Rhetorical Analysis Assignment Sheet

Assignment Sheet

Rhetorical Analysis

This assignment asks you to write an expository essay based on your analysis of an essay chosen from They Say/I Say. You’ll choose an essay from a section I assign to your group.

Definition of Expository Essay:
An expository essay makes an assertion and supports it.

Definition of Rhetorical Analysis:
In this class, you will analyze a text in terms of the rhetorical strategies its writer uses. Your goal isn’t to challenge the writer’s claim, but to show how the strategies she uses advance her claim.

The question at issue is:
What rhetorical strategies does the writer use to persuade her audience of the validity of her claim? You will support your claim chosen with evidence drawn from the essay and from any other research that helps you establish the basis for your claim.

To answer this question successfully, you’ll need to consider the following:

  • the immediate and larger context for the writer’s claim
  • the writer’s intention
  • the relationship between the writer’s intention and the strategies she uses
  • the relationship between the intention, strategies and audience

When considering the context, use the following to guide you:

  • What is the dispute that forms the context of the essay you are analyzing?
  • What is the background to the dispute? Consider relevant historical or current social, cultural, or political circumstances. Use the other essays in the section to help you.
  • What possible positions do the other essays in the section represent?
  • Who are the stakeholders in the dispute and who does the outcome of the dispute affect?

To complete the analysis:
You’ll be demonstrating your understanding of rhetorical analysis by using the vocabulary and information from the “Notes on rhetorical analysis” handout and our work in class.

A successful essay will have a strong central claim around which the essay is organized. The analysis will demonstrate how the particular strategies your writer uses work to support her claim. You’ll demonstrate how those particular strategies suit the writer’s claim, the issue in dispute, the position she takes, and the audience she writes for.bold text

MLA format
750 to 1000 words

Peer Review Due: 3/11

Group presentation: 3/16

Final Due (Copy Edit/Final Copy): 3/18

Portfolio Due: 3/23

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