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Rhetorical Analysis Essay

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1 Rhetorical Analysis Essay
Analyzing a text

2 Things you MUST KNOW in order to accurately analyze a text:
SOAPSTone Rhetorical Strategies Appeals – ethos, logos, pathos Style – diction, syntax, details, imagery, tone, etc.

3 The analysis part… Why did the author choose these strategies for the particular AUDIENCE, OCCASION, and/or PURPOSE? How do the rhetorical strategies help the author achieve his/her purpose? Why did the author choose these strategies for that particular audience and for that particular occasion?

4 Introduction Introduction should be brief
Should contain essential information Put SOAPS in your introduction and follow this format: Speaker, Occasion, and Subject: Example: (Writer’s credentials), (Writer’s first and last name), in his/her (type of text), (title of text), (strong verb) (writer’s subject)

5 Example… Well-known essayist and writer, Joan Didion, in her essay, “The Santa Ana,” describes the dramatic mood altering effects of the Santa Ana winds on human behavior.

6 Purpose (Writer’s last name) purpose is to (what writer does in the text) Example: Didion’s purpose is to impress upon readers the ideat that the winds themselves change the way people act and react.

7 Audience He/She adopts an (adjective describing the attitude/feeling conveyed by the writer) tone in order to (verb phrase describing what the writer wants readers to do/think) in his/her (intended audience) Example: She creates a dramatic tone in order to convey to her readers the idea that the winds are sinister and their effects inescapable.

8 Body This is the analysis part!!
This is where you include a detailed explanation of strategies used by the writer! When writing an analysis, it is crucial that you work chronologically through the text. Sometimes this means you will discuss each paragraph and sometimes this means that you will divide the text into sections and discuss the beginning, middle and end of the text. Make sure you use TRANSITION WORDS!

9 Every analysis paragraph MUST:
Identify the part of the text you are analyzing by using transition words and strong verbs Identify the strongest rhetorical strategies used in that section. Use specific text examples (textual evidence) Clearly and specifically explain HOW the rhetorical strategies are used to help the writer achieve his/her purpose and reach his/her audience

10 The tricky part…. You have to weave all these things together seamlessly into sophisticated paragraphs To help move you AWAY from summary and move toward ANALYSIS, you need to incorporate strong verbs in your writing when discussing writer’s rhetorical choices. Weak verb choices= says, relates, goes on to say, tells, this quote shows, shows, explains, states…

11 STRONG Analysis verbs Implies, denigrates, praises, admonishes, lists, lionizes, supports, expounds, warns, flatters, dismisses, enumerates, argues, qualifies, analyzes, contrasts, defines, processes, questions, emphasizes, ridicules, describes, compares, demonizes, minimizes, suggests, vilifies, establishes, admonishes, lists, warns, narrates….. You get the idea!!

12 Put it all together… Here’s what one paragraph of the body of a rhetorical analysis essay might look like: Reagan begins his tribute to the Challenger astronauts by acknowledging that the shuttle accident has appropriately postponed his planned State of the Union address and by expressing the depth of his and his wife’ personal grief. He appeals to the mournful emotions of the audience by admitting that he and Nancy are “pained to the core” (3), that today is rightfully a “day for mourning and remembering” (2-3), and that the accident is “truly a national loss” (4). He joins in this time of mourning in order to unify the nation and humbly admit that “we share this pain with all of the people of our country” (4). This outpouring of emotion from the president conveys a calming tone that reassures the nation that their grief is understandable and proper.

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