Does the author cope with all those obstacles successfully?

Students should write an analysis of a single text (print, visual, cultural). Students should write a thesis-driven analysis of one of the following rhetorical types: logical, cultural, visual or linguistic. The final draft should be 3-4 pages long.


You are to examine a short text of your choosing in great detail and depth. You will need to analyze the texts argument and consider how and why the argument is made. Do not summarize the content of the text and do not respond to the texts argument. Your job is to analyze the rhetorical strategies of the text.

Step 1: Locate a text with a rhetorical argument. You may use an essay, a speech, an advertisement, or any other text. Our textbook claims that “everything is an argument” but not every text is as rich and full as the next. Therefore, you will bring your text to class so that I can OK it. Once you have an okay, move on to step 2.

Step 2: Examine the authors purpose. As with all texts we discuss in class, your job is to consider the authors purpose, make a claim (using evidence) about why he or she wrote the text, and who the texts intended audience might be. Look for a thesis statement and/or end-of- paragraph arguments and for the use of evidence to support the argument. Think about what kinds of changes the author is hoping to create in the readers mind or actions as you evaluate the authors purpose. What obstacles is the author up against? Does the author cope with all those obstacles successfully? What means of appeal (such as pathos, logos and ethos) does the author employ? Make sure to quote sentences that demonstrate the authors main ideas in order to judge their effectiveness, and integrate those ideas into your argument.

Also, consider audience. Closely examine the title, the introduction, conclusion, examples, language and word choices that the author uses. What kind(s) of people do you think these would appeal to, and why? Are these people included in this target audience? How do their experiences suggest whether the author succeeded or not? Make sure to use quotes from the text that shows us for who the author intends to write.

Step 3: Write a rough draft analysis of your text. (2-3 typed pages, completed and ready to be discussed.) Explain the authors rhetorical strategies. Explain how the author makes his or her argument. What kind of evidence does she provide to support her claim? Does this text speak to the intended audience? Why? Come to class prepared for peer review.

Step 4: Revise your essay into a final draft. (3-4 typed pages) Update your rough draft using the notes youve received from peer review.

Page length: 3-4 pages