HARVARD ENGLISH 101 - Ch. 6 Rhetorical Analysis Notes

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Ch. 6 Rhetorical Analysis Notes--a close reading of a text to find how and whether it works to persuade--what strategies the piece employs to move your heart, win your trust, andchange your mind, and why it does or doesn’t do so--digging DEEPERGoal: Try to show how key devices in an argument actually make itsucceed or fail. Writing a rhetorical analysis (main elements):- What is the purpose of the argument?- Who is the audience?- What strategies does the argument use—emotional (pathos), ethical(ethos), logical (logos)?- How does the language or style of the argument work to persuade anaudience?All elements:- What is the purpose of this argument? What does it hope toachieve?*- Who is the audience for this argument?*- What appeals or techniques does the argument use – emotional,logical, ethical?*- What genre of argument is it, and how does the genre affect theargument? (While you might well challenge an argument in an op-edthat lacked sufficient evidence, you wouldn’t make the samecomplaint about a bumper sticker.)- Who is making the argument? What ethos does it create, and howdoes it do so? What values does the ethos evoke? How does itmake the writer or creator seem trustworthy?- What authorities does the argument rely on or appeal to?- What facts, reasoning, and evidence (or lack thereof – think fallacies)are used in the argument? How are they presented?- What claims does the argument make? What issues are raised – orignored or evaded?- What are the contexts – social, political, historical, cultural – for thisargument? Whose interests does it serve? Who gains or loses by it?- How is the argument organized or arranged? What media does theargument use?- How does the language or style of the argument work to persuade anaudience?**denotes main elementsSpecifics of Drafting a Rhetorical Analysis:1.Summarize the text; include author’s name, publication name, date, etc.2.Write a working thesis (claim).3.Include purpose of argument; audience4.Examine strategies—which are stronger, weaker, missing5.Explain whether or not it fails or succeeds in persuading youNotes:SampleRhetorical Analysis Assignment PromptAssignment Objective:Your purpose in this assignment is to explain to youraudience (the class, your instructor) how the text persuades its readers,and to convince them of the persuasiveness of your own analysis andevaluation of the text.Learning Goals:Analyzing and writing about a primary text will help you todevelop your visual and written literacy and your skills as a rhetorician. Asyou explain how the text persuades its readers, you are also addressingyour own audience and attempting to be persuasive yourself.As youimplement the methods of rhetorical analysis, you are developing expertisein rhetorical argumentation that you will need for research-basedarguments.“It’s Not about You” by David Brooks- Political commentator- New York Times columnist- Argues that today’s college grads have been poorly prepared for lifeafter college due to a radical excess of supervisionNotes on essay:Rhetorical analysis of “It’s Not about You”: “Understanding Brooks’sBinaries” by Rachel Kolb- Connects article to personal experience to create an ethical appeal- Provides brief overview of Brooks’s argument- States Brooks’s central claim- Provides transitions between topics- Comments critically on author’s use of evidence- Analyzes author’s intended audience- Closely analyzes Brooks’s style- Analyzes author’s conclusion- Cites original textNotes on essay:Writing a Rhetorical Analysis Guide: pp. 114-119

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HARVARD ENGLISH 101 - Ch. 6 Rhetorical Analysis Notes

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