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Rhetorical Analysis

Essay Assignment 1, Rhetorical Analysis

The final draft, as well as print copies of workshopped drafts 1 and 2, are due on Monday, Feb. 15 by 8 a.m. Drafts 1 and 2 are due Feb. 8 & 10. Failure to submit the final draft to Dropbox on time will result in a grade reduction of 5 points per 24 hours.


For this assignment, you will analyze, NOT summarize, one of the texts we read (or watched) for class for your instructor, your intended audience. Use your homework, books,class notes, blog posts, as well as class discussion questions posted on D2L or in Google Docs to help you. Your essay should answer the following questions: 1. Was the author’s argument effective or ineffective for the intended audience and why or why not? 2. What are the specific patterns of rhetorical strategies the author used to try to persuade, effectively or ineffectively, the audience. In addition, follow the structure outlined below for your essay.

Texts for analysis: You may analyze any one of the four texts, including the Youtubevideo, thatwe have read and discussed in class.


Include in-text citations and a works cited entry at the end of your essay. Use MLA format for this requirement. See Rules for Writers59b and

Formatting requirements

  • The essay must be at least 1000 words. You will lose 5 points for each part of a 100 words that you fail to produce. So, if you only have 950 words, your grade will be reduced by 10 points.
  • In the top-right-hand corner of your paper, type your name, course and section, date, my name and Draft 1 or Draft 2 or Final Draft.Also include the number of words.
  • Use 12 pt. Times New Roman Font and 1″ margins all around.
  • Single or double-spaced is fine with me.



  • Include an interesting title for your essay.
  • You should include answers to the following questions in the introduction: What is the rhetorical situation (all parts) of the text? Where is the text published? Who is the author, and what is the author’s purpose? Who are the primary and secondary audiences and how do you know? What is the cultural/social context?
  • A clearly-written, debatable thesis about the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the author’s argument on the intended audience; the second part of the thesis should list the specific rhetorical strategies you will analyze in your essay.


  • Do not write a 5-paragraph essay as described in the SG, p. 199.
  • Body paragraphs should have a clear topic sentence that indicate which specific rhetorical strategy you are analyzing and include cited evidence and examples from the text. Most of the paragraph should then be an analysis of what effect that rhetorical strategy has on the persuasiveness of the text.Citing specific evidence within a text is one of the most basic requirements for an analysis. Explaining how the evidence supports your claims about the text is another. You should not cite or explain things that are already obvious to any reader.       You are trying to show a deeper meaning of the text that requires you to think carefully about the context.
  • Discuss all texts in the present tense: The authorsays, shows, claims that “…….”



The conclusion should be an overall evaluation of the text’s effectiveness according to its purpose and intended audiences. Is the text you analyzed persuasive or potentially persuasive to the intended audiences? Why or why not? Do not summarize your essay in the conclusion. What would have made the author’s argument even better?Try to relatethis back to the cultural and/or social context. Do not state your opinion in the first-person, for example, I think….



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Category: Sample Questions