Choose an article that interests you.It is important to choose an article that makes a substantial argument for you to analyze. My suggestion is to go the the website of journals that specialize in the longer persuasive essays such as The New Yorker (Links to an external site.) or Slate (Links to an external site.). You will submit your article for instructor approval. Please choose an understandable article that interests you.
Choose one of these famous speeches that make substantial arguments using many of the persuasive techniques studied in class. If you choose a speech, listen to the speech as you read along with the text.
” I Have a Dream”–Martin Luther King (Links to an external site.). This is one of the powerful speeches ever given.
Inaugural Address –John F. Kennedy. (Links to an external site.)
Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation–Franklin D. Roosevelt. (Links to an external site.)
Women’s Rights are Human Rights-Hillary Clinton. (Links to an external site.)
The American Rhetoric (Links to an external site.) website has many other possibilities.
Submit the topic proposal sheet by the due date on Canvas. DO NOT continue with this assignment until you have approval for the article you have chosen. Submit even if you are choosing one of the suggested speeches as this is worth points.
Carefully read the article/speech and determine subject matter and goals of the author. What is the author’s purpose? Who is the author’s audience? Where and when was the article published? You will need to do some research here as you discuss the rhetorical situation.
Analyze the rhetorical elements of the author’s writing style. Writers and speakers use words in language in different ways to achieve different effects. Rhetoric recognizes that a speaker or writer persuades his audience with different tools and techniques. Aristotle categorized rhetoric into three categories: logos, ethos and pathos. Logos uses reason and rationality to persuade the reader. Ethos seeks to persuade the reader by appealing to credibility of the writer or another expert. The expert’s authority, rather than the evidence itself, convinces the reader. Pathos attempts to make the case by appealing to the reader at an emotional level. Pathos may appeal to the reader’s sympathy or compassion, sadness or anger, love or hatred and so forth. Read the text and take notes about the different rhetorical styles used.
Write an outline for the rhetorical analysis. The analysis should have three parts: an introduction, a main body and a conclusion. Divide the main body of the analysis into sections. The sections may be devoted to the different rhetorical elements used in the text. You can devote the first section to examining the context of the argument, another to the author’s attitude and tone, another to the rhetorical strategies (analyzing the author’s tone), and another to the persuasive appeals.
Introduction: In the introduction, do not forget to introduce the article you will be analyzing. Give the name of the article and the author. Also, state where the article was published and what the main points were. Write a strong thesis sentence that clearly states the main points of the analysis. Outline the steps of your argument in the last one or two sentences of the introduction.
Body: Present the different elements of your analysis (context, author’s attitude and tone, modes of persuasion, and rhetorical strategies) in the main body of the paper. Cite examples from the text as evidence for your analysis. Keep in mind that any of the four sections may be more than one paragraph. It depends on your analysis. For example, if you feel that the modes of persuasion are crucial to understanding the article, then you may decide to devote more than one paragraph to that section. This may be true for any of the four sections of the essay. Write as many paragraphs as needed, but make sure that each paragraph has proper structure (topic sentence and supporting detail).
Conclusion: Write a one paragraph conclusion that summarizes the central points of the analysis. Summarize the main points and do not make any new claims.
Review this template as one way to set up your essay.
Proper essay structure (Explanation can be found within the Essay Resources Module).
Proper MLA formatting and documentation. Some of the guidelines are mentioned above (double-spaced, etc.). The information in Module Two will be a helpful review of MLA guidelines. If you need additional help with MLA, please let me know or go to one of the FSW Writing Centers.
You need at least five textual references (quotes) supporting your main points.
If you use outside sources, cite them on a works cited page as well as within the text.
Do not refer to the author by his or her first name.
Careful editing and revising.
Careful reading and viewing of all assignment resources.
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