26Jan 2022 by
Rhetorically analyzing a text requires that readers are able to analyze a text in terms of its audience, purpose, context and rhetorical strategies. Rhetorical strategies, which include pathos, logos, and ethos, and metaphors/similes are essential in understanding how a speaker/writer achieves her purpose.
Requirements for your paper:
Times New Roman
4-5 full pages (roughly 1000-1500 words); works cited does not count as a page.
12 point font
1 inch margins
Writing Your Paper:As with any paper, make sure you have:
Introduction: Include a hook to catch the readers interest. Then, introduce your paper by stating some general background information about the text you are rhetorically analyzing. Finally, end the opening paragraph with the thesis.
Thesis: In rhetorical analysis, your thesis is your evaluation of the text. You are making an assertion about how and why you think the text youre analyzing is persuading its audience. Your thesis must be arguable (someone can disagree with you).
Thesis example: Jonathan Kozol reveals the persistence of segregation by drawing upon his ethos as an eyewitness and evoking emotions of sympathy through narratives from students.
Notice that the thesis above identifies the rhetorical strategies you will develop in your body paragraphs (creating ethos as an eyewitness, evoking emotions of sympathy). It also discusses what these strategies do (reveal the persistence of segregation).
Body Paragraphs: Here is where you closely examine the rhetorical strategies you identified in your thesis statement. You will draw from the text for examples to prove your point. Note: It is important not only to identify the rhetorical strategies but also explain why they are important. You must explain why you think the writer/speaker uses the rhetorical strategies. What purpose/motivation does the author have for using the strategies?
Body paragraph example:
Significance (Explanation of the quote. Answering the So What?)
King employs the metaphor of a check in order to show that America has defaulted in its promise of guaranteeing equality and justify for people of color. During the period in which Dr. King gave this speech, racial segregation was the law of the land. The legal doctrine of separate but equal justified segregation on the basis of race. Indeed, Dr. King was well aware of governmental sanctioned laws that promoted inequality, and he highlighted the racial inequalities of such laws by employing the check metaphor. In his speech, he notes that the participants at the event have come to the nations capital to cash a check. He also notes that when the framers wrote the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir, but America defaulted on this promissory note insofar as its colored citizens are concerned. Dr. Kings use of the check metaphor illustrates a simple yet highly effective concept about justice and equality. By using the check metaphor, he shows that America signed a bad check that came back as insufficient funds. In other words, the check that promised African-Americans the funds of equality and justice came back as insufficient. When a check bounces, the individual cashing the check is left with paying a fee, and this fee manifest in the form of unequal laws, such as separate but equal. Dr. Kings use of the bounced check helps highlight that equality and justice are not distributed appropriately across all racial groups.
Conclusion: In the conclusion, you are evaluating the rhetorical effectiveness of the text you are examining. Explain and analyze why you think the text is rhetorically persuasive. What makes the text persuasive/convincing? Summarize your thesis and main points, and end with a strong so what? that addresses the question of why the rhetorical strategies discussed in this paper matter.