In a 1,500+word response students will analyze the rhetorical appeals (ethos, pathos, logos)

In a 1,500+word response students will analyze the rhetorical appeals (ethos, pathos, logos) and how these develop the claim and appeal to the intended audience of the student’s selected text (text selections are below).

Geraghty, Jim. “What is the Right Level of Fear for Living during a Pandemic?” nationalreview.com, 24 Aug. 2020, National Review, https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/what-is-the-right    level-of-fear-for-living-during-a-pandemic/. Accessed <enter your date>.

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Purpose: To demonstrate understanding of how arguments are created through the three appeals and the mechanisms within each that develop the appeal.

Your Primary MOD: Division Analysis—writing that isolates individual writing strategies.

Tone: Objective (no first person or opinions unless in introduction and/or conclusion)

MINIMUM Length: 1,500+ words

Submission Format: MLA; electronic submission to Canvas

Additional Notes: As students of ENGL 1302, your primary goal is to understand how arguments work and, later, to create your own. You’ve taken the first step to achieving this in exploring compositional basics—how writing and a thesis develop and why an author makes the choices he or she does. Now, you will take it to the next level, analyzing how compositional strategies create the appeals and how the appeals, overall, strengthen or weaken the argument.

  • The response is NOT about the article’s topic
  • The response is NOT about your opinion re: the topic.
  • Write from the perspective of the learned student exploring what rhetorical strategies the author employs to create his/her argument and develop a successful thesis/message for the intended audience (The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, or com).
  • Remember: you are not likely the intended audience; the original publication of the piece indicates the intended audience.

Basic Structure of an Analytical Response (Rhetorical Analysis)

The Roman numerals below are suggested “movements” in your response and may or may not indicate paragraphs.

I. Introduction: Introductions greet your reader into your response. Students are encouraged to begin with a colorful “hook”—one to three sentences that instantly engage the reader via the topic of the article analyzed and/or the purpose of analysis.

II. Introduction of Article & Context: When analyzing a text, you need to fully introduce it:

  • Title
  • Author—who is she/he? Consider establishing credibility of author.
  • Audience—who is this piece for? You can establish this by researching the original publication, the types of readers the author aims to reach. This information can be noted on this prompt sheet.
  • The Author’s Thesis/Claim—the word “thesis” is often not a favorite of students. There are several reasons why. A composition’s thesis requires students to fully explore a composition and then determine what it’s about.
  • Your Thesis—Your thesis, as the student, is roughly: author’s thesis/claim + appeals that create the argument.Again, the aspects explored by students will vary. Each student’s thesis will be unique. Regardless, the student’s thesis signals to the reader what the student’s analysis will investigate—i.e. a close look at an author’s rhetorical strategies.

III-V. The Body Paragraphs: In the “body paragraphs,” this is where the student dives into theHOW and WHY an appeal is employed by the author. In each “body paragraph” the student needs to:

  • Identify and define (in your own words) the appeal (ethos, pathos, logos) analyzed
  • Provide evidence directly from text
  • Detail what the evidence represents—an MOD? Hostile tone? Citation of authority? Authorial expertise?
  • Discuss how this creates/develop the appeal (MOD=logos; Hostile tone=pathos; Citation of authority=logos/ethos; Authorial expertise; ethos/logos)
  • Discuss how this appeal creates/backs the author’s persuasive thesis
  • Why is this particular appeal effective/ineffective with the intended audience?
  • Consider how this appeal/strategy relates to the others the student will focus upon.

VI. Conclusion

Conclusions are often taught in essay writing to be a recap of the response. Yet, as you are writing a brief response of 3-5 pages (at most), your reader need not be reminded of what he/she read. Rather, end your analysis on a more poignant and/or personal note. As an ENGL 1302 student, you should constantly be thinking about the persuasive air around you and the direct arguments challenged your way: how do you feel about them? 

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