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Next week, you will be assigned an Analysis essay.  To prepare you to write that essay, this exercise will help sharpen your skills in rhetorical analysis.

An analysis is a close reading of any text that examines how it is put together and whether or not it uses language effectively to persuade: How well do the components of the argument work together to persuade or move its audience? This assignment asks you to look closely at how an argument is put together and how that affects the reader.

Begin by finding an opinion piece from a newspaper. You can check the opinion section of The New York TimesThe Washington Post, or another newspaper. (Opinion pieces can sometimes be found under Editorials or Op Eds.) Print out the article and annotate it in order to consider how this text is making the argument it’s making. Begin by underlining important words, making notes in the margins, and circling any rhetorical appeals you find.  If you've never annotated a text before, please read pages 16 and 17 in your textbook for a more detailed description of the process and an example of an annotated text. 

Then write a response to the article that answers the following questions:

  1. An opinion piece is persuasive.  What is the article trying to persuade people of?
  2. What argument is being made?
  3. What are your thoughts about the title?
  4. Pay close attention to the language. How does the article begin? What can you tell from the first sentence? What language choices are being made?
  5. Are any rhetorical appeals being used? If so, which ones?
  6. Are the appeals effective? Why or why not?
  7. What are your thoughts about the transitions between paragraphs? What can you say about how the article shifts from one point or idea to another?
  8. What is the overall tone of the piece? Is it effective? What helps create this tone?
  9. What are your thoughts about the conclusion? Is it effective?
  10. If you had to write a thesis statement about the text's effect of the reader, what would it be?

The majority of your response should break down and analyze, not what is being said, but how the argument is being made (how the argument is put together).  For this exercise, you may copy and paste the questions and then add your answers under each question. Please be aware of grammar and spelling.

You want to support your claims with examples from the text.  For instance, when you respond to question 5, include specific language choices made by the author and discuss their effectiveness. If the author uses a lot of words akin to “catastrophe” or “disaster,” what effect does this have on you as a reader?

Please be sure to use quotes where necessary and avoid plagiarizing.

For this exercise, creating a new thread, please provide a the title of the article along with your responses to the questions. Do not use any attachments.

Please submit your exercise to this discussion board by Thursday at 11:59 pm EST

Please then choose 1 student to respond to.  First carefully read what the student has posted. Then, focus on their content. Is there anything you wish to add or point out to the student you are responding to? Did the student answer the questions is a detailed, clear manner? Your response is due by Friday at 11:59 pm EST.

Student must create a thread to view other threads.

    • Posted: 11 days ago
    • Due: 
    • Budget: $7
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