This week is where our theory meets practice! We’ve spent three weeks honing our understanding of the shifting rhetorical situation, how to appeal to different audiences using different rhetorical appeals, and we’ve practiced identifying the six core arguments. This week, we are going to take a leap into generative rhetoric and practice actually evaluating other author’s texts and creating our own analyses.
As you move through the assigned readings and author texts, I want you to consider what ways we can broaden our definition of argument as established but our ancient rheotors.
Writing Arguments: A Rhetoric with Readings 11e
Harris, Adam. “America Wakes Up From Its Dream of Free College.” (Links to an external site.) The Atlantic. 8 Sept. 2018. https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2018/09/where-did-americas-dream-of-free-college-go/569770/
Ripley, Amanda. “Why is College in America So Expensive?” (Links to an external site.) The Atlantic. 11 Sept. 2018. https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2018/09/why-is-college-so-expensive-in-america/569884/
Chua, Amy and Jed Rubenfeld. “The Constitution is Threatened by Tribalism.” (Links to an external site.) Oct. 2018. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/10/the-threat-of-tribalism/568342/
Follow the prompts in the following documents:
Effective arguments depend on . . .
Ethos – Establishing Credibility Logos – Using Logic Pathos – Connecting Emotionally
Your use of ethos conveys to your audience that
informed, intelligent, benevolent, honest
through the use of
Ethical Appeals (Appropriate/Fair Ethical
o Demonstrate knowledge of your subject ▪ Claim authority (credentials,
qualifications, past or present
experiences) ▪ Use evidence to support claims
o Demonstrate fairness to your audience ▪ Use language accurately and
respectfully ▪ Acknowledge the opposing point(s) of
view (anticipate possible objections) ▪ Concede any personal weaknesses /
o Establish common ground with your audience ▪ Acknowledge shared viewpoints ▪ Connect your argument to well-
established or widely respected core
values / principles
Your use of logos allows your audience to see
your argument logically (facts and reason) –
Claim + Supporting Evidence
through the use of
Logical Appeals (Appropriate/Fair Logical
o Hard Evidence ▪ Facts ▪ Statistics ▪ Surveys and Polls ▪ Testimonies, Narratives, Interviews
o Logical Structure ▪ Analogies (Comparison / Contrast) ▪ Precedent
o Strong Evidence & Sound Reasoning ▪ Inductive Reasoning: Drawing a
probable conclusion on the basis of a
number of specific examples
▪ Deductive Reasoning: Assuming a general, widely held principle (called a
premise) and then applying that
principle to a specific case
Your use of pathos allows the audience to
emotionally (anger, compassion, patriotism, etc.)
identify with the subject/argument
through the use of
Emotional Appeals (Appropriate/Fair
Evocations of Emotion)
o Language ▪ Vivid and concrete descriptive and
evocative language ▪ Figurative language
o Anecdotes ▪ Personal experience ▪ Experiences of others ▪ Narrative / story-telling
o Imagery ▪ A picture is worth . . .
Kairos – Showing Timeliness
o The writer demonstrates the temporal significance and relevance of the
argument and shows that this is the right
moment to make and support his or her
Week 4: Crafting Arguments Across Rhetorical Context
Brief Rhetorical Analysis: Evaluating Multimodal Arguments Assignment Sheet and Grading Rubric
Instructions: Choose one visual argument. It can be a meme, an advertisement, a cartoon or comic panel, or a visual Public Service Announcement (PSA). Spend a few minutes close reading the text, paying attention to all visual and textual elements such as colors, diction, font and writing choices, composition, etc.
Take notes and think deeply about what the text is trying to do. What is the text’s claim, and what are the underlying assumptions? Who is the audience? How well does the message suit that audience? Craft a thesis statement that makes a claim about the text’s argument, making sure to focus on how the text is making its argument, rather than solely on what the argument is. Next, elaborate on that thesis by writing an analysis of the text, taking care to evaluate the text’s effectiveness. Include the original visual text in your document.
• 500 words, single spaced • MLA formatting (header and proper heading information) • Insert the image you are analyzing and a link to find this image. I do not require any particular formatting
requirements other than I need to be able to see the image clearly and I want the working link to retrieve it online
• Mention the source you retrieved it from, if the author is known or unknown. This doesn't have to be a formal MLA attribution, something as simple as the following examples:
1) This is the cover from Times Magazine's August 18, 2017 issue, the cover artist is unknown…
2) This is Graffiti Artwork from the English Street Artist, Banksy…
3) This is a comic strip that appeared in the Omaha World-Herald on July 31, 2018….
Resources to use when doing this Brief Rhetorical Analysis: Using Chapter 9, Making Visual Arguments and Multi-Modal Arguments (155-188), describe how the visual text you are analyzing is making its argument. I encourage you to draw upon the rhetorical appeals we’ve covered from weeks 1 and 2.
Step #1: Choose a Visual Argument you want to Analyze using my resources to guide your choice, options below:
• Popular and/or Problematic Advertisements (Social Issue Ads)
• Movie/TV Show Poster, Comic Book, Book covers (what is the implication surrounding gender/sex/performance do you notice? What visual elements enforce this?)
• Critical Memes, Circulated Photoshopped ads, Joke Advertisements aimed at character defamation or Satire (often targeting political figures or popular figures)
• Food Advertisements (i.e. sexists, funny, problematic, etc)
• Activist Artwork i.e. Fairey or Banksy
• PSAs (i.e. don't drink and drive, don't drive distracted, stop animal abuse, stop testing drugs on animals, anti-bullying campaigns, etc.)
• Bumper Stickers
• Comic Strips from political or news outlets (i.e. The New Yorker or The Week)
• Magazine Covers (i.e. TIME Magazine)
• Social Critiques on Popular Issues (i.e. Guns and Mental Health, Drug Use, Technology and Choice)
• You may choose another option with Instructor approval
Step #2: Read the text closely and determine what the main claim or argument is. Consider the following Questions: What is the text’s claim, and what are the underlying assumptions? Who is the audience? How well does the message suit that audience?
Step #3: Craft a thesis statement that makes a claim about the text’s argument, making sure to focus on how the text is making its argument, rather than solely on what the argument is.
Step #4: Elaborate on that thesis, taking care to evaluate the text’s effectiveness. Include the original visual text in your document and a sentence that describes where you retrieved this image from or who the author is.
Is the visual text you are analyzing included in the word document you turned in? Is it an appropriate size? Is it clear to see?
Did you provide a link to the original visual text? Did you explicitly say where this text came from in your rhetorical argument? Did you appropriately attribute a source or author (if known)?
Nuts and Bolts
Times New Roman 12-point font, 1-inch margins, double-spaced, MLA heading, header (last name and page numbers in upper right corner, 500word minimum)?
Did you come up with an original title that is informative and descriptive, specific to your visual analysis? EX: "Composition II Analysis Assignment" or "Brief Rhetorical Analysis" or "Visual Argument" are not original titles.
Did you identify the main argument of the visual text? Did you write a thesis statement detailing the main claim/argument or the visual text?
Quality of Analysis
Does it seem like you 'read' your text critically and carefully? If applicable, did you comment upon font choices, color choices, or other textual elements including diction, or composition? Did you mention what kind of rhetorical appeal might be relevant to this visual argument (logos, pathos, ethos, kairos)?
See Student Example on next page.
Instructor: Jedi Master Mace Windu
18 September 2020
Taking More Than a Knee
This visual text comes from the September 2018 Nike Advertisement from the “Are You Crazy Enough?” Nike
campaign. This advertisement depicts public figure, Colin Kaepernick’s face, and the composition banner
simply reads, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” At a glance, an audience might
simply recognize the iconic “Nike Swoosh” accompanied with the athletic supplier’s long-time company logo,
“Just do it,” leading someone to think this is just another fitness advertisement. With a closer visual analysis and
keeping in mind the rhetorical appeals of pathos and kairos, a careful audience will notice much more.The ad
depicts a clear and closeup headshot of former professional football player, Colin Kaepernick’s face, his eyes
looking directly at the audience, likely to incite an honest connection between the ad’s message and viewer’s
engagement level and emotional sensibilities. The tone of this visual argument is somber and serious, reinforced
by the simple black and white color scheme. The timeliness of this advertisement comes after the 2018 NFLs
decision to require professional football players to stand during the National Anthem; Kaepernick made
political waves in 2016 when he and many other football players began to kneel during the National Anthem.
This advertisement’s layout is simple, and the script is clear and easy to read. While the ideas of sacrifice and
believing in something align with Nike’s fitness mantra, this ad likely signals to another meaning. Kaepernick’s
choice to kneel during the National Anthem was faced with severe criticism and this ongoing debate highlights
the larger issue of racial inequality in the American justice system, once again reinforcing why the authors of
this advertisement chose a dichotomous black and white color scheme.
Chapter 7 •
In this chapter you will learn to:
7.1 Explain what it means to think rhetorically about texts.
7.2 Reconstruct a source text's rhetorical context by analyzing the text's author, purpose, motivating occasion, audience, genre, and angle of vision.
7.3 Ask questions that promote rhetorical thinking.
7.4 Conduct a rhetorical analysis of a source text.
In Part One of this textbook, we explained the principles of argument identifying an issue, making a claim, supporting the claim with reasons and evidence (and perhaps supporting the underlying warrants also), summarizing and responding to opposing views, and paying attention to the rhetorical appeals of logos, ethos, and pathos.
In Part Two we shift attention to the critical thinking skills you will need when, as a researcher and a reader of arguments, you begin exploring a new issue. By emphasizing exploration and inquiry, Part Two focuses on the truth-seeking aim of argument as the entry point into a new issue.
To engage thoughtfully in inquiry, you need to analyze arguments rhetorically that is, to examine an argument closely to understand the author's purpose and intended audience, to evaluate the author's choices, and to deter- mine what makes the argument effective or ineffective for its targeted audience. A rhetorical analysis identifies the text under scrutiny, summarizes its main ideas, presents some key points about the text's rhetorical strategies for persuading its audience, and elaborates on these points.
Becoming skilled at analyzing arguments rhetorically will have multiple pay- offs for you. This skill helps you become an inquisitive, truth-seeking reader. It also plays a major role in helping you construct your own arguments. Particularly, analyzing sources rhetorically helps you determine the reliability of the evidence
Analyzing Arguments Rhetorically 105
you might draw from other sources while also helping you summarize and respond to opposing views. In this chapter, we explain what it means to think "rhetorically" about other people's arguments (and your own). Chapter 8 then teaches you to apply rhetorical thinking to an actual issue; there, you will draw on your own critical skills to summarize other stakeholders' arguments, analyze their strengths and weaknesses, and begin formulating your own stance.
Thinking etorically about a Text 7.1 Explain what it means to think rhetorically about texts.
To become an effective reader of arguments and to construct effective arguments yourself, you need to think of all arguments as voices in ongoing conversations about issues. Invested stakeholders construct arguments in order to move their audiences to see the issues their way. To understand these arguments fully, you need to think about them rhetorically.
Let's look more closely at what we mean by "thinking rhetorically." At the broadest level, rhetoric is the study of how human beings use language and other symbols to influence the attitudes, beliefs, and actions of others. In a narrower sense, rhetoric is the art of making messages persuasive. Perhaps the most famous definition comes from Aristotle, who defined rhetoric as "the ability to see, in any particular case, all the available means of persuasion."
Thinking rhetorically means determining what "available means of persua- sion" a writer is using in a particular argument. You can do this by getting inside an argument, listening carefully to what the writer is arguing, and determining how this argument has been constructed to reach its audience. To think rhetori- cally, you should imagine stakeholders as real persons who were motivated to write by some occasion and to achieve some real purpose.
Reconstructing a Text's Rhetorical Context 7.2 Reconstruct a source text's rhetorical context by analyzing the text's
author, purpose, motivating occasion, audience, genre, and angle of vision.
To enter an argumentative conversation, you need to think rhetorically about each stakeholder's argument. A first step in doing so is to reconstruct the text's rhe- torical context by asking questions about the author and then about the author's purpose, motivating occasion, audience, genre, and angle of vision. Let's look at each of these in turn.
Author, Motivating Occasion, and Purpose The first three questions you should ask about a source text are these:
• Who is the author?
• What motivates the author to write?
• What is the author's purpose?
1 06 Chapter 7
Imagine answering these questions about something you are writing. If you see yourself simply as a student acting out school roles, you might answer the ques- tions this way: "I am a first-year college student. My motivating occasion is an assignment from my professor. My purpose is to get a good grade." But to see yourself rhetorically, it is better to put yourself in a plausible real-world situation: "I am a first-year student concerned about global warming. My motivating occa- sion is my anger at our school's environmental action task force for not endorsing nuclear power. My purpose is to persuade this group that using nuclear power is the best way to reduce our nation's carbon footprint." In real life, writers are motivated to write because some occasion prompts them to do so. In most cases, the writer's purpose is to bring about some desirable change in the targeted audi- ence's actions, beliefs, or views.
If you are in a face-to-face argumentative conversation (say, on a committee), you will know most of the stakeholders and the roles they play. But if you are uncovering the conversation yourself through research, you may have difficulty imagining the author of, say, a blog post or a magazine article as a real person writing for a real purpose sparked by a real occasion. The following list identi- fies some of the categories of real-world people who are apt to write arguments about civic issues.
Typical Stakeholders in Argumentative Discussion of Civic Issues
• Lobbyists and advocacy groups. Lobbyists and advocacy groups commit themselves to a cause, often with passion, and produce avidly partisan argu- ments aimed at persuading voters, legislators, government agencies, and other decision makers. They often maintain advocacy websites; buy advertising space in newspapers, magazines, and online; and lobby legislators face to face.
• Legislators, political candidates, and government officials. Whenever new laws, regulations, or government policies are proposed, staffers do research and write arguments recommending positions on an issue. Often these argu- ments are available on the web.
• Business professionals and labor union leaders. Business spokespeople often address public issues in ways that support corporate or business interests. In contrast, labor union officials support wage structures or working conditions favorable to workers.
• Lawyers and judges. Lawyers write briefs supporting their clients' cases or file "friend-of-the-court" briefs aimed at influencing a judge's decision. Also, judges write opinions explaining their decisions on a case.
• Journalists, syndicated columnists, and media commentators. Many con- troversial issues attract the attention of media commentators (journalists, col- umnists, bloggers, political cartoonists) who write editorials, blogs, or op-ed pieces on the issue or produce editorial cartoons, filtering their arguments through the perspective of their own political views.
• Professional freelance or staff writers. Some of the most thoughtful analyses of public issues are composed by freelance or staff writers for public forum magazines such as Atlantic Monthly or The National Review or for online news sites or blogs such as The Daily Kos or The Drudge Report. These can range from in-depth background pieces to arguments with a highly persuasive aim. (See Chapter 16, Table 16.3.)
Analyzing Arguments Rhetorically 107
• Think tank members. Because many of today' s political, economic, and social issues are very complex, policy makers and commentators often rely on research institutions or think tanks to supply statistical studies and in-depth investigation of problems. These think tanks range across the political spectrum from conservative or libertarian to centrist or liberal (see Chapter 16, Table 16.3).
• Scholars and academics. College p rofessors play a p ublic role through their scholarly research, contributing data, studies, and analyses to public debates. Scholarly research differs substantially from advocacy argument in that schol- arly research is a systematic attempt to arrive at the best answers to questions based on the full examination of relevant data. Scholarly research is usually published in refereed academic journals rather than in popular magazines.
• Documentary filmmakers. Testifying to the growing popularity of film and its power to involve people in issues, documentary filmmakers often embed their point of view into their dramatic storytelling to create persuasive argu- ments on public issues. The global film industry is adding international per- spectives as well.
• Citizens and students. Engaged citizens in fl uence social policy through e-mails to legislators, letters to the editor, contributions to advocacy web- sites, guest editorials for newspapers, blogs, and speeches in public forums. Students also write for university communities, present their work at under- graduate research conferences, and influence public opinion by writing to p olitical leaders and decision makers.
Audience Effective argument depends on the writer's rhetorical understanding of audi- ence. A writer's analysis of a targeted audience often includes demographic data (income, geographic region, typical occupations), political ideology (liberal, centrist, libertarian, conservative, populist), and what scholars call intersectional positioning (race, class, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity), and other factors. The writer's goal is to walk in his or her audience's shoes, to see where they are coming from, to understand their values, assumptions, and beliefs. Although writers of arguments occasionally preach to the choir (that is, address people who already agree with them), they usually want to reach people who hold alternative views or are otherwise skeptical of the writer's position. As we saw throughout Part One, effective arguers try to base their arguments on audience-based reasons that appeal to the targeted audience's underlying beliefs, values, and assumptions.
Genre Genres, or types of writing, emerge from specific social contexts and represent social actions. Think of these genres, for example: billboard ads, infomercials, product reviews, and letters to the editor. The term genre refers to recurring cat- egories of writing that follow certain conventions of style, structure, approach to subject matter, and document design. The genre of any given argument helps determine its length, tone, sentence complexity, level of informality or formality, use of visuals, k inds of evidence, and the presence or absence of documentation.
1 08 Chapter 7
Consider, for example, the difference between a tweet and a letter to the edi- tor. Both genres are short (a tweet is limited to 140 characters, a letter to about 200 words). The initial audience for a tweet are the tweeter's followers; the size of the audience depends on the number of followers and on the number of those who retweet the message to their own followers. (During his presidential candidacy, Donald Trump a master user of Twitter was able to reach millions of potential voters in seconds.) Because a tweet is self-published with no editor or fact checker, the reader must be especially wary. A tweet's shortness allows no space for a com- plete argument, only for an opinion or claim. In contrast, letters to the editor have quite different features. The audience for a letter are those newspaper subscribers who follow the editorial pages. Unlike tweets, letters to the editor are just long enough to allow a mini-argument, letting writers support their claims with brief ref- erence to reasons and evidence. Also, unlike a tweet, there is some editorial review of a letter because editors must read many competing submissions for the limited space and choose letters that contribute something valuable to a conversation.
The concept of genre creates strong reader expectations, placing specific demands on writers. Genres are social practices that arise out of particular social needs and conditions. How you write any given grant proposal, op-ed piece, bumper sticker, or academic argument depends on the structure and style of hun- dreds of previous grant applications, op-ed pieces, bumper stickers, or academic articles written before yours. Table 7.1 identifies some of the important genres of argument that you will encounter as part of an argumentative conversation.
In addition to these commonly encountered print genres, arguments are also carried on in multimedia genres such as advocacy advertisements, advocacy websites, political cartoons, PowerPoint speeches, and documentary films. See Chapter 16, Table 16.1 for a rhetorical overview of sources across a range of genres.
Angle of Vision Angle of vision, as we explained in Chapter 4, refers to the way that writers frame an issue through their own ideological perspective. Rhetoricians often use an optical metaphor: A writer looks at an issue through a lens that colors or filters the subject matter in a certain way. This lens causes the writer to select certain details while omitting others or to choose words with connotations that reflect the writer's view (whether to say, for example, "greedy capitalist" or "job creator"). A writer's angle of vision is persuasive because it controls what the reader "sees." Unless readers are rhetorically savvy, they can lose awareness that they are seeing the writer's subject matter through a lens that both reveals and conceals.
Closely connected to angle of vision is a writer's degree of advocacy along the continuum from "truth seeking" to "persuasion" (see Chapter 1, Figure 1.5). The more writers are trying to persuade readers toward their view, the more the reader has to recognize angle of vision at work. When doing research, for example, you should be aware of the angle of vision taken by many media outlets themselves- journals, magazines, newspapers, blogs, and websites that may be associated with a political ideology. It is important to know, for example, whether an article you are reading came from Mother Jones (a liberal magazine), N a tiona I Review (a conservative magazine), or infowars.com (an alt-right site often associated with "fake news"). For an overview of the angle of vision of many media outlets, see Chapter 16, Figure 16.3).
Table 7.1 Frequently Encountered Genres of Argument
Newspaper editorials and op-ed pieces
Blogs and postings to chat rooms and electronic bulletin boards
Articles in scholarly journals
• Published on the editorial or op-ed ("opposite-editorial") pages
• Editorials promote the views of the newspaper's owners/editors
• Op-ed pieces, usually written by professional columnists or guest writers, range in bias from ultraconservative to socialist (see Figure 17.3 in Chapter 17)
• Often written in response to political events or social problems in the news
• Web-published commentaries, usually on specific topics and often intended to influ- ence public opinion
• Blogs (weblogs) are gaining influence as alternative commentaries to the established media
• Reflect a wide range of perspectives • Usually written by staff writers or freelancers • Appear in public-affairs magazines such as
National Review or The Progressive or in niche magazines for special-interest groups such as Rolling Stone (popular culture), Minority Business Entrepreneur (business), or The Advocate (gay and lesbian issues)
• Often reflect the magazine's political point of view
• Peer-reviewed articles published by nonprofit academic journals subsidized by universities or scholarly societies
• Characterized by scrupulous attention to completeness and accuracy in treatment of data
Analyzing Arguments Rhetorically 109
• Usually short (500-1 ,000 words) • Vary from explicit thesis-driven arguments to
implicit arguments with stylistic flair • Have a journalistic style (short paragraphs)
without detailed evidence • Sources are usually not documented
• Often blend styles of journalism, personal narrative, and formal argument
• Often difficult to determine identity and cre- dentials of blogger
• Often provide hyperlinks to related sites on the web
• Frequently include narrative elements rather than explicit thesis-and-reasons organization
• Often provide well-researched coverage of various perspectives on a public issue
• Usually employ a formal academic style • Include academic documentation and
bibliographies • May reflect the biases, methods, and strate-
gies associated with a specific school of thought or theory within a discipline
Asking~ uestions That Promote etorical Thinking
7.3 Ask questions that promote rhetorical thinking.
At an operational level, seeing arguments rhetorically means posing certain kinds of questions that uncover the rhetorical context and position of each stakehold er in the conversation. When you hear or read someone else's argument (let's call this argument a "source" written by a "source author"), you n eed to ask rhetori- cally focused questions about the source author's argument. If you seek answers to the list of questions shown in Table 7.2, you will be thinking rhetorically about arguments. Although a rhetorical analysis will not include answers to all these questions, using some of these questions in your thinking stages can give you a thorough understanding of the argument while helping you generate insi
We are a professional custom writing website. If you have searched a question and bumped into our website just know you are in the right place to get help in your coursework.
Yes. We have posted over our previous orders to display our experience. Since we have done this question before, we can also do it for you. To make sure we do it perfectly, please fill our Order Form. Filling the order form correctly will assist our team in referencing, specifications and future communication.
2. Fill in your paper’s requirements in the "PAPER INFORMATION" section and click “PRICE CALCULATION” at the bottom to calculate your order price.
3. Fill in your paper’s academic level, deadline and the required number of pages from the drop-down menus.
4. Click “FINAL STEP” to enter your registration details and get an account with us for record keeping and then, click on “PROCEED TO CHECKOUT” at the bottom of the page.
5. From there, the payment sections will show, follow the guided payment process and your order will be available for our writing team to work on it.
Need this assignment or any other paper?
Click here and claim 25% off
Discount code SAVE25