The purpose of this assignment is to better understand how rhetorical situations affect the ways authors craft their arguments. You will analyze the ways in which an author has considered the audience, purpose, stance, context, and medium/design. You should use specific examples from the text to support your claims about the effectiveness of the authors use of the six rhetorical categories. This means your thesis could be nuanced. For example, you might argue that the author does an excellent job using audience and purpose, but a poor job with stance. Also, remember your analysis should be grounded in the primary audience, not your view (unless you are the primary audience). For instance, if the primary audience is Environmental Historians, then your analysis of the effectiveness of stance should reflect whether Environmental Historians would find Flores use of stance effective, not whether you do (again, unless you are an Environmental Historian). This is the major issue students have with this paperthey are unable to sever their biases and positions, which makes recognizes other perspectives quite difficult.
As you analyze your text, consider how the author utilizes the rhetorical concepts we discussed in class:
Audience: Who is the intended audience? How What evidence from the text addresses this audience? What does the author want the audience to think or do? Why does the author think the audience would be interested? How much does this audience know about the topic?
Purpose: What is the authors reason for writing? What is the aim or goal behind a claim or thesis statement? How does the author support the purpose? Does the purpose align with the audience? Why or why not?
Stance: What is the authors attitude toward the topic? What is the authors relationship to the topic and audience? How does the author convey his/her stance through tone? Does the author demonstrate biases through tone? Does the stance reflect the audience and purpose? Why or why not?
Context: Does the author recognize any other perspectives? Are there any constraints on the author or the writing?
Genre: How does the genre affect the tone? Are there specific design features expected in the genre? Does the genre require a certain organization? Why is the author using that genre (think of audience and purpose)?
Medium and Design: How does the medium of the text determine what the author could or could not do? Does the medium favor certain conventions? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the medium? How does the medium support the primary purpose? Would a different medium be better for the primary audience? Why?
Style and Format
Your final essay should include a clearly stated, cohesive argument with a strong thesis statement and clear and thoughtful reasoning. In support of your argument, your paper should use appropriate evidence, including in-text citations when necessary. Your paper should also show an accurate and fair analysis of the text.
Requirements: 5-6 FULL pages (5 FULL pages minimum: see Major Assignments descriptions on page 2) in proper MLA format (again, see Major Assignments descriptions on page 2). pages, double-spaced, properly formatted
Your primary audiences will be your fellow classmates and professor. However, you should also imagine a some of your audience has little to no experience with the text youve selected but has a personal investment or interest in the rhetorical effectiveness of the text at hand (because you have a choice between two articles not everyone will have read the same article).
As you write, consider the following questions; however, do not feel you have to answer all the questions in your essay.
Who wrote the text? Is it an individual or an organization?
When and where did the author write it?
Where is the text published or visible?
Who reads or sees this text most? And, who is the intended audience?
Does the author quote others in the text? Why?
Does s/he use nonstandard English? Is jargon or slang used?
What is its purpose (to educate, alienate, entertain)?
How effective is this text in achieving that purpose, for its intended audience?
How effective do you find this text, as its reader, in achieving its purpose?
How does the layout of the document affect audience perception?
How does the author represent others in this text?
What information is included and excluded in the text?
See the Rubric for assistance on weight (what sections are worth) and structure. It should help you structure and plot the length of each section.
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