WRD 103: Composition & Rhetoric I: Autumn Quarter 2014 Rotating Header Image

Rhetorical Analysis Project

Genre: Rhetorical Analysis in an Academic Essay format
Audience: Educated, curious readers
Length: 750-1000 words
BackgroundSt. Martin’s e-Handbook

Due Dates:

  • Weeks Two and Three: Rhetorical précis (5)
  • Thursday, 10/2: Preview Rhetorical analysis
  • Tuesday, 10/7: First Draft
  • Thursday, 10/9: Editorial Peer Reviews
  • Tuesday, 10/14: Final Draft

We’ve been practicing a method known as a rhetorical précis: a highly structured summary that explicates what a writer is arguing (claim), how she does it (strategy), why she does it (purpose/exigency), and for what intended audience. Your first major writing assignment in this class is a rhetorical analysis, which draws on those skills in an extended format. A rhetorical analysis is an argument for a probable interpretation of a text, based on its rhetorical strategies and features.

In our case, your challenge is to analyze any persuasive piece from the Sunday, 10/5 Sunday Review section of the New York Times. If you identify another persuasive essay elsewhere in the Sunday paper — and they do appear in the Sunday Magazine, the Style section, Business, etc. — feel free to run it by me as an alternative.

Support your points with references to rhetorical appeals (8d, 167-69), drawing on direct quotes, references to tone, and other rhetorical features found in the text, especially those related to exigency, main claims, strategy, purpose, and audience.