Purpose: Students should write an analysis of a single text (print, visual, cultural). The final draft should be 3-4 pages long.
Assignment: You are to examinea short text of your choosing in great detail and depth. You will need to analyze the textâ€s argument and consider how and why the argument is made. Do notsummarize the content of the text and do not respond to the textâ€s argument. Your job is to analyzethe rhetorical strategies of the text.
Step 1:Locate a text with a rhetorical argument. You may use an essay, a speech, an advertisement, or any other text.
Step 2:Examine theauthorâ€s purpose. As with all texts we discuss in class, your job is to consider the authorâ€s purpose, make a claim (using evidence) about why he or she wrote the text, and who the textâ€s intended audience might be. Look for a thesis statement and/or end-of- paragraph arguments and for the use of evidence to support the argument. Think about what kinds of changes the author is hoping to create in the readerâ€s mind or actions as you evaluate the authorâ€s purpose. What obstacles is the author up against? Does the author cope with all those obstacles successfully? What means of appeal (such as pathos, logos and ethos) does the author employ? Make sure to quote sentences that demonstrate the authorâ€s main ideas in order to judge their effectiveness, and integrate those ideas into your argument.
Also, consideraudience. Closely examine the title, the introduction, conclusion, examples, language and word choices that the author uses. What kind(s) of people do you think these would appeal to, and why? Are these people included in this target audience? How do their experiences suggest whether the author succeeded or not? Make sure to use quotes from the text that shows us for who the author intends to write.
Step 3:Write a rough draft analysis of your text. Explain the authorâ€s rhetorical strategies. Explain how the author makes his or her argument. What kind of evidence does she provide to support her claim? Does this text speak to the intended audience? Why?
Step 4: Revise your essay into a final draft. (3-4 typed pages) Update your rough draft using the notes youâ€ve received from peer review.
Page length: 3-4 pages
Format: MLA. 12 pt. Double-spaced. Times New Roman (this font). 1-inch margins. Pages numbered, no number on first page. No title pageâ€”put name, date, class and instructor on first page at the top, flush left (double-spaced).
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