Using a variety of rhetorical terms and concepts, assess the effectiveness of the authors claims and overarching argument, as well as their various choices and strategies throughout the text.
This assignment does not ask for you to provide simply a litany of terms or a grocery list of interesting rhetorical aspects of your choice. That is, you do not want to just talk about some rhetorical features of your artifact. Instead, this assignment invites you to put your rhetorical knowledge to work by using the concepts that pertain most meaningfully to your artifact to evaluate the effectiveness of the rhetors choices and strategies.
In short, for this paper you will make an argument about the effectiveness of a text and how it works rhetorically or has specific effects for a specific audience (or audiences) in its specific context(s). Your argument may be that a text is effective, ineffective, partially effective, or effective for some audiences but not others, because of certain rhetorical aspects of the text or ways it responds to (or doesnt respond to) the rhetorical situation.
Your audience for this rhetorical analysis is other rhetorical scholars. While your instructor will be reading and grading this project, he or she will be reading it as a general rhetorician. Consequently, you do not need to define rhetorical terms from class that youre using, but you shouldnt assume a reader has intimate knowledge of the text youre analyzing.
Rhetorical Terms You Might Deploy in This Essay
During this unit, we will introduce and cover the following rhetorical concepts, which you might deploy in this essay:
Kairos Identification Situated Ethos Invented Ethos Rhetorical Distance Pathos Enthymeme
Logos Arrangement Mythos
Cultural Logics Ideology
Expectations & Guidelines
This is an academic paper with some structural constraints. In order to earn a C, your project should conform to these guidelines:
Be 5-6 pages long with 1-inch margins, double-spaced, in a readable 1112 pt. font
Include an accurate and fair summary of the artifact you are analyzing as the opening
Include accurate description of the aspects of the rhetorical situation or context as they pertain
to your artifact (this means identifying its purpose, audience(s), exigence, and relevant
information about the rhetor)
Include a clear thesis that makes an evaluative claim about the artifacts effectiveness (a
particularly effective thesis also helps readers by providing a roadmap of the essay)
Use at least three rhetorical concepts in sophisticated discussions of the artifacts effectiveness
(that is, concepts are not just deployed as a passing aside, but are instead integral to your
Have an effective title that is inviting to readers and helps readers preview the purpose and
subject of your analysis
End with a conclusion that synthesizes your claims
Use MLA to cite the artifact and any secondary research youve conducted, including in-text
citations and a works cited page
Use clear language, and be carefully edited
In order to earn an A or B, your essay should conform to the following degrees of excellence:
Your paper includes all the minimum requirements listed above. It thoroughly analyzes your artifact, offering a rich description of it and its context, but more importantly, goes beyond the superficial to analytically and critically explain the rhetoricity of the artifact.
Your essay is organized in a fashion that is appropriate for your argument and logically and carefully arranged.
The claims made in the paper cohere in order to make a coherent argument (through the use of transitions and linking back to the thesis).
Paragraphs cohere, are clearly ordered, and transition smoothly. Paragraphs contain appropriate analytic topic sentences, which are supported with clear, concrete evidence and sound reasoning.
The paper makes points clearly and succinctly, avoiding wordiness and empty sentences. The papers argument is clearly stated in a thesis statement.
The papers conclusion moves toward the so what, making the analysis not solely an academic exercise, but an analysis that matters for readers.
The paper follows stylistic and formatting conventions for standard academic English. Sentences are interesting, varied in form, and fairly free of surface errors
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