Rhetorical Essay

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Rhetorical Essay

  • Moments in history, social views, and the national audience contribute to the rhetorical choices made by the speaker. Authors use rhetorical devices as a manipulation technique. What rhetorical devices aided the author’s manipulation of his audience? Consider tone, diction, appeals, anecdotes and other literary devices.
  • (Include content from multiple (2-3) secondary sources that effectively and actively support your thesis. You must have a Works Cited page in MLA format that includes the speech and additional sources.

Things you must know in order to accurately analyze a text:


  • Once you’ve identified the information on the previous slide, it’s time to begin putting your thoughts and ideas into a format that proves you have accurately analyzed the text.
  • On the next slide is one way that is a good, simple format to help you get started. You may find as you become more comfortable with analysis that you want to deviate from this format. That’s fine as long as you are still focusing on numbers 1-3 from above.
  • The paper maintains 3rd person. (No I, me, we, us, our, you)
  • Must maintain present tense.
  • Must follow MLA Style

Introduction Paragraph Format and Example

  • Speaker, Occasion, and Subject
      • (Writer’s credentials), (writer’s first and last name), in his/her (type of text), (title of text), (strong verb – see list at end of this handout) (writer’s subject).
  • Purpose
      • (Writer’s last name)’s purpose is to (what the writer does in the text).
  • Audience
      • He/she adopts a[n] (adjective describing the attitude/feeling conveyed by the writer) tone in order to (verb phrase describing what the writer wants readers to do/think) in his/her (intended audience).
  • Novelist (Writer’s credentials) , Amy Tan (writer’s first and last name), , in her narrative essay (type of text), “Fish Cheeks (title of text),” recounts (strong verb) an embarrassing Christmas Eve dinner when she was 14 years old (writer’s subject). Tan’s purpose is to convey the idea that, at fourteen, she wasn’t able to recognize the love her mother had for her or the sacrifices she made. She adopts a sentimental tone (adjective describing the attitude/feeling conveyed by the writer) in order to appeal to (verb phrase describing what the writer wants readers to do/think-Manipulation)similar feelings and experiences in her adult readers.

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