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What rhetorical strategies does an author/ a text use to persuade its audience?

by | Nov 13, 2022 | English

 

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Essay #2: Rhetorical Analysis of a Speech
For this assignment, you will write a rhetorical analysis, a thesis-driven essay in which you describe and evaluate a text’s rhetorical strategies.
PART 1: SUMMARY OF THE TEXT
Write a 1-paragraph summary. In the summary, you should convey the entire argument, not merely part of the argument. Make sure you provide enough detail to present a cogent articulation of the argument. However, you should avoid too many details. You will have to decide what information is necessary for you to present the author’s argument, without becoming tedious. Include where it was published/presented, how long it is, and who wrote it.
PART 2: ANALYSIS OF CLAIMS
2A: Write a 1-3 sentence thesis statement based on this analysis: To what extent is the writer’s overall argument justified?
(Sample sentence starters)
AGREE: Author X effectively argues that…
DISAGREE: Author X is not successful in her attempts to argue that…
QUALIFY: While I agree with Author X’s attempts to argue that…., I do not believe she/he/they effectively…
Your thesis should answer these two questions: 1) Is the article convincing? 2) Why or why not?
2B: Write 3-4 paragraphs to analyze the evidence (appeals to pathos, logos, and ethos, as well as other rhetorical devices) used to support the claim. In your rhetorical analysis, you will take a stand on whether or not the piece you’ve chosen persuades its audience of its central argument. This essay, then, is not primarily about the issue discussed in the speech. It is instead about the rhetorical strategy the writer employs. Remember that any successful argument makes a central claim and then supports that claim with good reasons. Evaluate the effectiveness of the argument and analyze the rhetorical situation and strategies used…
What evidence does the author use to support the thesis? Examine the ethical appeals, emotional appeals, and/or logical appeals. Examine specific data, historical references, facts, events, etc. What is the author’s purpose and audience? What is the style/tone of the speech (analyze language)? How is it organized/structured? How persuasive is the evidence? Explain why/why not you’ve been persuaded by the author’s arguments and evidence for those arguments. Be sure to back up your comments with quotes, paraphrases, or summaries from the text. Support what you’re saying.
Tips for analyzing ETHOS: How does the writer represent herself/himself? Does the writer have any credentials to be an authority on the topic? Do you trust the writer? Why or why not? (Look for credentials and expertise, ethical appeals, tone, and fairness to opposition.)
Tips for analyzing LOGOS: Where do you find facts and evidence in the argument? What kinds of facts and evidence does the writer present: direct observation, statistics, interviews, surveys, published research, quotes from authorities? (Look for reasoning and fallacies, quality of evidence, and counterpositions.)
Tips for analyzing PATHOS: For whom was the argument written? Are there any places where the writer attempts to invoke an emotional response? Where do you find appeals to shared values with the audience? (Look for language such as words, phrases, images, analogies, euphemisms, and figurative language.) Are the appeals effective?
PART 3: CONCLUSION
Here you will restate your thesis and provide conclusive statements on the rhetorical efficacy of the speech. Assess the overall effectiveness of the argument. How successful is the argument overall? What two or three things are most important in making it effective or ineffective?
Do more than simply summarize what you have said. You don’t have to end by either agreeing or disagreeing with the writer. Your task in this assignment is to analyze the strategies the writer puts forth.
Note that a successful rhetorical analysis does not offer an independent analysis or argument about the subject matter of a text; instead, it answers the following questions:
What rhetorical strategies does an author/ a text use to persuade its audience?
Why? To what effect?
PART 4: Works Cited page using MLA Citation
Use correct in-text citations, and include full MLA citation of all texts cited on a Works Cited page (not part of page count).
REQUIREMENTS:
Required length: about 3-5 pages, MLA formatted
Plus Works Cited page (separate from page count)
Please DO include section subheadings (Part 1: Summary, Part 2: Analysis of Claims, etc.)
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