Extra-Credit Assigment


Rhetorical analysis is an important thing to do when confronting discourse of all kinds. For this extra-credit assignment, I'm asking you to find a short article (no more than 500 words) that takes a clear stand on an issue and that argues for that position in some way.

In a full three- to four-page paper (MLA format, Times New Roman 12-point font, one-inch margins), you will identify the genre, talk about the rhetorical situation (discussing the persona of the speaker, audience, occasion and purpose), and weigh the strengths and/or weaknesses of the article. (Note: assessing the strength or weakness of the argument should not be based on whether you agree with the argument; rather, focus on how well the claims are supported.) You will identify at least three (3) claims in the piece, identify those claims as claims of fact, definition, value or policy, and then show on what grounds those claims are offered. You will then identify the warrant that holds up the relationship between the claim and the grounds, following up with any objections that might be raised. Note whether the claims are argued for on the basis of ethos, pathos, or logos. Discuss the arrangement of these claims: does it work for the audience and purpose? Identify also any fallacies which have been committed in the argument.

Behind that paper, you will provide your notes on the article, provided in the form of a Microsoft Word document with comments (see example attached below). After that, you will provide a print copy of the original article. All articles must be cleared with me before proceeding with the assignment.

Credit for this assignment (5% of the total grade) will be awarded on an all-or-nothing basis. That is, should the analysis treat only two of the three required claims, the paper will receive no credit.