Rhetorical Analysis [pic]
Your task with this assignment is to select an object that you think makes some kind of argument and relate to your audience what that argument is and how it is being made.
The overall goal here is for you to demonstrate that you understand how arguments work. In order to do this, you will need to provide a description of the object and then you should discuss who is arguing, what they are arguing for, and how they are making their argument. You will want to discuss who the audience is and how the author is appealing to that audience. It will be important to analyze what lines of argument are being used (ethos, logos, pathos) and how they are used in combination.. How does the author try to lead his audience to a belief or truth? What evidence is used in support of the author's claims? What emotion does it invoke? What values does it rely on? These are the kinds of questions you should think about answering in your paper. The main idea is that you should take an argument apart and look at its pieces to demonstrate that you understand how argumentation works.
Our textbook posits the idea that everything is an argument, so the possible objects of investigation here are limitless. You might choose something that is clearly recognizable as an argument: an editorial, a proposal, an advertisement, a speech. You might choose something that is not clearly recognized as an argument: the design of a house, a transportation system, the local news, a television show. You are encouraged to choose an argument of some complexity so that you will have ample material to discuss. You are also encouraged to choose an object that you see as clearly making an argument. Successful topics for this assignment have ranged from an editorial in the Oregonian to the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Skateboards, songs, and Shakespeare soliloquies have also been used successfully.