Rhetorical Analysis 2 Assignment Sheet, Link, and Student Example
The same, basic guidelines on this assignment sheet apply to both Rhetorical Analysis 1 and 2; the topics of the papers are just different.
ENGL 305 Advanced Exposition and Persuasion
Rhetorical Analysis Paper 2
For the second Rhetorical Analysis, you will examine a TED talk. Your purpose is to investigate how the presentation is put together—paying attention to linguistic and rhetorical elements such as language, style, structure, imagery, evidence, authorial credibility, intended audience, etc.—in order to analyze how the author/speaker moves their audience to feel certain ways, agree or disagree with certain conclusions, understand the meaning or purpose of the writing, or decide on a particular course of action. What is the presenter trying to do in this writing, how do they go about it, and how well do they succeed?
Here is a link to the online TED talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/wael_ghonim_let_s_design_social_media_that_drives_real_change?language=jv (Links to an external site.)
NOTE: There is a transcript option as well, in which you may read what the speaker says, verbatim.
Here is a student example essay: Rhetorical Analysis Student Example.docx
Consider the nature of your own readers carefully. Keep in mind that your readers are not the same as the audience intended by the speaker of the talk. Put some thought into your own audience analysis before undertaking your first draft. Assume that your audience is unfamilar with the TED talk. Describe (briefly) the presentation, but be sure to note certain aspects of it that are significant (important) to your argument. Determine the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the speech. Is it persuasive? Why or why not?
Pay special attention to:
Purpose and audience: analyze the speech, explaining how it targets a specific audience. What is the main purpose: to sell, to inform, to persuade, to argue a side, to spur action? In the analysis, you can explore how the reading appeals to different audience values/cultural beliefs and how the visual presentation of the ad works to create that audience appeal. Explore how the presentation shapes (or tries to shape) the audience’s perception. Who is the intended audience? How do you know? What values does each audience hold? What might the context of the presentation (where it appears) tell you about the audience? Look up other works by the same speaker. Do you see any similarities?
The appeal to logos, the logic/reason of the article: does it make sense? Does it have to? In considering the speaker’s use of logos, you will analyze issues such as the quality and quantity of supporting evidence. Does the presentation contain any facts, statistics, examples, quotes, in attempts to support the overall thesis? You will want to address any weaknesses and/or strengths in the logic of the argument.
The appeal to ethos and the credibility of the speaker: does the speech seem professional? Is it relatable? Is there an endorsement that might add credibility, for example? You will want to examine the speaker’s reputations or authority, particularly if they represent an agency or corporation. These factors as well as the presentation itself will either improve or detract from its credibility and effectiveness. What can you find out about the speaker? What else has this presenter written, and how does it compare to this work? Are there events, places, situations and experiences that might give insight into this speaker’s intentions, motivations, interests, or purposes here? What “rings true” with what you might know about the topic/theme, and what seems contrived or not quite right?
The appeal to pathos: does the talk try to evoke certain emotions or reinforce certain values? Why? You should identify any attempts on the part of the presenter to evoke a particular emotion from the audience. Additionally, you will want to consider whether or not appealing to emotion is an effective strategy for the argument being discussed. The content of any visuals, the use of color, as well as scale and perspective can be useful in addressing a visual’s appeal to emotions. Finally, you will want to evaluate whether these strategies are effective in conveying the argument that the talk is advocating.
The writer’s cultural perspectives: How does the speech reflect the culture or society that produced it? Does the speech include any popular culture references? Critique how the speech either constructs or reconfirms cultural perception(s) (such as “the good life,” “family values,” “youth,” “happiness,” “sexuality,” “gender roles” or the like).
Are there any visuals used throughout the presentation? Use of type, layout, color, and image: what effects might these elements have on the audience? What’s the relationship between the images and the text? The angle of vision: is there anything conspicuously absent from the visuals? Why? Do they complement each other? Does the visual add information that the text does not discuss? How does the visual deepen understanding of the topic and the speech? Where are the visuals placed throughout the speech? What would the speech be like if the visuals were missing?
100 points possible
500 words minimum, double-spaced, using 12-point Times New Roman font, formal essay style
Clearly developed main point (thesis) analyzing speaker’s intentions or rhetorical strategies
Well-reasoned analysis of a presentation’s rhetorical strategies, supported with evidence
Observation of the conventions of Standard English
MLA manuscript style
Include at least three quotes or paraphrases or a mixture of both directly from the speech with proper MLA in-text citations as well as a properly formatted Work Cited page
Consider additional information about this presentation and about how people react to it in addition to studying the lecture material on rhetorical analysis—and reviewing the speech. Consider the possible intentions, purposes, and strategies used by the presenter.
What claims about the presentation topic strike you and your peers as believable? What seems unlikely to them? What needs more information before your audience can make something of it? What details in the talk are important for understanding that speaker’s motives or methods, and which are not so important? Are there other writings or works that this reminds you of?
By using journaling, brainstorming, branching, reader-response charts, or other forms of collecting, you can create a list of rhetorical strategies that might be in use by this presenter.
Effective introduction and identifiable thesis that analyzes the speaker’s intentions or the effectiveness and purpose of the rhetorical strategies
Effective analysis of a presentation or speech demonstrated, with sufficient evidence to support points in a minimum of three body paragraphs
Appropriate and accurate interpretation of specific details, connected to accurately interpreted quotations and paraphrases
Consistent tone of voice and point-of-view
Clear style with few errors in language conventions, grammar, etc.
Accurate MLA documentation style and number of required in-text citations
Appropriate organization and paragraphing with effective topic sentences and transitions
Well-developed, clear, effective conclusion
Rhetorical Analysis 2 Assignment Sheet, Link, and Student Example