Rhetorical Analysis

Directions:
Select one specific text (written, video, audio, or visual) and write a focused rhetorical analysis of that
specific text. In order to accomplish this goal, your analysis should consider all aspects of the rhetorical
situation and the various strategies of communication implemented within the text; however, you may
select the most important aspects to actually discuss within your essay. In other words, don’t force
references into the paper that aren’t integral to your analysis. With that said, your discussion must
implement the vocabulary of rhetorical analysis, such as the following: audience, context, purpose,
exigence, constraints, thesis, speaker, text, logos, ethos, and pathos. Your essay must answer the following
question:
What is this text’s strongest technique for achieving its rhetorical purpose?
In order to answer this question, you should identify the text’s purpose and analyze both strengths and
weaknesses within the text, evaluating how well it conceives of its audience and attempts to persuade
them.
Rhetorical Situation:
Context: While you are analyzing the details of your selected text’s rhetorical situation, you should also
keep in mind your own rhetorical situation. This essay should be more formal and academic in tone than
Essay 1, but do not be afraid to exercise your own voice and personality. Remember that you are writing
an academic essay; therefore, you should demonstrate the formal expectations of that context with
multiple paragraphs, logical organization, formal grammar, cohesive analysis, detailed support, a directly
stated thesis, and situationally appropriate vocabulary.
Audience: While your primary audience will be an academic audience interested in the various concepts
of rhetorical analysis, you may also consider a secondary audience composed of those whom your
selected text is also targeting. Therefore, consider that secondary audience’s needs and values while you
analyze the text.
Purpose: What purpose might this essay serve beyond the academic exercise itself? Why is
understanding the complexities of a given text useful? How might expanding your audience’s
understanding of that text and its strategies affect those readers? Consider these questions as you push
your essay to do more than just analyze. Consider why it matters.Resources: Over the next several days, I will be adding suggested texts to a folder on Blackboard. You
are welcome to use any of the texts I attach or link to within that folder. However, if you are selecting
your own text, please have me approve that selection before you get started writing. I want to make sure
you each have a good text that’s going to allow you to develop your best writing.
Documentation: Because you are analyzing a specific text, you will need to include a Work Cited page
and proper documentation in your essay. Also, if you use any additional resources, remember to
document those materials appropriately as well.
Important Dates:
MW Classes: Rough Draft for Peer Review – Due Wednesday, Oct. 4
Final Draft – Due Wednesday, Oct. 11
TR Classes: Rough Draft for Peer Review – Due Thursday, Oct. 5
Final Draft – Due Thursday, Oct. 12

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