Rhetorical Analysis of a Public Document Assignment Goal Write a 750-1,000-word

Rhetorical Analysis of a Public Document Assignment
Goal
Write a 750-1,000-word essay that analyzes the rhetorical situation of a public document. This public document is the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) website on Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) found at:
http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/facts.html
Directions
Complete a close reading of the assigned public document. Then, write a cohesive essay that:
1.Introduces and summarizes the CDC website on ADHD.
2.Analyzes the rhetorical tools used on the site (here, you will want to incorporate ideas from your preanalysis below). For instance, your essay could analyze the CDC’s use of ethos, pathos, and logos.
3.Evaluates the site’s effectiveness (again, ideas from your preanalysis below will be helpful).
This essay is NOT simply an expository or descriptive essay or an analysis of ADHD. It is an analysis of the site and how effectively the site uses rhetorical tools to get its point across.
Read the site closely:
http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/facts.html
oDo a first reading that uses underlining, annotation, and summary to make sure you understand what the writer is saying. Go back to any sections that need clarification.
oOn a second reading, pay attention to what the writer(s) of the CDC site is doing by describing the writer’s strategy.
Conduct a preanalysis:
1.Use your close reading to analyze the rhetorical situation of the site.
2.Here are some questions to guide your analysis.
3.You do NOT need to answer all of them—pick three that make the most sense to you. Your close reading will help you generate ideas for your essay.
•What is the context of the issue(s)?
a)What do you know about the topic?
b)What issues does the topic raise?
c)Is there a larger debate, discussion, or controversy already going on?
d)What seems to be at stake?
•Who is the writer?
a.What do you know about the writer’s background, credibility, knowledge of the topic, beliefs, and social allegiances?
•What is the publication?
a.What do you know about its intended readers, reputability, political slant, and the topics it covers?
•How does the writer define the rhetorical situation and identify the call to write?
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a.What is the writer’s orientation toward the issues involved?
b.What is at stake for the writer?
•Who is the intended audience?
a.Is the writer addressing one group or more than one group of readers?
b.Is the writer trying to bring an audience into being?
c.What kind of relationship is the writer trying to establish with readers?
d.What assumptions about readers does the writer seem to make?
•How does the writer use language?
a.How does the writer use ethos, pathos, and logos to appeal to the audience?
b.What is the writer’s tone?
c.What does the writer’s word choice show about his or her assumptions about readers?
d.Does the writer use specialized terms or slang?
e.Are there memorable figures of speech?
f.Does the writer stereotype?
•What is your evaluation of the rhetorical effectiveness?
a.Does the writer accomplish his or her purposes?
b.What constraints, if any, qualify the writing’s effectiveness?
Draft the essay:
Once you’ve completed the pre-analysis, draft the essay. The essay should include:
1.Header, essay title, heading in APA Style
2.An introduction paragraph with a thesis statement
3.At least three body paragraphs
4.A conclusion paragraph

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