Rhetorical Analysis

Choose an image, speech, advertisement, or short piece of literature. You can use the images, short stories, or films discussed in class or any of your choice. Consider the rhetorical elements of the text, such as purpose, message, audience, etc.

When writing a rhetorical analysis, it is your job to determine the author’s effectiveness given their particular rhetorical situation. You are NOT giving your opinion on the subject matter or telling me if you agree/disagree with what the author says. What you ARE doing is arguing whether or not you feel the writer’s use of rhetorical appeals (logos, pathos, and ethos) are effective for the author’s audience.

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Your THESIS for this paper should answer the question, “Is the author’s use of rhetorical appeals effective given the rhetorical situation?” In order to answer this question, you should set your paper up in the following way:

1) Introduction Paragraph: Describe the rhetorical situation of the text, with special attention paid to who the author’s audience is and the history surrounding the text. End your introduction with your thesis, which states your argument and answers the question above. Your thesis is an argument—you must clearly state whether or not the author’s appeals effectively convince the audience.

2) Body Paragraphs: Your body paragraphs need to answer the following questions:

a. How does the author use logos in their text? Is the author’s use of logos effective and/or appropriate for the rhetorical situation and for the given audience? Why/why not? Cite specific examples from the text.

b. How does the author use pathos in their text? Is the author’s use of pathos effective and/or appropriate for the rhetorical situation and for the given audience? Why/why not? Cite specific examples from the text.

c. How does the author establish his or her credibility? Give SPECIFIC examples (quotes) that show the author is establishing him/herself as an authority, or is providing a fair and balanced argument. Explain why this is effective/not effective for the rhetorical situation and the given audience.

3) Conclusion: Restate your thesis. Summarize your main points and explain why your argument is important. This is the last thing I will read before I give you a grade. This is NOT a throw-away paragraph.

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