What is identity? In this module’s reading packet, you explored articles debating the role identity plays in our social and political world. You may have agreed with some of these arguments, and some of the arguments may have made you angry. Identity tends to be a significant, emotional topic. Before you explore the emotional reactions you had to these arguments, take a step back and look critically at the way these arguments were constructed. You may find a new respect for arguments you disagree with, or even arguments you agree with, if you remove your emotional reaction and look critically at the argumentation.
In this assignment you will write a critical rhetorical analysis of an argument. In a rhetorical analysis, you will not respond to the topic of the article. You will focus on analyzing the rhetorical strategies of the author, not on arguing for or against the author’s point. This can be difficult because you may have strong opinions on the argument. However, for this essay you must focus only on the way the author makes the argument (the argumentation), and not the argument itself. You will cite specific examples, quotes, descriptions, and details from the article to support your analytical claims.
You should spend approximately 4 hours on this assignment.
1. Choose one of the articles from the Module 3 English Composition 1 Reading Packet. Read it several times, annotating it carefully each time.
2. Pre-Write: Use the ideas generated in the Discussion 2: Analysis Topic and Brainstorming discussion. Continue to look for argumentation and rhetorical choices in the article that are effective or ineffective. Evaluate the argument based on factors such as:
o Use of rhetorical strategies (logos, ethos, pathos; formal logic)
o The types of supporting evidence and the way the author uses, explains, or analyzes that evidence
o Absence or presence of logical fallacies
o Author’s tone
Be sure to find examples of the claims you will make. Think about the significance of the author’s choices to the overall effectiveness of the argument.
3. Write: Write your rhetorical analysis essay.
o Introduction: Your introduction should give a short, objective summary of the article. You should explain your analysis of the article’s rhetorical situation (SOAPSTone) in your summary. Your introduction should end with your analytical thesis. Your thesis should make a clear analytical claim about the rhetoric and argumentation strategies of the articles; show clearly what elements of the articles you will analyze; and convey the overall judgment of the article’s effectiveness.
o Body Paragraphs: In the body of your essay, offer specific claims about the argumentation strategies the author uses in the article. Identify and evaluate rhetorical appeals, argumentation strategies, or specific language choices the author makes. Analyze the author’s tone, diction, word choices, evidence, and/or appeals. Consider how the author uses ethos, pathos, and logos in the argument. What other argument and rhetorical strategies do you see at work? Are they effective? Why? How? What tone has the author set, and how does the author establish that tone? Is it effective and appropriate? Look carefully at language choices and rhetoric. Give specific evidence from the article to support your claims. When you discuss diction or tone, quote phrases that support your assessment. When you discuss appeals, paraphrase the arguments that you believe illustrate those appeals at work in the argument. Be specific!
o Conclusion: Conclude with your overall assessment of the effectiveness of this article’s argument based on the article’s intended audience and purpose.
4. Your essay should be approximately 1,000 words.
5. Proofread your work before submission.
6. Be sure to use MLA Style to format this assignment. Apply MLA Style to all aspects of the paper, including the heading, title page, proper paragraph indentation and spacing, font, margins, size, etc. (For this assignment, a Works Cited page is not required.)
Last Updated on