Select a text from the options provided by your teacher and write a rhetorical analysis of this artifact.
Using a variety of rhetorical terms and concepts, assess the effectiveness of the author’s claims and overarching argument, as well as their various choices and strategies throughout the text.
This assignment does not ask for you to provide simply a litany of terms or a “grocery list” of interesting rhetorical aspects of your choice. That is, you do not want to just “talk about” some rhetorical features
of your artifact. Instead, this assignment invites you to put your rhetorical knowledge to work by using the concepts that pertain most meaningfully to your artifact to evaluate the effectiveness of the rhetor’s choices and strategies.
In short, for this paper you will make an argument about the effectiveness of a text and how it works
rhetorically or has specific effects for a specific audience (or audiences) in its specific context(s). Your
argument may be that a text is effective, ineffective, partially effective, or effective for some audiences
but not others, because of certain rhetorical aspects of the text or ways it responds to (or doesn’t
respond to) the rhetorical situation.
Your audience for this rhetorical analysis is other rhetorical scholars. While your instructor will be
reading and grading this project, he or she will be reading it as a “general rhetorician.” Consequently,
you do not need to define rhetorical terms from class that you’re using, but you shouldn’t assume a
reader has intimate knowledge of the text you’re analyzing.
Rhetorical Terms You Might Deploy in This Essay
During this unit, we will introduce and cover the following rhetorical concepts, which you might deploy
in this essay:
Expectations & Guidelines
This is an academic paper with some structural constraints. In order to earn a C, your project should
conform to these guidelines:
• Be 5-6 pages long with 1-inch margins, double-spaced, in a readable 11–12 pt. font
• Include an accurate and fair summary of the artifact you are analyzing as the opening
• Include accurate description of the aspects of the rhetorical situation or context as they pertain
to your artifact (this means identifying its purpose, audience(s), exigence, and relevant
information about the rhetor)
• Include a clear thesis that makes an evaluative claim about the artifact’s effectiveness (a
particularly effective thesis also helps readers by providing a “roadmap” of the essay)
• Use at least three rhetorical concepts in sophisticated discussions of the artifact’s effectiveness
(that is, concepts are not just deployed as a passing aside, but are instead integral to your
• Have an effective title that is inviting to readers and helps readers preview the purpose and
subject of your analysis
• End with a conclusion that synthesizes your claims
• Use MLA to cite the artifact and any secondary research you’ve conducted, including in-text
citations and a works cited page
• Use clear language, and be carefully edited
In order to earn an A or B, your essay should conform to the following degrees of excellence:
• Your paper includes all the minimum requirements listed above. It thoroughly analyzes your
artifact, offering a rich description of it and its context, but more importantly, goes beyond the
superficial to analytically and critically explain the rhetoricity of the artifact.
• Your essay is organized in a fashion that is appropriate for your argument and logically and
• The claims made in the paper cohere in order to make a coherent argument (through the use of
transitions and linking back to the thesis).
• Paragraphs cohere, are clearly ordered, and transition smoothly. Paragraphs contain
appropriate analytic topic sentences, which are supported with clear, concrete evidence and
• The paper makes points clearly and succinctly, avoiding wordiness and empty sentences. The
paper’s argument is clearly stated in a thesis statement.
• The paper’s conclusion moves toward the “so what,” making the analysis not solely an academic
exercise, but an analysis that matters for readers.
• The paper follows stylistic and formatting conventions for standard academic English. Sentences
are interesting, varied in form, and fairly free of surface errors.
att: You must use three rhetorical Terms.