Rhetorical Analysis

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Hello again as we move on our common college essay types today we’ll be talking about retour rhetorical


So the purpose of rhetorical analysis assignment is for you to identify and analyze the rhetorical tools

used by the author.

You should also describe how the author’s rhetoric is or is not effective or persuasive and identify

strengths and flaws in the argument.

This is a very popular type of assignment.

You’ll find this type of assignment on graduate exams for example the GRV uses this type of assignment.

So let me walk you through the basics of how to approach a rhetorical analysis type assignment.

We need to ask ourselves a number of questions and I’ve organize these questions into the three basic

tenets of rhetoric namely logic or logo’s emotion Passos and authority or ethos.

So under the logic we have how selective is the logic of the argument.

So the idea of selective versus objective if the authors being very selective in their logic that there’s

a point to to write down in the pre-writing to make some notes.

Can you already identify any logical fallacies.

And does the fallacy weaken or strengthen the argument.

Andri motion we have what emotion is the speaker highlight and why.

How’s the speaker appealing or attempting to manipulate the audience’s emotions.

And how does the speaker connect the invoked emotion to the purpose of the overall argument.

And then with authority ask yourself the following questions What authority does the speaker hope you

will trust the speaker or an outside reputable source.

Will the audience accepts this authority.

Why or why not.

And does trusting this authority persuade the audience to trust the speaker.

So you notice with pre-writing in this type of assignment different than the assignment we discussed

in the very beginning of our lecture series in our pre-writing practice then pre-writing and this type

of assignment is to ask yourself key questions like these and then to take notes from the notes She’ll

then be able to outline as always after we’ve outlined.

We move on our drafting stage with rhetorical analysis we have the same parts of a paper as we do with

almost any writing which is an introduction body and conclusion.

So as we draft the introduction we need to first address the texts context.

So why and where is this argument taking place.

Who’s the speaker who’s the specified audience.

What is the speaker working to convince the audience of.

And then let me give you a thesis template for rhetorical analysis.

Of course you can personalize this and you should personalize this depending on your individual assignment

and your individual argument.

But here is a good template in this piece of writing.

So whatever you’re looking at the author.

So the author’s name uses these tools to effectively or effectively persuade the audience that.

And then the speaker’s argument is a very prescriptive thesis template I don’t usually like to give

prescriptive tools to writers because writing is an individual exercise.

However as I promised at the very beginning of our course writing is also a science and there is a science

to rhetorical analysis and this thesis template is a good formula for a beginning thesis for any rhetorical

analysis assignment.

If you’re struggling to come up with a thesis for rhetorical analysis assignment as always send it to

me I’ll have a look for you.

But with the drafting stage we move onto the body.

Remember in the body to begin each paragraph with a topic sentence that addresses the question how does

this tool also fill in the plane because whatever rhetorical tool you’re identifying helps the speaker

achieve his purpose.

It’s also good to provide a quotation and explain why it is a good example of the rhetorical tool you

have described.

The best part though is not only to provide the quotation but then to analyze the quotation.

Remember when we use quotations we need more analysis than we do quotations.

So our personal analysis is more important than the quotation itself.

So when you analyze the quotation.

Ask yourself questions like What effect does the tool have on the audience.

What does this effect have to do with the speaker’s overall argument.

Remember there is a difference between appeals or rhetorical appeals and rhetorical tools like humor

metaphors statistics and so on.

And then we move on to our conclusion in your conclusion.

Briefly summarize your main points to echo your thesis.

Again whenever I say the words summarized don’t say the same thing in the same terms that you’ve already

done in your paper.

That’s just boring and repetitive.

To summarize your main points in a new way also address what you are claiming about the author’s rhetoric

and what implications your claims have.

And just like any writing assignment we moved to our final step in the writing process the revision


Remember to go large to small.

So make sure you are analyzing not just summarizing and stating the effectiveness or ineffectiveness.

Do not choose a word choice as a rhetorical tool.

You need to be more specific.

For example words of power and Monarchie or words of submission and defeat.

So don’t say that the author uses word choice describe that word choice.

Refer to Passos Ito’s and logos correctly remembering that these are rhetorical appeals and not tools.

Also new revision check that you’ve spent adequate time on each rhetorical tool so that you’ve done

adequate analysis of each.

Don’t stretch and contrive the use as an effective tool but make sure you analyze each too adequately.

A warning is also not to focus too much on the circumstances of the original audience.

You don’t necessarily know how this text was received by the original audience even if you have a few

evidences of a couple of audience members.

So don’t try to guess how it was received.

Your job is rather to analyze the speech itself so the words and the language not to analyze the speaker

or the audience.

And finally a final warning with rhetorical analysis assignments never make moral or circumstantial


So just because an action took place does not mean that the rhetoric itself was effective.

And just because you agree morally with an argument does not mean the rhetoric is effective.

Remember a rhetorical analysis is all about analyzing the language the words and the language of a certain


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