Presentation on theme: "Rhetorical Analysis How to Get That Elusive 9. Reading Comes First Read the directions! Always read for purpose and tone Annotate while you read."— Presentation transcript:
Reading Comes First Read the directions! Always read for purpose and tone Annotate while you read. Read through the prompt twice before you start to write.
The Directions In an article first appearing in Time Magazine, James Poniewozik offers a solution for what he considers our society’s prevalent, but empty, happiness. Read this selection from “The Art of Unhappiness” carefully. Then write an essay in which you analyze the rhetorical techniques Poniewozik uses to convey the value of art for our society.
Introducing… Don’t waste time! Historical context or the big picture Purpose! Mention the author and title when available. Thesis statement= purpose and major techniques (directions!)
Sample Introduction The most intelligent people in the world would readily admit that wisdom doesn’t always bring happiness. In fact, the more we reflect on our own position in the universe, the more we question our future and our purpose. James Poniewozik contemplates these same issues in his article “The Art of Unhappiness.” However, instead of describing the parallel between learning and sadness, he explores the depressing side of art. Through his light, sometimes facetious tone and colorful imagery, he shows us that the darker arts may be just what the doctor ordered for our “happy” society.
The Body Use topic and closing sentences to relate back to the prompt’s purpose. Stitch and weave several examples of techniques. Make sure you comment on the purpose of the technique. Organize ideas chronologically (point by point) OR by technique.
Example Body Paragraph After making this initial assertion about art and its necessary role in our world, Poniewozik builds his credibility with historical background, including references to the “happier times” for the subject area. As Poniewozik reminds us, in certain time periods, art was designed for mass appeal, so the subject areas portrayed were usually “uplifting rather than dark.” His specific allusions to Wordsworth and Baudelaire would assuage any critics who might misinterpret his colloquial comments as a lack of knowledge. One must note, though, that these educated allusions are balanced with references to Thomas Kinkade and Usher. Although a well-educated, culturally astute audience might best understand his arguments (a more typical audience for Time magazine), Poniewozik carefully blends popular allusions with simple diction, perhaps in an attempt to reach all audiences. He’s trying to convey that art “reflects our human nature,” so he needs to broaden his definition of art.
In Conclusion… Analyze the prompt’s conclusion in your conclusion. Restate the author’s purpose. Give a sense of closure. Doesn’t have to be long!
Sample Conclusion Finally, in the conclusion of his essay, Poniewozik offers his thesis. The reason that art is depressing is because we need it to be that way. We need to be reminded that true happiness is not “pleasure sans pain,” but rather the joy and triumph that is made sweeter by trials. Poniewozik used an inductive organization, skillfully leading his reader to this conclusion rather than revealing it immediately, because he knew that this idea is hard to swallow (or “bitter” as he describes it.) However, it is an important message, one that we are more likely to accept now that we’ve been swept away by his logic. Indeed, he draws us in through his witty, conversational tone, so by the end we find it hard not to accept his ideas. With his final sentence, Poniewozik frames his essay with a reference once again to the artist’s clove cigarettes, leaving us with a strange taste in our mouths, but one that will not be forgotten soon.
Rhetorical Analysis Questions What is the message? How is the message being conveyed? Why is the message being conveyed?
Style Tips SSSSHOW, don’t tell SSSStitch and weave RRRRelate everything back to purpose DDDDon’t mention a technique if you don’t know why it’s there DDDDon’t worry too much about technical names.
More Tips Focus on the big strategies first (the overall argument) –What evidence do they offer? –Where do they refute/ make a concession? –Where do they use an appeal? –How is the piece structured? Think about how they designed their message for their particular audience
Talking About Style Only mention a particular stylistic technique if it adds something unique to that particular text. –Ex: Any author can use anaphora once. It’s worth talking about if anaphora is a distinct part of the author’s style and it clearly relates to the purpose of the piece.
SHOW, don’t tell Not this… –Johnson really uses emotional appeal in his third paragraph. But this… –Using abstract words such as “freedom” and “dignity,” Johnson reels in his audience emotionally, reminding them that the foundations of American society are still worthwhile today.
Stitch and Weave Not this… –“Laughing, crying, running, sleeping, breathing are all human actions, human emotions, that make us alive.” This quote uses parallel structure to make its point. But this… –To support his point that humans are complex creatures, Brown creates a parallel string of human actions: “laughing, crying, running, sleeping, breathing.”
More Stitching and Weaving NNNNot this… –“–“–“–“We as Americans need to stand up for our rights and fight for our freedoms.” This emotional call would clearly have an affect on Jameson’s audience. BBBBut this… –J–J–J–Jameson calls for Americans to “stand up for [their] rights and fight for [their] freedoms,” stirring his audience to action.
Relate Everything to Purpose Not this… –In his 2 nd paragraph, Millikin uses repetition several times. But this… –As Millikin calls for unity among all nations, he repeats phrases to emphasize the need for “all nations to rally as one.” –As Millikin calls for unity among all nations, he uses a succession of “we must” clauses to emphasize the necessity of unity.