Rhetorical Analyses

Rhetorical Analyses

Your analyses will explore the rhetorical strategies of several assigned essays. Address each element of the rhetorical triangle in detail and cite specific examples from the text for support. The following questions may help you focus your analysis:

Logos: What is the logical appeal of the essay? What are its major claims? How does the author develop these claims? What evidence does the author use to support the claims? Does the argument seem reasonable and persuasive or not? Why?

Ethos: What image of the author does the essay create? Does the author seem credible and trustworthy or not? Why? What level of linguistic formality does the author adopt? What does the tone of the essay imply about the author?

Pathos: Who do you think is the target audience for the essay? How does the author engage the emotions and imagination of the audience? What concrete examples and metaphors does the author employ? What shared values and assumptions does the author appeal to? What emotions does the essay evoke?

You will compose 10 rhetorical analyses over the course of the semester. Each analysis will focus on the assigned reading in The Norton Reader for that day. You should analyze the rhetorical and stylistic strategies of the assigned readings; do NOT waste time summarizing or paraphrasing them. Don’t repeat what the text says, analyze how the text says it.

Each analysis should run about one page (200-300 words).

Keep all your analyses to submit in your portfolios. You will revise some of your analyses for your Mid-Term Portfolio and for your Course Portfolio.

Due Dates:

9/8 “Shooting an Elephant,” George Orwell
9/13 “Once More to the Lake,” E. B. White
9/24 “Politics and the English Language,” George Orwell
10/1 from An American Childhood, Annie Dillard
10/6 “Yeager,” Tom Wolfe
10/18 “‘This Is the End of the World’: The Black Death,” Barbara Tuchman
10/22 Mid-Term Portfolio
10/29 “The Boston Photographs,” Nora Ephron
11/13 “Understanding Comics,” Scott McCloud
11/10 “Why We Crave Horror Movies,” Stephen King
11/17 “Enclosed. Encyclopedic. Endured: The Mall of America,” David Guterson
12/10 Course Portfolio

Page Last Updated: 14 May 2011