Rhetorical Analysis

For this assignment, you will analyze the rhetoric of a text. When you are asked to complete a “rhetorical analysis” of a text, you are being asked to apply your critical reading skills to break down the “whole” of the text into the sum of its “parts.” You try to determine what the writer is trying to achieve, and what writing (or speaking) strategies he/she is using to try to achieve it. Reading critically also means analyzing and understanding how the work has achieved its effect.

The purpose of rhetorical analysis is to not only describe techniques and strategies, but it is also to analyze how the key devices in an argument actually make it succeed or fail. Show readers where and why an argument makes sense and where it falls apart by quoting from the text, explaining your reasoning, and providing evidence from other texts.

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The hardest part of rhetorical analysis is to keep your distance from the topic. It doesn’t matter whether you agree or disagree with the author’s point of view about the topic, etc. You are to focus only on how well/poorly the argument works. Thus, your claim should address the rhetorical effectiveness of the argument itself, NOT the opinion or position it takes.

Assignment: In a well-developed essay of at least three pages, write a rhetorical analysis of an essay, speech, documentary, etc.

At the bottom of this assignment is a list of possible choices for you to analyze. (You are welcome to choose your own).
A controversial topic/argument is the best choice for rhetorical analysis.
Do not use “I’ or “You”
The introduction should give some context—when, who, where, why the speech was given. In the introduction you should also have your thesis (usually at or near the end). The thesis should clearly state whether the speech/paper/etc. of what you are analyzing is an effective or ineffective argument and why it is effective (or ineffective).
Do not use so many quotes from the text that your essay is just repeating the words of the author. You want the majority of the essay to be your own ideas/discussion/analysis.
ANALYZE the rhetoric. Do not simply summarize it.
Ideas for analysis: (You are free to choose one of these, or choose your own). These are just some ideas—there are many famous speeches or writings that would be great for a rhetorical analysis.

Many Ted Talks would be good for this

I have chosen the following ted talk to write my rhetorical analysis on.
Chimamanda Adichie: Ted Talk: The Danger of a Single Story

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