College Board Says… College Board Says… College Board would not have asked which letter was more persuasive if there wasn’t a clear answer. According to College Board and me – but I am lowly compared to the Lords & Masters of THE TEST – the 2 nd letter was by far more effective.
Strong Lines of Support Strong Lines of Support “…the public might be confused…and mistake a book by a Harlem schoolteacher for a six pack of Coca Cola.” “We were merely quoting…Prescott’s review” which says the book “is the real thing, a short spare honest book”
AP = Answer the Prompt (the entire prompt!) “…Then write an essay analyzing the rhetorical strategies each writer uses to achieve his purpose and explaining which letter offers the more persuasive case.” Some of you forgot this key aspect of the prompt
Thesis anyone? SO MANY people only gave a partial thesis. Tell which letter is more persuasive in the thesis statement. This was the key aspect of the prompt. Your reader is not Sherlock Holmes. Don’t purposely keep the answer a mystery until the end, especially when the body paragraphs don’t clearly lead you to the answer. (Inductive reasoning is not the best strategy for a rhetorical analysis)
Some Good Introductions If the purpose of a passage is a target one is aiming at then doubtless rhetorical devices would combine to be the shaft, head and feathers of the arrow it shoots at this target. The two letters aim at different marks … and both employ rhetorical devices differently to achieve their purposes. Diction and tone play the major roles in these purposes and also in their effectiveness; the second letter no doubt hits the bulls-eye dead on.
Some Good Introductions Both passages make effective use of rhetorical appeals to achieve their separate purposes…However, Seaver’s letter makes use of the rhetorical strategies more effectively, creating a strong case. Though both letters hold some degree of legitimacy…the one written by Mr. Seaver of Grove Press offers a more persuasive case with a mockingly sincere retort to counter Mr. Herbert’s formal, objective letter.
Some Good Introductions Though Herbert’s request is straightforward, Seaver’s repsonse builds a wall which Herbert crashes into… (Herbert’s purpose)…Seaver brushed off these accusations with a decidedly more persuasive case of his own by defending Grove Press’ actions and pointing out the foolishness of Hebert’s argument. Through the use of various rhetorical strategies, both Herbert and Seaver achieve their purposes
Some Good Introductions When a dull sword is thrust with pride and expectations of victory, the thruster comes out of the dual looking foolish…Mr. Seaver proves Mr. Herbert to be a thruster with a dull sword. Coca-Cola uses many sincere and logical statements to support [its] claims; however it fails in comparison to Grove Press’ sincerely sarcastic reply.
Other Examples of Strong Writing While [Herbert’s] diction shows that unhappiness, it is suppressed by familiarities…not as domineering as it could be…[and] takes a less intensified stance. …a sarcastic tone built upon the beams of acid wit and buttressed by the highlighting of ridiculous diction choice… Brutal use of sarcasm returns the belittling sentiment… The lack of intelligence required to mistake a Coke with a book is monumental… …author plants the possessive flag of “we” and “our”
Other Examples of Strong Writing Like a skilled swordsman, he turns Coke’s blade against the company using the same rigid phrases of “dilute the distinctiveness” and “diminish it effectiveness” to show how ridiculous Coke’s concern was in the first place. Seaver…chooses to organize his reply in a mirrored fashion in which the points that Ira Herbert addressed are rebutted….he appears apologetic, then describes why the complaints are foolish. (six-pack of Coke sarcastic comment) [Seaver’s] words are covered in a translucent politeness with a scarlet layer of sarcasm underneath.
Other Examples of Strong Writing One major contributing factor in the persuasive letter is audience. [Herbert] doesn’t treat his audience as a force to be compromised with, but rather an audience that can be controlled and will surrender to the desired action. …Basically “we were here first” and while this is a logos appeal…the argument is too weak to stop Seaver’s use of the slogan. Herbert is arrogant through this letter, “[appreciating…their] assurance” before it has even been given… (Games People Play example) This makes Coca- Cola’s worries nagging at best and portrays their argument as insignificant
Balance Balance Keep your points of comparison in balance Whatever element you discuss for one letter you should discuss for both Develop sufficient evidence for both letters (some of you ran out of time leaving one side under-developed)
He? She? They? It? This? These? HUH? Lots of vague references Don’t lose your reader with unclear pronoun references
And Speaking of Pronoun Problems… Avoid 1 st & 2 nd person (I, you, me, we…) Most writers create awkward spots in their papers – not to mention that rhetorical analysis essays are to be written in an academic, objective tone.
Poor Ira Poor Ira Ira Herbert is a man Some of you tried to confuse the poor guy by calling him “she” or “Ms. Herbert” Not only does Mr. Seaver address him as Mr. Herbert, it was 1970. There would have been very few, if any, female corporate executives then.
Quotation Quandaries Quotation Quandaries Embed them: No plopping long quotations in isolation & use [ ] to change words to fit into your sentences. On the other hand don’t … a quote to death – some of you left out the important information by overdoing the ellipses.
The “AWK” Bird Came to Visit Some of You There was some awkward word choice flying around in some of your papers.
Miscellaneous Issues Don’t be afraid to use the word “use” “usage” and “utilization” are often awkward or just plain incorrect Be careful how you discuss diction. Don’t say the authors “used diction” since everyone who speaks or writes uses diction. Be specific. “used _____ diction” or “used diction___ly” or “uses diction to ____” Use CAPITALS!!!!! Quotes within quotes: “ ‘It’s the Real Thing’ was first used in advertising for Coca Cola over twenty years ago.”
Scoring Scoring 8-9: Really good! May 16 th ? No sweat! 6-7: Good answers; probably just need a bit stronger, better, clearer support or explanation or just stronger wording 5: You got the correct answer but didn’t support it well and/or diction & syntax need work OR you got the wrong answer but did a really nice job of supporting it
Scoring 4: Likely did not see that the 2 nd letter was more persuasive although you may have given a good effort at support of the incorrect answer OR support was seriously lacking OR didn’t respond to which letter was more persuasive along with other possible problems 2-3: Did not see that the 2 nd letter was more persuasive, didn’t respond to which letter was more persuasive, and/or very weak support/development (Split grades are on the 0’s or 5’s)
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