Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 29 April 2016

Rhetorical Analysis

Disclaimer: Let’s avoid abortion, the death penalty, gun rights, and gay marriage for this assignment unless you can convince me you have a fresh spin or take on it. These topics have been heavily used in previous semesters, so I want to encourage you to expand to less traveled territory.

2. Then, choose three interesting rhetorical artifacts that deal with or illustrate this social issue. This could be such things as advertising, films, books, songs, albums, YouTube/online videos, speeches, websites, etc. Limit yourself to only two samples per genre—that is, don’t pick three films, or three songs, or three books, but have some variety. It is possible to pick something very simple—like a single magazine page ad—but remember that you need to be able to pull a lot out of it to discuss. So find something that will be fruitful for many pages’ worth of discussion.

Your assignment
1. In your introduction (5-8 sentences), first describe the social issue and why you’ve picked it. Then, briefly describe the three rhetorical artifacts and how they pertain to the social issue. 2. Finish your introduction with a thesis statement. Remember, a thesis statement is an argument and not a
declarative sentence, a question, or an announcement. Two sample thesis statements:

A descriptive analysis of six parts of [artifact A], [artifact B], and [artifact C] reveal how each of these pieces work to illuminate [Social Issue].

[Social issue] can be better understood by a six-part descriptive analysis of [artifact A], [artifact B], and [artifact C].

3. Do the six-part descriptive analysis, which will be explained in the next section. Generally speaking, you will be doing six analyses of each of your artifacts, so a total of at least 18 separate examinations. Each analysis should be roughly one or two paragraphs.

4. Be sure to include a Works Cited/Bibliography page with for three rhetorical artifacts.

5. Your paper should total 7-10 pages, not counting the Works Cited/Bibliography page.

The Six-Part Descriptive Analysis:

In your essay, you’ll need to do each of the following six analyses. For each analysis, you’ll need to follow the Claim+Proof+Analysis structure that the book calls the critical equation (see page 30-34, especially 32). So for each analysis, you would 1) claim that such-and-such descriptive element is present. Then 2) give me proof of that—why can you make this claim? Then 3) tell me how well your artifact puts this descriptive element to use.

1. The six rhetorical purposes (pages. 8-13)
a. Creating virtual experience
b. Altering perception
c. Explaining
d. Formulating belief
e. Initiating action
f. Maintaining action

Examine each of your three rhetorical selections in the light of these six rhetorical purposes. Which of the six is the best fit for each of your selections? There may be more than one purpose, but discussing just one of them is fine. So for each artifact, you would 1) claim that X type of rhetorical purpose was used. Then 2) give me proof of that—why can you make this claim? Then 3) tell me how well your artifact puts this rhetorical purpose to use. 2. The seven elements (page 24). Of the seven elements, two are of interest for this assignment. a. Persona. The role the persuader takes in addressing the audience. Think of things like good cop/bad cop; teacher; friend; pastor; reporter; clown b. Tone.

The persuader’s attitude towards the subject (Detached, emotional, satirical.) AND the audience. (Personal/authoritative/supplicant.) Complete a critical equation for Persona and Tone for each of your three rhetorical artifacts. So for each artifact, you would 1) claim that X type of persona or tone was used. Then 2) give me proof of that—why can you make this claim? Then 3) tell me how well your artifact puts this persona/tone to use.

3. The VASES—Visuals, Analogies, Statistics, Experts, and Stories. (See page 80 for a brief overview, but you’ll need to look at the entire chapter 4 for a full understanding.)

Describe how each of your three artifacts uses evidence in light of your social issue. Use the VASES, although note that not all five of the VASES will be used in each artifact. Remember that this should be structured in the Claim + Proof + Analysis structure. So for each artifact, you would 1) claim that X type of evidence was used. Then 2) give me proof of that—why can you make this claim? Then 3) tell me how well your artifact puts this evidence to use.

4. The dimensions of rhetorical action. We aren’t always convinced by purely logical reasons—sometimes psychological, social, and personal reasons convince us as well. (See pages 117-121). Think of each as these as on a continuum—that is, it isn’t 100 percent on one extreme or the other, but more likely a blend of 70/30, 60/40, etc.

Purpose
Instrumental —————————————— Consummatory (A tool) (Purpose in action itself)
Argument
Justificatory——————————————Ritualistic (Offers reasons/justifies) (Participatory/performative/affirms) Structure
Logical——————————————Associative (Necessary links)(Learned from experience)
Language
Literal——————————————Figurative Describes worldDescribes internal state
Evidence
Factual——————————————Psychological VerifiableAppeals to needs, drives, desire
(logos)(pathos)

Plot where each of the three artifacts lie on the continuum. (Do so in paragraph form—I don’t necessarily need a diagram.) You don’t have to use the same rhetorical dimension(s) for each artifact. Remember that this should be structured in the Claim + Proof + Analysis structure. So for each artifact, you would 1) claim that your artifact is placed somewhere on a continuum for a certain dimension of rhetorical action. For example, “This artifact is mostly figurative, but it contains a few literal elements as well.” OR: As an entertaining film, this piece is almost purely consummatory.” Then 2) give proof of that—why can you make this claim? Then 3) tell how well you think it works in this case. 5. Organizational patterns. (pages 136-142). How is the artifact organized? Sequence

A. Chronological—by time
B. Narrative—story
C. Spatial–direction
Topical
A. Parts subtopic (breaking into chunks—unique to the subject) B.
Perspectives  familiar divisions (common, often-used categories) Logical
A. Causal—cause effect
B. Problem-solution—harm solution

What is at least one organizational pattern used by each artifact? How does this organizational pattern help promote its perspective on your social issue? (If you do not think your artifact demonstrates any of these organizational patterns, prove it—show me by process of elimination how none of them fit) You don’t have to use the same organizational pattern(s) for each artifact. Remember that this should be structured in the Claim + Proof + Analysis structure.

So for each artifact, you would 1) tell me what organizational pattern(s) you see at work. Then 2) give me proof of that—why can you make this claim? Then 3) tell me how well you think it works in this case in light of your social issue.

6. Resources of language (See 165-169)
Think of these as continuums.
Formality————————————-Informality Precision————————————-Ambiguity Literal————————————-Figurative Economy————————————-Redundancy

Plot your artifact on what of the continuums of style (for example, 70 percent formal, 30 percent informal). How does this style help promote its perspective on your social issue? Give me one paragraph for each artifact. (Note: If you’ve explored the literal—figurative continuum in a previous portfolio assignment, please select a new one.) (If you do not think your artifact demonstrates any of the styles, prove it—show me by process of elimination how none of them fit.).

You don’t have to use the same resource of language for each artifact. Remember that this should be structured in the Claim + Proof + Analysis structure. So for each artifact, you would 1) tell me what organizational pattern(s) you see at work. Then 2) give me proof of that—why can you make this claim? Then 3) tell me how well you think it works in this case in light of your social issue.

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  • University/College: University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 29 April 2016

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