Rhetorical Analysis Assignment

Purpose: To develop your understanding of rhetoric by investigating how a writer

constructed a professional document or text in your major field.

To practice analytical thinking and clear writing.

Step 1: Select a document to analyze

Choose a piece of writing that was written by a professional in your major or a field

that is closely related to your major. The text should be

at least 3 pages long so that you will have enough material to analyze and write about.

These writings may include, but are not limited to:

Academic and trade publications (journals, newsletters, articles)

Company web sites (Internet and Intranet)

Professional society web sites (e.g., Federal or State Bar Association, the

National Association of State Foresters, Society for Technical

Communication, etc.)

Internal correspondence (the audience is within the same company or

organization as the writer), for example: memos, policy & procedure

documents, reports such as audit reports, project status reports, proposals,

lab reports, etc.

External correspondence (the audience is outside the same company or

organization as the writer), for example: letters or reports to customers or

vendors, sales or marketing materials, external blogs, newsletters, etc.

Note: There are many sample documents available on the web. Use a Google

search to find these in your discipline. You can also ask people you know who are

working in your major field for a document they may have written. Ask your

professors in your major courses for suggestions as well.

Step 2: Analyze the paper you selected

As a preliminary step, before you actually write the first draft of your paper, try to

answer the following questions about the document you are analyzing:

What do you think was the author’s purpose in producing this writing?

Who was the intended audience?

What genre does it represent?

What style and tone did the author use? (formal, informal)

What rhetorical appeals did the writer use? (ethos, pathos, and logos—these

terms will be explained in class)

What strategies were used to develop ideas? (description, narration, process

analysis, compare and contrast, cause and effect, etc.)

How is the text organized, and why do you think the author chose this

particular organizational pattern? Is there a particular format that is used?

Why do you think the author included or omitted particular information?

What kinds of evidence did the author include to support his/her point of

view, and how was that evidence used?

Step 3: Decide which rhetorical appeals and strategies you will focus on in

your paper.

A writer might use many appeals and strategies, but some are more

important than others in achieving the writer’s purpose. So you need to be

selective; choose those that you think are the most important (or most interesting)

and write about them in your body paragraphs.

This is first draft.

My major is aerospace engineering, you just need find an article about engineering which is okay.

Please send me the article you find after you finished.

THX

 
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