Rhetorical Analysis

Rhetorical Analysis

Requirements:
• You’ll need to use four sources or more. One will be the piece that you’re analyzing. Others can be articles about the piece you’re analyzing; articles about the person who created the piece you’re analyzing (writer, songwriter, performer, game creator, photographer…); articles about the historical context or background of the piece you’re analyzing; articles about advertising or music or whatever applies to the piece you’re analyzing; interviews or surveys related to the piece you’re analyzing (people who are knowledgeable about a relevant subject or people who have examined the piece you’re analyzing)…. Points off if you don’t use enough sources.

• Your paper should be a MINIMUM of 3.5 typed, double-spaced pages.

• You’ll need to turn in a draft of your essay. Daily grade.

• You’ll need to include a Works Cited page (aka a References) page. Daily grade.

• You’ll need to send me a list of links to your sources. Daily grade.

• You’ll need to turn in a cover letter. Daily grade.

• You’ll also, obviously, need to turn in a final draft of your essay. Big grade.
Pleasant surprise?
• You can work with a partner if you wish. Let me repeat that: You can work with a partner if you wish. Your paper won’t have to be any longer than anyone else’s, and you won’t have to use any more sources than anyone else. You’ll simply research and write the paper together and turn in two cover letters (one per person).
Structuring your rhetorical analysis:
• For your introduction, tell us something about the writer or creator of the piece you’re analyzing. Also, if historical information is relevant, include that. Then write an overview / synopsis / summary of the piece that you are analyzing (article, story, book, advertisement or commercial, website, Facebook page, TV show, movie, videogame). It’s perfectly cool if your intro is two or three paragraphs long.

• I recommend dividing your essay into sections, giving each section a heading, like these:

*Purpose. (What does the piece seem intended to do? What makes you think so?)

*Intended Audience. (Who is the intended audience, in your opinion? What makes you think so? Note: it can have more than one intended audience.)

*Methods of Appealing to the Audience.
-Does the creator of the piece try to persuade us that she or he is knowledgeable and honest and qualified to talk about the subject at hand (or that the sources she or he consults is knowledgeable, honest, and qualified)? If so, that’s ethos. Describe what the creator of the piece does to persuade us of these things.

-Does the piece try to appeal to us through our emotions, such as sympathy, anger, amusement, excitement, self-consciousness, loneliness, or fear? If so, that’s pathos. Describe what the piece does to try to get to us emotionally.

-Does the piece try to appeal to our sense of logic by using facts, statistics, examples, and true stories? If so, that’s logos. (True stories can also be used to work on our emotions.)

-If the piece you’re analyzing doesn’t seem to use one of these appeals (ethos, logos, or pathos), come right out and say so. Then show us what it DOES do.

*Music & Visuals (if applicable). Tell us what the piece looks like and sounds like and what impact that has on us (or is intended to have on us).

• Within these sections, you’ll talk about things like language, tone, credibility, supporting evidence, examples, ethos, pathos, and logos. (Put ethos, pathos, and logos in the section about Methods of Appealing to the Audience.) Some sections will undoubtedly be longer than others: some will be several paragraphs, while others might be only one paragraph.

Note: you don’t have to use subheadings, but you may find that they help you organize your paper.

• Within each section of your paper, devote at least one body paragraph to each question (below).

• For each question, discuss details from the piece you’re analyzing AND explain how it contributes.
Another option for structuring your rhetorical analysis:
Write your paper in the form of a conversation or dialogue among friends. You’ll need to cover all of the required subjects (purpose, intended audience, methods of appealing to the audience, music, visuals, and so on), but you won’t need to divide your paper into sections as I’ve described above. Your paper will look more like a play than a regular essay.
Questions to address in your rhetorical analysis:
• What seems to be the purpose of the piece you’re analyzing? What makes you think so?

• What problem, issue, or situation does the piece appear to be dealing with? What makes you think so?

• Who does the intended audience appear to be? What makes you think so?

• What techniques does the writer use to win the audience’s trust? If the writer consults or quotes someone within the piece, in what ways does he or she try to persuade the audience to trust that person?

• Throughout the piece, what techniques does the writer use to hold the audience’s attention?

• What techniques does the writer use in an effort to appeal to the audience’s emotions (such as humor, sympathy, cynicism, hope, self-consciousness, reluctance, and fear)?

• What techniques does the writer use in an effort to appeal to the audience’s logic and intelligence?

• In what way do music and visuals contribute to the appeal of the piece you’re analyzing? (This will obviously apply only if the piece features music and images.)

• If you’re analyzing two or three related things, how do they connect with each other? How are they similar? How are they different? In what ways do they seem to be “talking to” each other?

ONE BAZILLION OPTIONS:
Websites:
1. Write a rhetorical analysis of a matchmaking website such as Match.com, eHarmony.com or FarmersOnly.com.

2. Write a rhetorical analysis of a hook-up website such as Tinder, Hinge, Onlinebootycall.com, or Passion.com.

3. Write a rhetorical analysis of this website: http://www.aftertherapturepetcare.com/.
Facebook:
Write a rhetorical analysis of someone’s Facebook page (your own or someone else’s).
Academic Stuff:
1. Write a rhetorical analysis of the syllabus for one of the classes you’re taking.

2. Write a rhetorical analysis of the Georgia Southern website.

3. Write a rhetorical analysis of a particular webpage within the Georgia Southern website (for a particular department, program, or office, for example).
Advertising:
Write a rhetorical analysis of a related group of commercials that may be entertaining but are also a bit edgy or controversial. These are all good possibilities:
• “Lobby Hobby”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lB5Afwt3vZk;
• Charmin Toilet Tissue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Nh2bg9wAKM;
• Squatty Potty: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbYWhdLO43Q;
• FarmersOnly.com: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ac09ed1e41g;
• American Standard toilets: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWV026E7rLY;
• PooPourri: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKLnhuzh9uY;
• Nationwide Insurance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRVslkan08U;
• Dove “Choose Beautiful”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DdM-4siaQw;
• Cheerios: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbWeH9cztHw;
• Snickers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3RclLJraqw;
• Zazoo Condoms (German ad, banned in the US): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pa2KvqGiIKo.
Articles:
1. Write a rhetorical analysis of this article, “Tinder and the Dawn of the ‘Dating Apocalypse’”: http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2015/08/tinder-hook-up-culture-end-of-dating.

2. Write a rhetorical analysis of this essay, “The Courage of Turtles”: http://www.cwu.edu/~garrisop/makeup_quiz_essays.pdf.

3. Write a rhetorical analysis of this article, “Bionic Eyes, Stem Cells and Gene Therapy: 3 Cutting Edge Cures for Blindness”: http://time.com/4026658/blindness-cure-treatment/.

4. Write a rhetorical analysis of this article (blog), “School Districts Nationwide Should Scale Back Excessive Amount of Testing”: http://www.kansascity.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/lewis-diuguid/article41449371.html.

5. Write a rhetorical analysis of this article, “Is Internet Addiction a Real Thing?”: http://www.newyorker.com/science/maria-konnikova/internet-addiction-real-thing.

6. Write a rhetorical analysis of this article, “What’s So Bad About Hate?”: http://www.nytimes.com/1999/09/26/magazine/what-s-so-bad-about-hate.html?pagewanted=all.

7. Write a rhetorical analysis of this article (which was also a commencement speech), “This Is Water”: http://www.metastatic.org/text/This%20is%20Water.pdf.

8. Write a rhetorical analysis of this article, “Black Man Fatally Dragged in a Possible Racial Killing”: http://www.nytimes.com/1998/06/10/us/black-man-fatally-dragged-in-a-possible-racial-killing.html.

9. Write a rhetorical analysis of this article, “What It’s Like to Live with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder”: http://www.cosmopolitan.com/health-fitness/a39096/im-living-with-obsessive-compulsive-disorder/.

10. Write a rhetorical analysis of this article, “Has Child Protective Services Gone Too Far?”: http://www.thenation.com/article/has-child-protective-services-gone-too-far/.

11. Write a rhetorical analysis of this article, “8 Bizarre Movie Scenes You Didn’t Know Really Happened”: http://www.cracked.com/article_23084_8-bizarre-movie-scenes-you-didnt-know-really-happened.html.

12. Write a rhetorical analysis of this article (blog), “You’re More Likely to Die from Brain-Eating Parasites, Alcoholism, Obesity, Medical Errors, Risky Sexual Behavior or Just About Anything OTHER THAN Terrorism”:
http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/04/statistics-you-are-not-going-to-be-killed-by-terrorists.html.

13. Write a rhetorical analysis of this article, “How to Stop Worrying and Avoid Being a Helicopter Parent: Don’t Do These Six Things”: http://www.empoweringparents.com/how-to-stop-worrying-and-avoid-helicopter-parenting-dont-do-these-6-things.php.

14. Write a rhetorical analysis of this article, “How to Avoid Being a Helicopter Professor”: http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-careers/how-to-avoid-being-a-helicopter-professor/.

15. Write a rhetorical analysis of this article (blog), “A Little Girl Called Me a Terrorist” (on Folio, under samples).
Books:
1. Write a rhetorical analysis of The Naked Roommate.

2. Write a rhetorical analysis of Case Histories.

3. Write a rhetorical analysis of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Movie:
Write a rhetorical analysis of the movie based on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Photography:
1. Choose several of these photographs and write a rhetorical analysis of them: http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/depression/photoessay.htm.

2. Choose several of these photographs and write a rhetorical analysis of them: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturepicturegalleries/9940084/People-with-Passions-a-photo-series-by-British-teenager-Jack-Daly.html?frame=2513624.

3. Choose several of these photographs and write a rhetorical analysis of them: http://www.higherperspectives.com/32-powerful-photos-of-children-and-their-bedrooms-from-around-the-worl-1406162036.html.

4. Choose several of these photographs and write a rhetorical analysis of them: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2594565/Toy-story-Pictures-children-world-favourite-toys-says-countries-come-from.html.
Videos:
1. Write a rhetorical analysis of this video (including visuals, spoken words, written captions, sounds, music…): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4z90wlwYs8.

2. Write a rhetorical analysis of this video (including visuals, spoken words, written captions, sounds, music…): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_haw_YDC_zo.

3. Write a rhetorical analysis of this video (including visuals, spoken words, written captions, sounds, music…): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omiSppfmGVM.

4. Write a rhetorical analysis of this video (including visuals, spoken words, written captions, sounds, music…): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAZYitaxbw0.

5. Write a rhetorical analysis of this video (including visuals, spoken words, written captions, sounds, music…): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDbtvpLHIpw.

Choose Your Own:
Choose from these possibilities:
A song (or 2 or 3 related songs);
2 or 3 related photographs;
2 or 3 related commercials;
2 or 3 related print ads;
An article (or a couple of related articles);
A book;
A movie;
A TV show;
A YouTube video (or 2 or 3 related ones);
A website;
A webpage;
A videogame.

Sample Rhetorical Analysis Papers:
I’ve posted one sample on Folio. Study it and see what the writer has done in his analysis of the photographs.
Here are links to additional samples:

Sample Rhetorical Analysis Paper


http://www.stlcc.edu/Student_Resources/Academic_Resources/Writing_Resources/Writing_Handouts/Rhetorical-Analysis-Sample-Essay.pdf
https://www.uwec.edu/Blugoldseminar/testout/upload/Sample-Rhetorical-Analysis.pdf