Rhetorical Analysis Summary

      Rhetorical analysis is “analyzing how well the components of an argument work together to persuade or move an audience.” (Rhetorical Analysis p. 97) This reading selection instructs how to effectively rhetorically analyze a text. To perform an effective rhetorical analysis one has to understand the purpose of the argument, understand who makes the argument, identify who the audience is and how they are appealing to them, and examine the arrangement and media and the style of the argument.
       To really dig deep into the analysis, one should do research on who is making the argument and find out more about the company or person behind the text. One should also evaluate “how well their strategies, content, tone and language meet the expectations of readers or viewers.” (p 101) Another aspect to consider is how the author establishes credibility and respect with their audience. For example, the credibility Walmart gets from its simple and straight talk through its advertisements. The tactic of using emotional appeal, or pathos, is to distract you from your life for a moment and sway you to choose what the advertisement encourages. Emotion can add a strong back bone to the argument. The example given in this reading is the shocking ads against drunk driving. The emotions the images evokes are very powerful and effective at the same time. For arguments based on character, or ethos, one should look for evidence of traits such as dependable, astute, and honorable. Also consider the word choice of the author to determine if they seem either haughty or educated. The other tool for argument is using logic to make a plausible and credible claim, or logos. This type of argument may be completely obvious or you may have to work to see the conclusion through its supporting reasons and reliable evidence. The coherent fluidity of an argument can also contribute to the effectiveness of an argument. For example, blunt, simple sentences give off a certain style just as long, wordy sentences do.
         All of these factors work together to achieve an effective rhetorical analysis of any text one wishes to evaluate.


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