Prompt: Choose a timely real-world example of rhetoric. Then answer the following:
1) How and why is the example rhetorical?
1a. What rhetorical characteristics, as outlined in our reading and lecture, are present?
1b. What specific quotes/discourse from the example highlight each of these characteristics?
2) Second, answer one of the following questions*:
-Is your example rhetorically sound, neutral, manipulative or deceptive? Give evidence.
-What motives are present (use Fisher article)? Are they concealed or clear? Are there any voices/ views left unheard?
-How is this example epistemological? What knowledge does it bring us to?
-How is this example ontological? Does it inform us on ‘better’ ways to live? How is this supported?
-How is this example utilizing the ‘humane’ characteristic of rhetoric (use Nichols article)?
-Which theorists’ definition (Plato, Kennedy, Nichols ‘s articles, etc.) connects most to the example?
*You do not need to and should not try to answer all of the questions. They are just examples of some ways to approach and conclude the prompt.
Remember: The purpose of this assignment is to get you to think through the material carefully. It is designed to solicit your feelings on the topics we have covered in class.
I already know what the readings say – I want to hear what you have to say on the topic. You should, of course, reference concepts from class. Use quotes from the reading to support your argument; do not summarize the reading.
I do NOT need an attached bibliography page since there is NO outside research needed or wanted. When quoting from the Reader, simply include the page number in the citation. Example = (Reader, 49). When quoting from your example, simply put the website/ source used in parenthesis.
Formatting parameters: 1-inch margins (not standard/ must manually set), double-spaced (do not double-double space between paragraphs or between your header and essay), 12-pt. font, 3 pages in length, Times or Arial font. Please do not go beyond 3 ½ pages; this is maximum.
Your thought essay should be:
1. Thoughtful – don’t write just to complete the paper. Rather, have something to say. There are instances of rhetoric all around you, and I know that you have things to say about them. Political ads, commercials, television programs, speeches, and even music videos all provide instances of persuasive communication. Use this space to really engage the world around you. Writing just to complete the assignment (usually very vague) will not only result in boring both of us, but likely a poor grade.
2. Responsive – Try to address the prompt as directly and narrowly as possible. I can tell when you are writing to fulfill the page requirement, and it makes for poor writing. The more you focus on the prompt and your response to it, the more helpful it will be as an assignment in aiding your engagement with course materials.
3. Engaged – focus as much as possible on the course material. Wikipedia and online dictionaries have a lot to say on these topics, but this course is not about these online resources. It is about your course materials – you paid the money for the texts, so use them. Although I do not want an additional bibliography page, I do want proper in-text citations.
4. Developed – turn your musings, thoughts, and ideas about the prompt into two to four main, coherent points. If this is difficult, try taking a step back and thinking more clearly or thoroughly about the assignment.
5. Clear – be sure your essay has a direct thesis statement, and is organized in a way that makes your argument easy to follow. This includes having topic sentences and developed paragraphs, as opposed to a series of observations. Your examples used should be concise and very specific.
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