Select one of the essays from Acting Out Culture (by James S. Miller) and analyze the author’s use of rhetorical techniques and appeals. Determine whether the author makes a persuasive argument by examining: their awareness of their intended audience; how they attempt to elicit a certain emotion from their readers; the kind of sources they cite.
Consider some of the following questions as you write. You can begin to build your thesis statement around your answers to 2-3 of these questions.
What is the author’s main claim or argument?
Who is the intended audience?
What is the rhetorical situation: time period, author’s perspective, current event(s)?
What kind of appeals are made and are they persuasive?
What is the original genre of the text (where was it originally published and how was it distributed)?
Sample thesis for a rhetorical analysis:
“Ehrenreich effectively argues her case for a national minimum wage increase through her combined use of credible sources and emotional, personal anecdotes.”
The goal for this assignment is to show what you have learned so far about how authors appeal to their intended audiences through various rhetorical strategies (for example, appealing to emotion, credibility, or logic). The other goal is to show what you have learned about how genres are defined and/or redefined depending on the rhetorical choices the author has made.
Should include the following:
An introduction and thesis statement; your thesis should state whether the author has made a persuasive argument along with supporting reasons.
Fully-developed body paragraphs with analysis and evidence of the author’s rhetorical and genre-specific choices (quotations from the text).
A Works Cited page (include the text you analyze, along with any other sources you consult).
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