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  • ENGL 1311 Rhetorical Analysis assignment

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Rhetorical Analysis assignment

The goal of a rhetorical analysis is not to analyze what a writer is arguing about concerning an issue, but to analyze how the writer is presenting the argument. You'll do this by analyzing the use of rhetorical strategies.  Using a text related to your community issue, you will provide an objective analysis of the strengths and weaknesses in the writer's use of ethos, logos, and pathos within his or her argument(s).
Purpose:  This assignment is designed to prompt you to identify the strategies that a particular argument employs.  One of the reasons that this is useful is that it requires you to understand not just what writers are saying, but also the purposes and motivations behind their arguments.  Also, as you get more comfortable identifying the strategies that other writers employ, you will be able to utilize these strategies effectively in your own writing.
Content/Subject: Your rhetorical analysis will consist mainly of your analysis of the three rhetorical appeals of ethos, pathos, and logos.  In terms of ethos, which deals primarily with credibility, you will want to examine the author's reputation, authority, and/or expertise.  These factors as well as the argument being made will either improve or detract from the writer's credibility.  Logos is concerned with the logic of the writer's argument.  In considering the writer's use of logos, you will analyze issues such as the quality and quantity of supporting evidence.  You may also want to consider any bias that the writer might have toward the subject and the effect of that bias upon the argument being presented.  In short, you will want to address any weaknesses and/or strengths in the logic of the argument.  The third appeal, pathos, deals with emotion.   Here, you should identify any attempts on the part of the writer to evoke a particular emotion from the audience.  Additionally, you will want to note if this is effective and whether or not appealing to emotion is an effective strategy for the argument being discussed.
Audience: Your audience will consist of your academic peers whom you may assume have only a casual familiarity with the issue and the text that you are analyzing.
Constraints:  This is an analytical, academic assignment and, as a result, your writing should reflect that.  This means that your paper should be written in an elevated and sophisticated style that makes use of correct grammar and usage.  You should make sure to make a clear and precise argument as you analyze the rhetorical strategies employed in the text that you are examining.
 Specific guidelines for this assignment are:
-          Clear introduction and conclusion
-          Address all three rhetorical appeals: ethos, pathos, and logos
-          Strict adherence to APA format
-          3-5 pages in length