Description: As a rule, rhetoric can be defined as speaking or writing in a particular way to achieve a desired effect. To do a rhetorical analysis, you must examine how well an authorâ€™s rhetorical strategies work to persuade a target audience to embrace a message. For this essay, choose one of the five career-related articles below and compose a rhetorical analysis in which you evaluate the quality and authority of the piece and its argument
- University of Southern California’s “Transferable Skills“
IMPORTANT: As you begin composing your essay, consider who the target audience of the text and what the author’s overall goal are. Then, examine what strategies the author employs to achieve their purpose. Is it an emotional appeal meant to tug at your heartstrings? Is it a “black & white” article filled with facts and statistics? Is the author reinforcing their credibility through techniques like personal testimony, well-known organizations, and important scholars? Use the “Basic Questions for Rhetorical Analysis” to help guide you through the process of deciding whether or not the author has chosen effective and appropriate appeals for their text and audience. Note: Each of your paragraphs must provide evidence to support your belief that the author has successfully or unsuccessfully achieved their goals. DON’T simply summarize the article.
Assessment: Your grade will derive from your abilities to identify the message and audience of the article, to argue a clear claim/thesis that states whether or not the text successfully communicates its message, to support that thesis with specific evidence and direct quotations culled from the article, and to organize your thoughts in an effective, thoughtful manner to help your reader clearly understand your argument. Consult the Essay Rubric for a detailed list of the criteria that comprise A, B, C, D, and F essays.
Extra Credit: If you would like to receive extra credit on your essay, all you need to do is take the time to have it reviewed outside of class! Simply make a virtual appointment with the Academic Success Center or submit your essay through Tutor.com, and you will receive five (5) points added to your final essay grade. In order to prove that you went to one of these student resources, you must turn in either a) the reviewed essay with the ASC virtual comments or b) a printout of the feedback from the Tutor.com website. Just attach your materials to the peer review worksheet and in-class peer-reviewed essay that you will turn after the final draft due date.
Note: You cannot receive “double” extra credit if you choose to have your essay reviewed through both the ASC and Tutor.com (though, I would not discourage you from doing so). Also, remember that this extra credit is completely optional. There will be no penalty if you choose not to have your essay reviewed outside of our in-class peer review.
Requirements: You should submit a 750 word essay (not counting the work cited page for the article you are analyzing), typed and double-spaced. Use Times New Roman font in 12-pt size. Format your paper according to MLA guidelines.