Rhetorical Analysis Time!

What is the argument here?!?

  • Remember that, as an analyst of the rhetoric, your job is not to decide what is emotionally evocative, ethically credible, or demonstrably logical; your job is to decide if the audience would find it to be.
  • All of the elements on the following checklist need to be addressed in order to get at least a "D" on this assignment. In other words, you can write a beautiful, thoughtful, earth-shattering analysis, but if it doesn't at least attempt to cover these things, you won't pass.

Checklist for rhetoric:

  • Ethos-interesting...; so who's credible in this story?
  • Pathos; can you sympathize or empathize with your chosen argument?
  • Logos; what makes the rhetoric believeable?
  • Author
  • Audience
  • (Historical) Context
  • Exigence

Sources & Citations

  • First of all, let's discuss why outside sources would help you elaborate on some of the rhetorical terms.
  • Next, we'll get started on a Works Cited page by creating a citation for the source itself.

Style & Tone

  • The next thing you'll need to address is how this text uses language effectively (or not!)...
  • Using the points made in the book, Freewrite!
  • Let's use what the EEA section on style as a prompt for freewriting about your conclusions for this analysis.
    • Does the author's style help or hinder their argument?
    • What tone do they use? Is it angry? Is it indifferent? What adjective would you use to describe it?
    • Ultimately, is the argument convincing?


  • Last but not least, I want you to work in your writing groups to search for outside materials that demonstrate specific rhetorical elements!
    • Biographical information may be readily available! (What gives the author authority? What personal testimony reinforces their claims?)
    • Database searches might give you some contextual references (political, social, economic, cultural references?)
    • Exigence! (Why does anyone need to be convinced of this?!?)
  • When we're near the end of class, I'll ask you to share any super-interesting information you might have found; keep in mind that you should be doing this kind of thing over the course of this project, though!


  • Read Chapter 5 - Logical Fallacies in EAA for Wednesday.
  • Complete a Reading Response for the chapter by doing the following:
    • Find a meme (political ones are easy targets) that demonstrates a fallacious argument described in the chapter and provide a link to it or include it in your document.
    • Explain how the meme demonstrates the fallacy you've identified.
    • Discuss why someone might believe or "fall for" this fallacious argument. What presumptions might lead to this kind of reasoning?