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three options attached.

Chapter 6: Understanding Written arguments/Rhetorical Analysis

Evaluation Argument Draft due Wednesday for peer review

Multimedia Rhetorical Analysis (1302)

Length: 800-950 words, double-spaced (not including Works Cited) in MLA format, 12-point font

Source limit: One (2) source minimum

You must include a “Works Cited” page and use correct MLA format for in-text (parenthetical) citations.

Your options (1302)

Culture Shock (Hulu)

Parasite (Hulu)

Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind (Tubi – free) https://tubitv.com/movies/560920/close-encounters-of-the-fifth-kind-contact-has-begun

Rhetorical Analysis (1301)

Length: 800-900 words (not including Works Cited) in MLA format, 12-point font

Source limit: One (1) source minimum. You must include a “Works Cited” page and use correct MLA format for in-text (parenthetical) citations.

Draft due: March 10th

Due: March 22nd (3/22)

For this assignment, you will write an analysis of the rhetorical strategies and techniques used by a writer in constructing a speech. The purpose of this assignment is to think and write critically about a text. In this paper, analyze a text selected by your instructor.

Rhetorical Analysis

To begin your analysis, look at the different rhetorical information and guidelines provided in the course texts that we have covered and other writing strategies we have discussed in class, such as the writer’s backing of a claim, use of evidence, logic (or logical fallacies), organizational strategies, style, humor, and/or tone.

Choose an approach and be selective: you cannot cover all of these elements in a single paper. You must have a thesis about the article you choose and elements of its rhetoric.

You might, for example, write a thesis that addresses a single important technique of the writer, a few of the central strategies used by the writer to structure the article, or the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the essay in achieving its purpose for a particular audience, using selected criteria.

Remember that these pieces are composed by published, respected writers who have quality to their writing; at the same time, you may find gaps in the writing, disagree with the logic or approach, or find significant concerns that are not addressed by the piece.

While you may include a very brief summary of what the writer says, summary should only be a small portion of your essay, and you should concentrate on developing your argument/thesis about the essay, using evidence and insight to support your claim.

Rhetorical Analysis

Is the effort to understand how people attempt to influence others through language and more broadly through every kind of symbolic action – not just speeches, articles, and books, but also architecture, movies, television shows, memorials, Web sites, advertisements, photos and other images, dance, and popular songs.

Think of a rhetorical analysis as a kind of critical reading.

Critical reading involves studying carefully any kind of persuasive action in order to understand it better and to appreciate the tactics that it uses.

What strategies is the author using to convince you?

A Rhetorical Analysis should examine how an idea is shaped and presented to an audience in a particular form for a specific purpose.

Rhetoric is “inside” texts, but it is also “outside” them: rhetorical texts are a mix of the actual text (content) and context (the circumstances surrounding the creation of the text); so the interpretation and analysis of those texts should account for both text and context.



Needs to make a point about the author’s rhetorical choices as well as whether or not those choices result in a strong argument.

You can choose to focus on stylistic choices such as word choice, use of metaphors/similes/personification, how tone is reflected in the piece – (film) use of conflict and tension, characterization and relatability

You can also look at what visual strategies are used (color, videography, positioning) or what evidence is presented

You are analyzing and evaluating strategies, not summarizing.

Pay more attention to HOW the author wrote/created the text rather than WHAT they created.

Will ultimately explain why the author has chosen to write/create in a certain way.

Attitude and tone

Attitude and tone

-Be aware of the author’s attitude toward the subject they present (position/feelings), is it positive, negative, or neutral?

-The feelings conveyed through the voice are the tone. Writers express attitude through tone (angry, somber, sarcastic, enthusiastic, serious, light)

Think about:

-What’s the attitude and tone for the text you’ve chosen? Dark, comedic, ironic?

-How does it accomplish it?

Analyzing for tone

Tone is created and attitude conveyed primarily through word choice and sentence structure (good things to focus on), but also through other techniques:

Word choice


Organization and examples


Hyperbole/understatement/ irony

Visuals (color, editing, videography)


Analyzing for tone

Freedom Kidshttps://youtu.be/vPRfP_TEQ-g

Climate Summit Speech – https://youtu.be/ka6_3TJcCkA

What is the attitude/tone? How can you tell?

What’s being used to communicate attitude and tone?

What is each text’s purpose?

Connotation vs. Denotation ?

Word choice

Is the language conversational or formal?

Is the language concrete and vivid, or abstract and intellectual?

Denotative (literal meaning)/connotative (emotional association/what does it suggest?)






Metaphor, simile, personification


Metaphors: Compares items that are otherwise not alike (figurative comparison)

Simile: express comparison using a connecting word

Personification: compares nonhuman items to humans

Ask yourself: What does the author wish to accomplish using these?

Key and Peelehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlD9JYP8u5E

Metaphor, simile, or personification?

Cause, baby, you’re a firework!

My phone died!

His eyes are like emeralds.

He wants to sail on an ocean of love.

The stars danced in the moonlit sky.

Forget about him, he’s a total dog!

Life is like box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.

Organization and examples – Analyze ‘em!

Pay Attention to:

Where are the ideas placed? Beginning, middle or end? (speech and documentary)

What parts/ideas are developed at length and furnished with examples? (speech, documentary, film – what do they SHOW)

Repetition of keywords and phrases

Used to produce an effective cadence

emphasizes the idea presented by the phrase/keyword

Gives weight and seriousness to writing

From Harvey milk’s “hope” speech

The Spanish community should not be judged by Latin criminals and myths.

The Asian community should not be judged by Asian criminals and myths.

The Italian community should not be judged by the Mafia and myths.

Neither should the Gay community be judged by its minutely few Gay criminals and myths. 

What’s the main idea here? Which community is prioritized? How do you know?

Hyperbole, understatement


Hyperbole: makes a point through exaggeration

Understatement: used to make a situation or issue seem less serious to actually communicate its importance.

Harvey Milk only sparked the movement that would achieve equal rights for the LGBTQ community.

Harvey was the bravest man to walk this earth.

HW (1302)

Draft due Thursday March 3rd for Peer Review (Must include 1 external source)

Works Cited should contain two entries: one for the story you evaluated and one for the source you used to defend your argument.

Post draft on Blackboard ? Assignments ? Evaluation Argument Draft

Three Artistic Proofs – To support our arguments we can use 3 artistic proofs




Three Artistic Proofs/Understanding Rhetoric

To support our arguments we can use 3 artistic proofs:

Logos (appeals to logic)

Pathos (appeals to emotions)

Ethos (appeals to character/ethics/credibility)

Analyzing for persuasive appeals

-By explaining the structure of the argument (speech or film[plot]), you can reveal how the author uses the logos appeal.

-Solid evidence, such as statistics, can also reveal an author’s use of logos

-How does the author/director establish himself as credible?

*counterarguments/opposing opinions




Pathos ? emotions

To create pathos you can use:

Personal experience


The assumption the audience will share similar feelings

Striking visuals


What will you analyze for?

You can analyze for persuasive appeals or you can analyze for tone.

No matter which you choose, you have to indicate whether you believe the argument was effective/ineffective, the strategies used, and why the author chose to use those strategies.****

Thesis statement Structure

JFK’s Inaugural Address effectively/ineffectively argues that __________ through the use of X, Y, and Z.

Gigi Saul Guerrero’s Culture Shock (2019) effectively/ineffectively argues that ________through the use of X, Y, and Z.

What is he arguing?

Gettysburg Address

Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that “all men are created equal.”

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place for those who died here, that the nation might live. This we may, in all propriety do. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow, this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have hallowed it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here.

It is rather for us the living, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.

Lets analyze a few things:

What is the purpose of the speech?

What appeals do they rely on?

Are there any logical fallacies?

Bush Jr. addresses the nation after 9/11 – https://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/gwbush911addresstothenation.htm

Independence Day – https://youtu.be/9t1IK_9apWs


Who do you think argued more effectively? Why?

What appeals are used? Are there any logical fallacies?

Hilary Clinton vs. Donald Trump 2016 – https://youtu.be/JCravysPsAM


Film creators use visuals and audio to communicate message, tone, and attitude. How are colors and sound used in this clip? What is it communicating?

“Nosedive” – Cafe Scene – https://youtu.be/oLc2E4P87QE

Creators also use videography and editing to create tension and conflict as well as gives us clues as to what is going to happen:

The Sopranos
ending: https://youtu.be/1x9YACdBUrU

Also, think about the director and the context of the film/text

It’s important to know who created the text, when, and how the audience received it. Who is telling the story? Do they have any experience or background that would make them credible story tellers?

Think about whether there are any troubling messages in the text, whether they are placed there intentionally or not.

The Bad Batch scene: (29 mins)

Audience reaction – Director response



M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender – Why it is an ineffective adaptation of the original animated series – https://www.cbc.ca/news/entertainment/last-airbender-movie-blasted-for-whitewashing-1.918316

Social Commentary (1301)

Social commentary can very broadly be understood as expressing an opinion on society. In film, it can be used both implicitly and explicitly and every genre has its own approach to incorporate commentary. Comedies may use humor to take on real-life issues in the form of satire.

Are there any critiques of social realities and policies? (Racism, immigration, capitalism, government)

What are these movies commenting on?

Culture Shock – https://youtu.be/tM2E3LUYPig

Parasite – https://youtu.be/isOGD_7hNIY