Both of these videos (8-minutes each) below offer you a video version of rhetorical analysis. Watch both videos to see how rhetorical analysis works. Notice how these students have chosen a topic they are passionate about--- their passion comes across without them having to label their passion. Notice also how both students have used digital cultures to present their ideas in a different way and make those ideas accessible to audiences larger than just their classmates and teacher in one class. We could also talk about the rhetoric of these students!
Watch these videos to better understand how to do rhetorical analysis and to see what is digitally possible for your own texts and ideas.
|Notice how this student never uses rhetorical terminology but is doing rhetorical analysis. This might be your style as well.||Notice how this student uses rhetorical terminology EXPLICITLY for her rhetorical analysis. This might be your style too. You decide!|
|This short film presents a rhetorical analysis of animal advocacy media. It focuses on three types of animal advocacy media: a blog, an advertisement, and a television commercial. The purpose of this project is to discuss and the rhetorical devices and appeals used in each of these media. It highlights the effectiveness of these appeals and strives to answer the following question: What role does rhetoric play in shaping our understanding of animal advocacy and related issues?||This short film critically analyzes the ways that Nike manipulates sound and image to resurrect Tiger Woods's sell-ability. It uses rhetorical analysis to make a critique of the way the commercial itself works and Nike's motivation in creating it. While many camps will suggest that a rhetorical analysis should not include your own opinion, that will not be OUR model for doing rhetorical analysis. Notice how this rhetorician performs rhetorical analysis without losing sight of herself.|
When you offer a rhetorical analysis of a text, you are asking two main, starting questions: What does this text say? How does the text say it? This means that you are describing how a certain position is taken. You are NOT summarizing what an author says and you are NOT simply explaining your agreements and disagreements.
Below, you will see the kinds of questions that you must grapple with.
|1) Who is this rhetor? What makes her/him/them believable and trustworthy, or, alternatively, unbelievable and non-trustworthy? What specific qualifications does this rhetor have? What is her/his credibility with her/his intended audience? What is the rhetor's history with this issue?|
|2) Who is the intended audience that this rhetor (speaker, author, performer, company, etc) is addressing? When you describe the audience, can you determine who they are in terms of age, gender, occupation, education, or position of power? What values does the rhetor share with the audience? How does the author identify with the audience? What are the politics that the audience already has that the rhetor is playing into or extending?|
|3) What appeals to the audience about the rhetor's character? Does this level of audience connection help the address? How?|
|4) What is the context of this address? When does the address happen? Why then? Where does the address occur? Why there? In response to what social issues? Why are those social issues pressing for that rhetor’s time and place? What is the urgency of this moment?|
|5) Are the limitations with this audience that the rhetor faces? How does the rhetor negotiate these limitations? Are the audience's limitations based on social, political, and economic issues? How so?|
|6) How does this text circulate so that it can reach its intended audience?|
|7) What is the message of this text? How is the message designed? What is the purpose?|
|8) How does the rhetor’s address work? What word choices are made? Why? What features of the text seem most crucial for you: is it the overall purpose? Is it the way the arguments are arrangements are arranged and supported? Is it the appeals? Is it the style? Why do you make this choice?|
|9) How and WHY does the rhetor use rhetorical appeals (ethos, logos, pathos)? How are these strategies working (they may not be working equally so make sure your point of emphasis is clear and interesting)? Be as detailed as possible here without stating the obvious (i.e., the author uses this strategy to get his point across, make her point, etc) How does this rhetorical appeal impact the audience? How does it make them feel, react, or respond?|
|10) Does the rhetor accomplish his/her purpose? Does the rhetor have the potential to persuade his/her intended audience? Why or not? (You might not agree with the purpose of the text but the question is whether or not the rhetor accomplishes the purpose, not whether or not YOU like it!)|