Rhetorical Analysis Time!
- 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 will 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 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 these characters?
- Logos; what makes this story believeable?
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 story 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 Cisneros' style help or hinder her argument?
- What tone does she use? Is it angry? Is it indifferent? What adjective would you use to describe it?
- Ultimately, is she 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 is probably readily available! (What gives her authority? What personal testimony reinforces her claims?)
- Database searches might give you some contextual references (political, social, economic, cultural references?)
- Exegesis! (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 weekend too, though!
- Create a first (or second if you already got started!) draft of your rhetorical analysis that accomplishes the following:
- Identifies what Cisneros' argument might be
- Presents claims about both the author's intent and the exegesis for Mericans
- Uses at least two outside sources (biographies, news articles, etc.) to help demonstrate those claims
- Addresses all 3 rhetorical elements (Ethos, Pathos, and Logos)
- Remember that a draft does not need to be structured like a finalized essay! You don't need an intro or conclusion unless they help you answer the other main points; you don't need to have all the answers yet, just ideas; you don't need to polish your structure or grammar; you don't even need to write full paragraphs!
- This writing does not need to be printed, unless you want me to have a copy. You can bring it to class electronically :)