Rhetorical Analysis Assignment

A rhetorical analysis is exactly what its name suggests—an analysis of a text’s rhetoric. The term “rhetoric” refers to the art of persuasive

communication—that is, to the various choices and strategies a writer, artist, advertiser, speaker, etc. has employed in his/her text to

persuade his/her audience to adopt a particular perspective or take a specific action.

For this paper, you will choose one of the many persuasive artifacts (or acts) we have studied in class and conduct a rhetorical analysis of

that artifact (or act). Options: an advertisement, a commercial, a photograph, a movie poster, a persuasive piece of writing (Gunn,

Selsberg,Bordo, Seifert, etc.), or a speech.

Your analysis should adhereto the guidelines presented in Writing Today. It should include:

• An engaging introduction.
• A strong and concisethesis statementthat clearly expresses your argument about the artifact’s rhetorical effectiveness.
o Sample thesis statement:In Wasted, MaryaHornbacher successfully uses her unique point of view as a woman recovering from an eating

disorder, combined with disturbing descriptions of her disordered behaviors and her physical suffering, to convince her readers of the horrors

of anorexia and bulimia.
 Please keep in mind that this is only one of many possible approaches to a thesis statement for a rhetorical analysis essay.
• A full description of the artifact, including a discussion of audience and context, as well as a description of the creator’s purpose.

(This can be included in the introduction.)
• An identification of at least three main rhetorical strategies—with illustration and analysis of each of those strategies.
o Remember our discussion of ethos, pathos, and logos.
• An evaluation of the overall effectiveness of the artifact.
o Is it persuasive? Did it achieve its purpose?
• A conclusion that considers the big picture. In other words, so what? Why does your analysis matter? What do we learn from you and your

analysis?
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