Rhetorical Analysis Essay

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For this assignment you will write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay. You need to read Blink by Malcolm Gladwell pages 189 through 254. You need to watch videos. Please only bid on this if you have access to the book and are familiar with rhetorical analysis .


  1. Read Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell.
  2. Analyze Gladwell’s rhetorical strategies, noting how these strategies make his work successful and convincing or not–Your paper must have a thesis that makes an overall claim that reflects the conclusions of your analysis.
  3. Include a minimum of two (2) credible sources from the college library, in addition to the article presented and videos presented in the class, to support your ideas, making sure to cite them both in your paper and on a works cited page in MLA format.
  4. Write a well developed introduction with a strong thesis statement at the end of the introduction. I also wish to see well developed body paragraphs that clearly support and connect to the thesis through the topic sentence. Lastly, I need to see a well developed conclusion that sums up your essay.

Minimum requirements:

  • Three full pages minimum of essay plus a required works cited page in MLA format.
  • Two credible sources in addition to the article presented, properly cited in MLA format–remember to review the previous lesson on what qualifies as a credible, scholarly source.

The questions below will help you explore various rhetorical strategies and focus on elements that strengthen or weaken the argument. However, rhetorical analysis purpose is not to describe techniques and strategies; instead, it is to show how the key devices in an argument actually make it succeed or fail. Show readers where and why an argument makes sense and where it falls apart by quoting from the text, explaining your reasoning, and providing evidence from other texts. The hardest part of rhetorical analysis is to keep your distance as it doesn’t matter whether you agree or disagree with an argument and focus only on how well/poorly the argument works. Thus, your claim should address the rhetorical effectiveness of the argument itself, NOT the opinion or position it takes and should indicate important relationships between various rhetorical components, NOT just list them. Hence, you’re not simply announcing the evidence, but analyze its significance and appropriateness.

Questions for Rhetorical Analysis

  • Who is the writer/organization? Any bias?
  • What is the major claim?
  • Who is the audience?
  • What is the purpose – To explain? To inform? To anger? Persuade? Amuse? Motivate? Explore? Sadden? Ridicule? Anger? Is there more than one purpose? Does the purpose shift at all throughout the text?
  • What is the context – the larger social or cultural context and the ongoing conversation on the topic? Reading the articles one should pay attention to the larger sense of culture, politics, and history in which the article appears; potential bias or point of view; place of publication; how the ongoing conversation affects what you think; how your own cultural, political, ethnic, or personal background affects what you believe.
  • What appeals does the argument use – emotional, logical, ethical?
  • What evidence does the writer use – facts, experts’ testimony, personal experience?
  • What claims are advanced in the argument – fact, definition, cause-and-effect, value, policy?
  • How is the argument presented? What is its organization and structure? What is the logic of its order? How does this structure create and/or constrain the text’s meaning? How does it shape the text and its argument?
  • How does the language, style or tone of the argument work to persuade an audience? The basics of style are word choice, figurative language (similes, metaphors), sentence structure, and paragraphing. How does the writer use qualifiers? (To qualify their thoughts writers use such qualifiers, for example, as sometimes, often, presumably, unless, almost) Does the writer use irony, humor, or sarcasm to be persuasive? Does the writer use a very formal tone, a highly technical vocabulary, or an impersonal voice to signal that an argument is for experts only?
  • Does the writer present his/her claim fairly addressing the opposition and providing counter arguments for their major claims?

What values and beliefs does the text promote and how they shape the argument and limit or expand the rhetorical strategies available to the writer?

Please label the cover sheet

Name: Master Muhammad

Teacher: Professor Wilson

Course: English 101

Date: 5-4-18


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