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Analyzing a Written Rhetorical Text

Purpose of assignment: To analyze the rhetoric of an op-ed or argumentative piece.

Procedure: Last week, you selected an argumentative article from a well-known news source to summarize. This week, you will write a rhetorical analysis of the same article. Your rhetorical analysis should address the following questions (from Chapter 3 of your textbook):

•  What is the main point? How does the author support this point or make it convincing? How do these attempts to support the point further the author’s purpose?

•  What sort of character (ethos) does the author create through the text? What are all the ways the author uses to build credibility? How do these attempts to build credibility further the author’s purpose?

•  How does the author appeal to the audience’s emotions (pathos)? What are the emotions? How do these emotional appeals further his or her purpose?

•  Does the author appeal to the reader’s logic (logos) or timeliness (kairos)? How? How do these appeals further his or her purpose?

•  What tone or style does the author use? Is the language formal or informal? What do you notice about word choice and the arrangement of ideas? Are certain words repeated? What effect does this tone and style create? How does it further his or her purpose?

Your analysis must adhere to the following guidelines:

1.  Introduce the source by title and author early in your paper.

2.  Include a brief summary of the article.

3.  Include examples, quotations, and paraphrases from the article to support your points.

4.  All quotations, paraphrases, and summaries must be cited in APA Style.

5.  Write in third person. Do not refer to yourself in the paper.

6.  Include an APA Style References page.

7.  Proofread carefully so your summary contains few or no mechanical errors.

Length: 500 words.

Format: Standard essay format of introduction, body, and conclusion. Your introduction should include a thesis statement that expresses the main point of your analysis. For an example of a rhetorical analysis, see Chapter 3 of your textbook. Note that your essay does not have to be as long as this example, but it should address all of the key points.

Format the assignment in APA Style: one-inch margins, page numbers at the top right, 12-pt. Times New Roman font, running heads, title page, in-text citations, and a references page.

Submitting the assignment: Attach your essay as a single file Word document or .pdf file and submit to the W3 assignment drop box.

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