Presentation on theme: "Rhetorical Analysis A close reading of the text to find out how and whether it works to persuade. How does King do it, and did it work?"— Presentation transcript:
Rhetorical Analysis A close reading of the text to find out how and whether it works to persuade. How does King do it, and did it work?
Purpose What does the author hope to achieve? What does King hope to achieve by writing this article for Playboy magazine in 1982? Money Fame More readers Self discovery Enlighten readers Join a cause What does MLK hope to achieve?
Audience Who is the audience for this argument? Who are the readers of Playboy in 1982? Gender Age Nationality/culture Education Why are they reading this? Who’s MLK’s audience?
Appeals What appeals does the argument use? Emotional Ethical Logical Which rhetorical appeals in King’s essay will influence readers most? Which rhetorical appeals in MLK’s letter will influence readers most?
Emotional Appeals Judge whether the emotions raised— anger, sympathy, fear, envy, joy, or love– advance the claims. What emotions do these words evoke? “ I think we’re all mentally ill; those of us outside the asylums only hide it a little better—and maybe not all that much better, after all.”
Ethical Appeals Readers believe writers who seem honest, wise, trustworthy Author’s experience Claims qualified Tone and word choice Objections addressed (balance) Documented evidence
How credible is Stephen King? External Creds An enormously popular writer of horror fiction for the past 35 years, critical attention (awards),written over 45 novels, some of which inspired a number of horror films Internal Creds Humor, Logic
Logical Appeals Plausible claim (statement) Good reasons and reliable evidence (proof) What is King’s main point? We all have an irrational side to our nature, and horror movies help provide catharsis (relief/emotional expression for those emotions). How does he support this idea? Analogies, examples, humor, no clinical evidence
Style The way ideas are stated Techniques- blunt sentences, repetition, formal (technical or impersonal) or informal language (colloquialisms, contractions), humor or irony, confident or unsure voice Possible effects of style: readers pay attention, sympathize What effect does humor have on King’s audience?
Organization Assess the merits of the organization and what may be missing. Deductive (lay your cards on the table) Inductive (treasure hunt) Interruptions: background, refute or affirm opposition, context, stories anecdotes to illustrate, qualify arguments Does the length and structure fit King’s venue? (Did I put on the right dress?)
Writing a Rhetorical Analysis Opening (article title, author, date, relevance) Overview of King’s argument, especially his central idea Consider his audience and purpose. Your thesis about King’s argument. How did it work? Was it effective? Appeals: Emotional, Ethical (King’s credibility), Logical Style and Structure Offer direct support for your assertions by quoting or paraphrasing from King’s article. Return to your thesis (What does King’s argument achieve, and how?)
Sample Thesis Statements for Rhetorical Analysis Many people today who admire the inspiring language and elevated style of John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address might be uneasy with the claims he actually makes. Today’s editorial in the Daily Collegian about campus crimes may scare first-year students, but its anecdotal reporting doesn’t get down to hard numbers—and for a good reason. Those statistics don’t back the position taken by the editors.
Vocabulary for analysis achieves, accomplish, have a clear purpose, work/ not work, influence readers, rhetorical elements interact, show, demonstrate, appeal, make a strong argument, compelling, emphasize, effective
Let’s Try It Out Underline all informal (colloquial expressions) Circle all attempts at humor Put a star by main points Put an arrow by all analogies or comparisons