Rhetoric is traditionally defined as “the art of persuasion through written or spoken means.”

Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Rhetoric is traditionally defined as “the art of persuasion through written or spoken means.”  Analysis can be defined as the ability to explain “how” and “why” something works. Analysis is not a summary, description, criticism, or praise.In analyzing a rhetorical situation, you need to determine the author’s purpose, the anticipated audience, and the rhetorical appeals that the author uses in order to convey meaning to his/her audience and persuade them. In other words, you will be examining the following:

Who is doing What to Whom, How and Why are they doing It ?


Instructions: Choose one of the videos provided below:





1)  First summarize your chosen rhetor’s argument in under 250 words.  You must include the rhetor’s thesis or implied thesis and the main points they make.  The summary paragraph should begin as follows:   In “[insert title of article],” [insert full name of author] argues that…  [insert author’s thesis].  Then summarize the article in less than 250 words.

2)  Next, you will analyze the rhetorical situation of your text in order to gain a fuller understanding about how and why arguments are being made in which contexts and for which audiences.




Rhetorical Analysis Essay Feedback Seminar

I’ve accidentally deleted the feedback I gave the volunteers during our feedback seminar when I cleaned my desktop out.

From what I remember, here is the advice I can give you all:

1) Be sure that your thesis points out what you believe to be the most effective strategies the rhetor uses to attempt to convince or persuade his audience.

2) Be sure that each of your topic sentences for each of your paragraphs focuses one specific strategy that the rhetor uses to generate pathos, ethos, logs, or a combination of two or more of these appeals.  You may also explore how the argument or strategy is kairotic or timely (kairos).

3) In each paragraph explain HOW the strategy appeals to the targeted audience and explain why the targeted audience may be receptive to the strategy.

4)  IN your conclusions, you may present your overall opinion of the talk or speech.

5) Remember, in your body paragraphs, you want to avoid criticizing the rhetor.  It’s about just explaining what strategies the uses to try and convince or persuade the targeted audience.

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