- 12-point font
- Times New Roman
- 750 words
Rhetorical analysis: to examine the interactions between a text, author, and an audience.
If you think of a summary as a brief representation of what a text says, you can think of this rhetorical analysis paper as a brief representation of what a text both says and does—and how it says and does these things.
I’m teaching you rhetorical analysis for a few reasons: The meaning of a text isn’t just what it says, but also how it says it. So you need to start reading not just for literal meaning, but also with awareness of the effect a text has on people. Rhetorical analysis is a tool for this. Nothing that you read is ever a simple fact.
It’s all stylized to make it persuasive! I’m teaching you rhetorical analysis so you can be wise to that while you read. Close textual analysis is a skill that you’ll need in any class where you have to write about what you’ve read. You will need these skills for all the other writing projects in the course.
For this paper, choose at least two readings, podcasts, or any combination thereof that we’ve covered in class so far and explain come connection between them. What idea(s) do they cover that relate or interact? In the introduction, tell me why you’ve chosen these texts and how you think they’re connected. As you write the paper, it may be helpful to consider the following questions:
- What’s the author’s purpose or goal? (What do they think they’re trying to do?)
- Who is the audience?
- Does the author actually achieve what they intend? Or does the text get away from them? Or are there word choices that undermine what they intended to say?
- What are the subtle and obvious ways that the text persuades or coaxes an audience (or fails to)?
- Are there notable word choices? Any words or phrases that that EXPRESS something? Why do you think the author made those specific choices? Why those words instead of some other wording?
- What is the tone? How can you tell?
- Does the author rely most heavily on ethos, logos, pathos or kairos? Or some other strategy?
- What ideologies (or values or assumptions) provide the foundation for the argument?
- What is left out and who benefits?
- Do you see any logical fallacies?
- How are feelings involved?