I’m working on a English exercise and need support.

In class, we’ve been working to analyze the rhetoric of visual texts (logos, objects, ads, etc.) as well as that of straightforward written texts (the Freakonomics episodes and the Bird, Zinsser, and Malkin essays). Writing Project 1 will build on these same skills of rhetorical analysis, but it will ask you to consider a somewhat more complex written text.

Please select one of the college-related texts that we have read thus far: “Freakonomics Goes to College, Part 1”(ep. 86), “Freakonomics Goes to College, Part 2” (ep. 88), Bird’s “College Is a Waste of Time and Money,” or Zinsser’s “College Pressures.” Then, rather than agreeing or disagreeing with the selection’s argument itself, analyze the ways in which the writer/speaker uses language to create a distinctive tone, style, etc., in order to make the text persuasive or powerful. In presenting this analysis, you should identify the intended audience for whom the work was written and the purpose it seeks to serve. You should also identify the effects the writer is trying produce in the audience, and evaluate the overall rhetorical success of the segment by examining how it uses the three lines of argument (pathos, ethos, and logos) as well as other rhetorical strategies to persuade its audience.

Your thesis statement for this essay should make an argument about how the writer/speaker uses various rhetorical approaches (such as appeals to emotion or logic, language, repetition, etc.) and to what degree and why/how the writer is effective (or not) at achieving the desired effects in his/her work.

A strong rhetorical analysis:

Is 5-7 pages long and formatted in the MLA style.

Identifies the context of the writing situation (author, title, publication).

Identifies the author’s audience and purpose.

Includes a clear thesis statement that asserts what the author is arguing and identifies the strategies the author employs.

Includes paragraphs that discuss the author’s strategies to make the argument [this should move beyond just identifying ethos, pathos, and logos, although those appeals should be included].

Includes some specifics and evidence from the original text (including summary, paraphrase, and direct quotes) to illustrate the author’s techniques.

Fully analyzes the incorporated evidence to explain how the identified strategies support the purpose of the text given the audience.

Includes some evaluation of the effectiveness of the argument.

Is clearly written with appropriate language, attention to editing, etc.

I will evaluate your essay according to the grading criteria in the course syllabus and the writing rubric, as well as your knowledge of rhetorical terms and concepts.



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