Rhetorical Analysis of a Text Writing Project

Document created by Samantha Storms on Sep 5, 2019Last modified by Leah Rang on Sep 11, 2019
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Assignment by Marissa McKinley, Bedford New Scholar 2019


For this writing project, you will analyze a text of your choice** using the rhetorical elements and appeals we discussed during this sequence. This assignment will enable you to practice your critical reading skills and your ability to analyze a text. As you begin drafting this project, consider revisiting assigned readings, your short summary, and our in-class exercises and handouts. Your final draft should be between 5-6 pages.


As you analyze your text, be sure to consider the following conventions of rhetorical

  • identify the central claim of the text and consider the author’s occasion for writing it;
  • locate and evaluate any uses of credibility (ethos), emotional appeals (pathos), and evidence and logic used in the text (logos);
  • describe the context in which the text was produced;
  • describe the audience(s) (both the real and the ideal); and
  • address the ways in which this text (and its author) represents its subject, what it includes and excludes, and what the combined effect of these choices has on the purpose of the text.


Consider the following steps as you construct your rhetorical analysis:

  1. Select a “text” that interests you.
  2. Summarize the text. Offer readers a visual description of your text and/or examples of the author’s main ideas, supporting evidence, key terms, and other relevant information (e.g., tone, style, word choices).
  3. As you prepare to analyze the text, look to your summary for help explaining the main ideas and organization of the text. Then, focus on its rhetorical effectiveness using the list above as a guide.
  4. Absolutely, positively remember to cite and discuss examples from the text to illustrate and support your analysis. Do not assume that your reader is familiar with the text.


** For this assignment, you may select a speech, propaganda, a print advertisement, pre-approved song
lyrics, or a commercial.