How is the rhetor using these appeals to persuade us in their goal.
Paper #2: A rhetorical analysis of a Language Acts text
The second project this semester asks you to analyze the role of either ethos and pathos in the argument a text makes. You may select any text we read in Unit #2. Importantly, your analysis should make a point—what you have to say about the role of one appeal in the text’s argument should help your readers to better understand or to think more deeply about the original text.
Mountain Lion Writer will be a valuable resource as you work to define ethos and pathos. Your paper should be in three parts.
– You should analyze how the author establishes their own ethos (Chapter 6 – pg 89 – 110). The rhetor’s credibility can be diverse and have many parts. You might consider how one’s lived experience establishes their credibility. You might think they demonstrate how talented they are as a writer. Whichever parts of the rhetor you choose to analyze, your analysis should focus on a close reading of the text and analyzing HOW the rhetor establishes their credibility. Remember to include the various elements of ethos mentioned throughout the chapter (Goodwill, Moral Character, Practical Wisdom and others. A good essay will mention many of these things and demonstrate HOW the rhetor establishes and uses them in their argument).
– Another portion of your analysis should be about HOW the rhetor is using pathos in their rhetorical appeal (Chapter 7 pgs 111- 130). Remember, pathos is not about the emotion of the rhetor, but the emotion the rhetor is trying to make the audience feel. This is accomplished in many different ways from word choice (i.e. the difference between sad and depressed, pleased and giddy) or passages with many vivid details. It is your goal to point out these rhetorical appeals and analyze HOW they work with what you state is the author’s intended goal of the piece you are analyzing. Remember to include the various elements of pathos mentioned throughout the chapter. A good essay will mention many of these and demonstrate HOW the rhetor establishes and uses them in their argument.
– Finally, a portion of your paper should speak to how ethos and pathos are working together to further the rhetor’s argument or goal. These two appeals can be difficult to separate, so you should talk about how one’s credibility makes an appeal to the audiences emotion more or less effective, or vice versa, how an emotional appeal makes the rhetor more credible. You should discuss at length the ways these two appeals are functioning together in the piece and, ultimately, decide whether these appeals were effective in helping the rhetor achieve their goal. Remember to include the various elements
– Remember, rhetorical analysis is about HOW. HOW is the rhetor using these appeals to persuade us in their goal. It is not enough for you to say the rhetor is using Ethos when they say, “Insert quote here.” You should explain why and how this quote is relevant, and every quote you use should speak to your thesis statement, the argumentative topic sentence of the paragraph in which this quote is found, and the rhetor’s overall goal.
What text should I analyze? Any text we read in Unit. You’re assigned to read through the intros. This may help you to select a text to analyze. You should choose something you find interesting and something with an argument you can both identify and articulate. If you don’t find it interesting or don’t see it making an argument, it will be difficult to create a successful rhetorical analysis.
What do you mean by “analyze” the text? You goal is to break the text into its component rhetorical pieces in order to see how those individual rhetorical strategies/moves/devices/ choices affect the text’s overarching argument. So, basically, you’re looking at how the rhetorical pieces effect the argument as a whole.
Are rhetorical and literary analysis the same thing? No. They require similar kinds of thinking, but they aren’t the same. Rhetorical analysis focuses on rhetorical features, whereas literary analysis focuses on literary features. Also, rhetorical analysis aims to help readers understand and evaluate arguments. “Rhetorical features” is a very broad term. Googling it will produce endless lists. You may want to stick to what you understand and what we’ve discussed in class so that you’ll best be able to fully explain your reasoning.
How long should my analysis be? It’s tough to complete this assignment successfully in less than 1500 words (5 pages), so you may want to think about that as a minimum, but really your paper should be as long as it needs to be to show that you both understand the genre of rhetorical analysis and can use that analysis to make an interesting argument about the text you’ve selected.