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Rhetorical Analysis Outline

  1. Introduction  

*    Provide a broad introduction to your overall topic w/ an interesting hook.

*   Introduce your author and the title of their work (avoid trying to explain anything here) .

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*   Ends with a clear thesis statement that lays out your purpose in this essay: to explore the use of rhetorical appeals in a text to see how the author attempts to reach their audience for their designated purposes. 

 

  1. Summarize the Rhetorical Situation

*      What is the broad issue here?

*    What’s the context? (You’ll lean heavily on your journalism source(s) here as well as, potentially, your article that you plan to analyze).

* Is this a new issue or something that has been happening for years? (Remember, that it’s possible for the answer to be “both” here.  Look at how we respond to domestic violence and sexual assault.  Those are both old problems to which we respond, hopefully, differently than we did 10 years ago)

* Does this issue involve everyone or a very small group of people?  As a follow up, is there a significant number of people who are affected or is it a fairly small group?

* Is there evidence that this issue is increasing (getting worse) or that it is on the decline?

     

*     What is the author’s purpose in the text that you’ll analyze and how do you know?

 

III. Summary of the Argument’s APPEALS

  1. ETHOS
  • Find one way the author presents themselves as trustworthy. It could be their credentials, their personal experience, their use of external sources, etc. Identify several specific examples of this tactic and how they help establish the presenter’s credibility.

 

  • Find another way the author presents themselves as trustworthy. Again, it could be their credentials, their personal experience, their use of external sources, etc. Identify several specific examples of this tactic and how they help establish the presenter’s credibility..

 

 

  1. LOGOS

Describe in detail the texts logical reasoning and evidence for the claim it makes:

note:  How does the author support their claims?  In other words, what kinds of evidence are presented? Recall our class discussion about kinds of evidence: empirical data (facts, statistics, studies); general principles; personal experience; primary sources (interviews, letters, diaries, memos, field work); secondary sources (documents such as newspapers, magazines, books); common sense; etc. In some cases, humor may be an appeal or type of “evidence” or strategy.

  • Find one kind of evidence the author uses to build their argument. It could be their personal experience, their use of statistics/data, historical evidence, hypothetical situations, etc. Identify several specific examples of this kind of evidence and how they help establish the presentation’s argument.
  • Find a second kind of evidence the author uses to build their argument. Again, it could be their personal experience, their use of statistics/data, historical evidence, hypothetical situations, etc. Identify several specific examples of this kind of evidence and how they help establish the presentation’s argument

provide/describe specific examples of what kinds of evidence the speaker to make their case.  Do not simply summarize the presentation.!

  1. PATHOS  
  • Find one example of a strategy the author appeals to the audience. It could be their personal experience, their use of humor, examples that call out common or typical human behavior, stories that provoke strong emotion (sadness, horror, outrage, joy, etc), exaggeration used to make a point, etc..  Identify several specific examples of this strategy and how they help establish common ground with the audience and then move the audience once they’ve reached it.
  • Find one example of a second strategy the author appeals to the audience. It could be their personal experience, their use of humor, examples that call out common or typical human behavior, stories that provoke strong emotion (sadness, horror, outrage, joy, etc), exaggeration used to make a point, etc..  Identify several specific examples of this strategy and how they help establish common ground with the audience and then move the audience once they’ve reached it.

 

  1. Conclusion

 

Don’t simply restate your thesis statement.  Yes, your conclusion should wrap up your essay and restating a thesis statement can be a part of that.  However, this is the space where you can sell your reader on why this issue and your analysis of this issue is important: what is the significance of this topic and why is it important that we think about it meaningfully?