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Project One

Page history last edited by Sue Muecke 13 years, 10 months ago

Project One:

Rhetorical Analysis






This assignment is designed to give you practice in applying the basic tools and terms of rhetoric.  This exercise gives you an opportunity to demonstrate your ability to think and respond to a given rhetorical situation.  


You will choose a work to analyze from this list of approved texts.  The works on this list cover a variety of media and topics; however, they all contain a rhetorically interesting argument expressed in a rhetorically interesting manner.  If there's a text you're interested in writing about that's not on the list, feel free to talk with me about it.  I am happy to approve other texts for this project, provided you can prove that they make a rhetorically interesting argument.  After choosing your text, please post the title of your chosen work as a comment on the Mine, Mine, Mine! page.  You need to have chosen your text by Friday, September 17.


The audience for this assignment is your classmates, your instructor (i.e. me!), or any other readers of the argument you have chosen.  You should NOT assume that your readers are familiar with or have read/seen the work you have chosen to analyze.  Nor can you assume that they are familiar with the issues raised in that work.  So part of your task will be to briefly review the contents of the work and to suggest to your audience why they too should be interested in the issue and its treatment.  However, it is not sufficient for you to simply review the work.  In an analysis, you are expected to explain the reasons for the effectiveness of the treatment of the issue at hand.  Help your readers see how the argument works (or doesn't work).





By answering the following questions, you should generate a great deal of material that you can use in composing your rhetorical analysis.  You will probably find that many parts of the work will reveal more than one rhetorical aspect.


1.  What is the rhetorical situation - who is being addressed, what is being claimed, when, where, and why?


2.  What is the writer's/director's/work's ethos and how is it created?


3.  How does the work use logic, facts, or statistics (logos) to prove its point?


4.  How does it directly appeal to the audience (pathos)?


5.  What claim or proposition does the writer/director/work advance?


6.  Considering the knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs the writer/director/work assumes to be common ground with his/her audience, how strong or weak are his/her arguments?


7.  How is the work arranged?  What are its parts?  What is their relation to one another?


8.  What is the role of style and tone?





Your analysis should help readers understand why you find this work rhetorically interesting.  Your invention process will give you a great deal of material to consider and from which to select.  You may organize your analysis around one or more of the rhetorical features we have examined.  Whatever your claims about the work, always remember to ground them with specific "textual" examples.


In general, you must present the claims of your analysis, provide whatever supplementary information about the issue may be necessary for your readers to understand those claims, and marshal the evidence which supports your analysis and its conclusions.  The work itself is primary evidence for this analysis - in showing how rhetoric affects an audience, you will find that frequent specific references and quotations are vital.



The Basics

  • 4-6 pages
  • MLA format and style (one-inch margins, 12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced, proper first page presentation)
  • Works Cited page (in MLA format)



Project One Rubric

Project One Peer Review Form



Project One Due Dates


Friday, September 17: Post your chosen work as a comment to the Mine, Mine, Mine! page.


Friday, September 24: Outline Workshop

(Bring 5 hard copies of your Project One outline to class today - 4 copies for your group members and one copy for me.)


Monday, September 27: Rough Draft Workshop

(Submit your Project One rough draft by uploading the document to the wiki, then linking it on your Roster page.  See the How to Upload Papers to the Wiki page for step-by-step instructions.)


Friday, October 1: Rough Draft Workshop #2

(Submit your revised Project One rough draft by uploading the document to the wiki, then linking it on your Roster page.  See the How to Upload Papers to the Wiki page for step-by-step instructions.  NOTE: Revising your original rough draft and posting a new one is MANDATORY for this second workshop.)


Monday, October 4: Final Draft of Project One due by 11:59pm Monday night

(Submit your final draft by uploading the document to the wiki, then linking it to your name on the U Can Haz Rhetorical Analysez page.)


Wednesday, October 6: SafeAssign report due

(Print out a copy of your final Project One SafeAssign report and hand it in to me at the beginning of class.)



Project One Examples






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