ENG 111: Composition II
Unit One: Rhetorical Analysis
In this unit, you will read several kinds of texts and learn what rhetorical features make them work.
Op-Ed articles, scholarly articles, reviews, speeches, and television advertisements will be among the
kinds of texts we will explore. John Ruskiewicz describes the essence of the rhetorical analysis in his
his textbook, How to Write Anything:
Rhetoric is the art of using language and media to achieve particular goals. A
rhetorical analysis is an argument that takes a close look at the strategies of
persuasion within a text; it lists and describes specific techniques that a writer,
speaker, editor, or advertiser has employed and then assesses their effectiveness.
When you write your Rhetorical Analysis, you must take words seriously, know your audience, and
read closely so that you can offer strong claims about the text and support those claims with textual
Content and Audience
You will write for the VSU community. You should consider what you know about your peers (and
faculty) as you write. You may have to explain key concepts and define terms. You will have to
persuade your readers that you have something valuable to contribute to their intellectual
understanding. As you brainstorm and draft your Rhetorical Analysis, consider the following
What principles of organization govern the text?
How does the author appeal to the reader’s feelings, intellect, and sense of self?
How does formatting influence the presentation of the writer’s ideas?
What rhetorical strategies discussed in class does the writer use to affect the way that the
message of the text is received?
These questions should also inform your considerations as you read, discuss, and work with peers.
Organization and Format
Your Rhetorical Analysis should include a thesis or a purpose statement that suggests the essence of
your analysis. You must refer specifically to the text in your analysis, using summary, paraphrase, and
direct quotation as appropriate. As a class we will examine sample rhetorical analyses and generate a
list of conventions for this genre, conventions you should work to incorporate as you write and revise.
Your Rhetorical Analysis should be at least three full pages, no mo
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