Rhetorical Analysis

    January 11, 2024

11720ASSIGNMENT: During your reading and challenge questions, you learned about the art of persuading others, and you can use rhetorical appeals to convince your audience of your position. Before you begin writing your own persuasive content, it would be beneficial to analyze the effectiveness of another writer.
Using what you have learned, write a two-page rhetorical analysis on the effectiveness of an article. Choose one of the following texts that interests you and that you would enjoy writing about. You may want to skim each before choosing.
Elie Wiesel – “The Perils of Indifference”
Barack Obama – “Yes We Can”
Martin Luther King, Jr. – “I Have a Dream”
Hillary Clinton – “Women’s Rights Are Human Rights”
Franklin Delano Roosevelt – “Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation”
Why speeches? A speech operates much like an essay: there will be an introduction, a body, and a closing. In addition, many speeches are given to persuade an audience: citizens, voters, etc. Some of the most memorable lines in history — even a few that we discussed in our tutorials — come from persuasive speeches. In each of the texts below, we can really see how powerful persuasion and rhetoric can be in the hands of a gifted writer and speaker.A. Assignment Guidelines
DIRECTIONS: For the bulk of your assignment, you will want to include your analysis of the text. However, it will be beneficial to provide context for your reader. Consider the following when writing your two-page summary:
Audience: Who was the original audience for this text?
Occasion: When/why was this text written?
Purpose: What is the author’s purpose? What does the author want the audience to learn?
Subject: What is this text about?
Tone: What is the tone? Is it formal? Celebratory? Casual? Somber?
Be sure to include the following:
1. Introduction In your introduction, provide a brief overview of the article (consider the questions listed above). Consider the author’s purpose, and if the author is effective in achieving that purpose.
2. Thesis Your thesis statement is one sentence that provides an overview of your essay. A thesis statement is not a question, and is something that you will debate/argue in the paper. For this essay, consider how the author uses rhetoric in the essay, and whether the essay is effective.
Sample Thesis Statement: In Smith’s article “On Recycling for the Future,” the author uses a combination of logical and emotional appeals to effectively convince the reader that all communities should promote and support recycling.
Note that this thesis states the author and the title, a position (the author is effective) and names some specific rhetorical devices.
3. Body of the Essay: In the body of your essay, find specific examples in the text to support your points. If you want to argue that the author is effective in using rhetorical questions, then be sure to show the textual evidence in your paragraph. Identify the type of rhetorical device, and then explain how and to what effect the author uses this device.
4. Documentation: Remember whenever we use information from a source, we must cite that source. As you include your quotes and examples from the essay, include your citation. You should also include your reference at the end of the paper. You are only required to use the one source, the article you are analyzing, but if you use other sources, be sure to cite these as well.
5. Conclusion: In any conclusion, we need to summarize our paper and include one of the following:
a call to action
a final appeal
a solution
Perhaps after reading and analyzing this article, we want to have a call to action because the author is so effective on the topic. On the other hand, we could include a solution that the author is not effective in his or her purpose.
Keep in mind: Refer to the list below throughout the writing process. Do not submit your Touchstone until it meets these guidelines.
❒ Have you included an engaging introduction?
❒ Have you written a thesis with an overview of your paper and your purpose for writing?
❒ Have you included your background and context with the audience, purpose, and tone?
❒ Have you identified rhetorical devices?
❒ Have you analyzed how the author used these rhetorical devices?
❒ Have you included your documentation?
❒ Have you included a conclusion with a call to action, a final appeal, or a solution?
❒ Have you read over carefully for grammatical errors?
B. Reflection Questions Guidelines
DIRECTIONS: Below your assignment, include answers to all of the following reflection questions.
We use rhetoric all the time, perhaps without even realizing it, to persuade our audience to accept our point of view. These speeches were all historical events, but we use rhetoric in our daily lives as well. How have you used rhetoric in the past week? (2-3 sentences)
As we go through our course discussing the power of persuasion and write our own persuasive documents, what rhetorical strategies will you use to persuade your audience? (2-3 sentences)
What difficulties did you face while reading the text and analyzing for rhetorical effectiveness? How did you overcome these difficulties? (2-3 sentences)

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