Rhetorical Strategy Analysis
Over the course of this week we have discussed various rhetorical strategies that are used in writing to persuade and/or argue a point. We have covered the Aristotelian strategies of ethos, pathos, logos, as well as other writing devices such as parallelism, diction, and metaphor (see list on Moodle). We have also analyzed several articles/ essays in class as a group, focusing on the rhetorical strategies that they use to either effectively or ineffectively prove their points, and have assessed both the evidence brought forth in the texts and the logical fallacies committed. Lastly, we have discussed the importance of knowing your audience, researching background information on the author and/or publication, and being aware of your language and style suiting your purpose. Keeping all of that in mind…
Assignment: Choose ONE of the texts posed on Moodle for this assignment. After reading it, analyze the rhetorical strategies that are being used (or not being used) by the author. You may choose to focus on any aspect of rhetoric, but keep in mind that there are various combinations at play, so only discussing pathos or metaphors won’t cut it. You need to discuss various strategies and how they are either effectively or ineffectively used. You may also discuss fallacies and loopholes in the argument, including your assessment of the evidence provided. Keep in mind the writer’s/ publication’s ethos (or lack thereof) and audience. You will also have to figure out the text’s point/ author’s goal— What is the author’s thesis? How is he proving it? Is the overall argument effective? Etc. You will have to decide whether you think the argument is effective or not, and then use the strategies to make your case. Basically, think back to what we have done in class and do the same thing on paper.
Make sure to structure your essay like a 5 paragraph essay (intro, body, conclusion), and to incorporate quotes when necessary (but remember, that doesn’t mean you can only have 5 paragraphs!). You do not need to have a Works Cited list, but if you quote, you should provide an in-text citation with the page number in ( ) following the quote. Make sure to introduce the text and author in the introduction, and to provide a brief (1-2 sentence) gist of the text.
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