Rhetorical Analysis




Rhetorical Analysis—due Oct. 16
For this essay, you will compare and contrast the rhetorical strategies of two magazine or newspaper articles regarding your topic for the semester. To avoid certain
frustration, be sure to choose articles designed to persuade, not merely to inform. These articles may be making similar arguments, or they may be in direct
opposition. Regardless, your task is to analyze the rhetorical appeals the authors use. Do not make an argument of your own or inform your audience about the authors’
topic. Identify and assess the authors’ use of ethos, pathos, and logos.
In your first sentence, identify the authors and their articles, by name (e.g. In “Article A,” M argues X, and in “Article B,” N argues Y). In your first paragraph,
establish what the authors are arguing for and how their arguments are different. This summary should be succinct. You will delve into the minutia of the authors’
rhetoric in subsequent paragraphs.
In those subsequent paragraphs, identify and assess the authors’ use of ethos, pathos, and logos explicitly (i.e., use the words ethos, pathos, and logos). If an
author avoids a rhetorical appeal—say, pathos—discuss what effect this absence has on the argument. Consider the following questions while you’re preparing to write
this essay:
• How do the authors establish their ethos(i.e., their professional qualifications) to earn the audience’s respect?• Do the authors cite experts (i.e., use the experts’ ethos) to support their arguments?• Do the authors utilize pathos and pull on heartstrings? Do they rely on cheap sentiment? Do they use scare tactics, or do they have a legitimate reason for
trying to make their readers feel something? Do they use humor? What are the effects of the emotional appeals? • Do the authors rely on sound logic (i.e., logos)? Do they provide supporting facts? Do they use logical analogies? Do they engage in logical fallacies? Do they
ignore any relevant information? • Do they make a good argument? Why or why not?
TIPS• Avoid first and second person. You and your readers are probably not characters in either essay. • Assume your readers know what ethos, pathos, and logos are. • Don’t refer to authors as “the first author” or “the second author.”• Introduce authors by their full names and then refer to them by their last names only.• Cite your sources, especially quotes and statistics, with page or paragraph numbers.• To review ethos, pathos, and logos, please read pages 73 – 78 in Writing Matters.• Potential eight-paragraph outline for your essay: intro, source-1 ethos, source-1 logos, source-1 pathos, source-2 ethos, source-2 logos, source-2 pathos,
RECAP• Find two articles—they could both be newspaper articles or magazine articles or one of each.• Introduce the authors’ argumentative goals in your first paragraph.• In subsequent paragraphs, identify and assess the authors’ use of ethos, pathos, and logos.• Conclude with a summation of who makes the most compelling argument and why.
THE BASICS• 1200 words (or a minimum of four pages, not including your Works Cited page)• Works Cited page• MLA format (stick to MLA for the whole semester)

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