Rhetorical Analysis Essay:

Rhetorical Analysis Essay

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Length Requirement: 5 Pages Minimum (not including Works Cited page)

Course Objectives:

Develop and support a thesis in an essay incorporating research Apply strategies for organizing texts Analyze and respond critically and creatively to the ideas and strategies in the writing of others through reading a variety of texts, including academic discourse Use discourse appropriate for an academic audience

In this rhetorical analysis, you will analyze and compare the rhetorical strategies used by Ron Chernow in his Alexander Hamilton biography and Lin-Manuel Miranda in his Hamilton: An American Musical. For this essay, you will choose and analyze one set of the grouped sources (Hamilton Songs & Book Chapters – listed in Module 1 online), which provide perspectives on history and various aspects of the life of Alexander Hamilton. Within your rhetorical analysis, you should compare how each author uses or represents logos (logic/reasoning), pathos (emotion), and ethos (credibility) to achieve their writing objective.


·       Craft an introduction paragraph that clearly demonstrates writing purpose and provides an overview:

o   Include a brief but accurate and fair summary of each source.

o   Identify authors and titles by name in the introduction (title of the book should be in italics; titles of songs and book chapters should be in quotation marks, not italics).

o   What is each authorâ€s writing purpose (goal)? What does s/he want the reader to do/think/feel/believe?

·       Develop an effective, one-sentence, analytical thesis statement, appearing at the very end of the introduction, that represents your conclusion about who used rhetorical appeals most effectively to achieve his writing purpose.

·       Analysis should be detailed, supported, and organized effectively in well-crafted body paragraphs, each with a topic sentence to transition between paragraph ideas and act as a mini-thesis for the paragraph.

·       Form an educated judgment about what are the strongest and weakest elements of each source by comparing them to similar elements of the other source. In other words, do not just evaluate each source separately; compare the effectiveness or success of the authorâ€s rhetorical strategies to the other authorâ€s strategies.

·       How does each author use rhetorical strategies (ethos, logos, and pathos)? Provide specific examples from the texts to illustrate.

·       How effective is each authorâ€s use of each rhetorical strategy compared to the other authorâ€s use of that same strategy? Provide examples and evidence from the texts to support your analyses.

·       Ethos: What is each authorâ€s qualifications for writing about this topic? How believable is each author based on background, job, and education? What are each authorâ€s possible biases based on personal and professional connections? Cite specific examples and evidence to support your points.

·       Logos: What kinds of evidence (facts, statistics, case studies, personal testimony, interviews…) does each author use to persuade the audience? What are some examples of logical arguments each author makes? Analyze credibility and logic based on evidence and reasoning. Cite specific examples to support your points.

·       Pathos: What do the authors want the audience to feel, and what strategies does each author use to provoke emotional responses? Identify what those emotional responses are supposed to be (fear, anger, sympathy, sadness, pride…). Cite specific examples to support your points.

o   If the author does not use pathos, what effect does that have on the effectiveness of the piece? Assess the success of the authorâ€s use or avoidance of pathos.

·       Demonstrate effective synthesis (integration/blending) of your analysis and source material. Source information should be easily distinguishable from your ideas (attribute all source info using MLA citations). Present information that is accurate and does not plagiarize source material.

·       Develop a separate conclusion paragraph that recaps main points, restates the thesis, and draws conclusions based on the info presented in the body paragraphs. The conclusion should not introduce new information or arguments not supported in the body paragraphs.

·       Include a Works Cited page with both sources in correct 8th ed. MLA.

·       Include accurate MLA-style parenthetical citations for all information from sources (quoted and paraphrased).

·       Format your essay using 8th ed. MLA Style.

·       Focus on editing issues (grammar, punctuation, typos, spelling, and font style). Show care for proofreading and correction.

·       Avoid writing directly about the assignment or your writing or researching process; avoid personal pronouns (“I,†“we,†“me,†“you,†etc.).


Grading Standards:

Exemplary (98% or more)

Essay could be used to demonstrate a model student writing sample for future courses. Exceeds expectations for requirements above.

Proficient (90% or more)

Generally, provides a thorough and accurate argument that meets or slightly exceeds expectations for requirements above. May be minor errors in formatting or editing.

Competent (80% or more)

Generally, provides a thorough and accurate argument that meets expectations for requirements above. May be minor issues with depth of information and analysis and/or minor errors in formatting or editing

Progressing (70% or more)

Generally, provides an argument that attempts to meet expectations for all requirements above but may fall slightly below minimum requirements. May be moderate issues with depth of information and/or minor to moderate errors in formatting or editing.

Novice (60% or more)

Significant issues with depth of information and analysis and/or substantial errors in formatting and/or editing. Fails to meet expectations for several requirements above. Review requirements above, for which the assignment does not meet minimum standards for a passing grade.

Unacceptable (0% or more)

Does not meet most/any of the requirements set forth in prompt. Wholly inaccurate and/or unacceptable submission. May show signs of plagiarism. Review requirements above, for which the assignment does not come close to meeting minimum standards for a passing grade.

8th Edition MLA Style, Times New Roman, Font 12-Point Sized Font ,Double-Spaced Throughout, No Extra Spaces

In-Text (Parenthetical) Citations (MLA) Works Cited Page (MLA) Word-Compatible Document File (.doc, .docx, .rtf) No .pages, .pdf, .gdoc, .zip Files Standard American English Conventions (grammar, punctuation, spelling)



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