in chapter 6 of our textbook, as well as the Module 2 Introduction. We will also do a mini-rhetorical analysis for practice in the Module 3 discussion.

This assignment is related to the following course outcomes:

Compose thesis statements with a focus appropriate to essays and maintain focus throughout; meet assigned topic and purpose for writing.
Support ideas through logical reasoning, source integration and analysis, and other appropriate evidence.
Construct an easy-to-follow, logical progression of ideas and information.
Use vocabulary and sentence structure appropriate to a college-level audience and purpose.
Use conventions of standard written English and page layout to facilitate reading.

Your essay should identify the rhetorical text you are analyzing, as well as provide some background information/context for it. Who is the intended audience? When was the text produced and by whom? Be sure that your thesis focuses on how the text persuades and whether it does so effectively.

The body of your paper should be made up of coherent paragraphs that focus on a single topic. Please make use of transitions to help guide readers and make connections between your ideas.

You should use techniques you are learning from the course readings; look for how the text uses appeals (pathos, ethos, logos), structure, style, etc. Look for fallacies that might hinder the effectiveness of the argument.

You are not required to use outside sources for this paper, but you may use them sparingly if you like. If you do, you will be responsible for maintaining academic integrity by using quotation marks around any direct quotes, and clearly citing your sources.

Your paper should be 2 – 3 pages long (around 500-800 words), with one-inch margins. It should be double-spaced and typed in 12 pt Times New Roman or Calibri font. It should be proofread carefully, with attention paid to spelling and grammar.”