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The purpose of Project #1 is to practice the skills of theory-driven rhetorical analysis, using theory to shed light on the persuasive dimensions of a text or texts. You’ll rhetorically analyze a short, contemporary text or texts of your choosing (such as a recent political speech, press conference, op-ed, etc…) using one or more of the theories we have covered thus far in the semester, ie. those pertaining to ethos, audience, and/or personae, the feminine style. One of the challenges of this paper (and of rhetorical analysis more generally) is pairing text(s) worth analyzing with a theory that enables you to develop a rich and insightful analysis of it/them. As you develop your analysis, you’ll be making an argument about how the chosen text(s) works rhetorically. In other words, your paper should be organized around a thesis that makes a claim about the persuasive dimensions of your chosen text.
For an exceptional model of how to do this sort of work, see Jamie Landau’s “Women Will Get Cancer” (though it uses a different conceptual framework than any of those we have discussed).
Your paper should do the following:
- -Include an introduction in which you give a brief overview of the paper
- -Clearly assert your thesis
- -Use a coherent organizational structure
- -Briefly explain the theory you are using to analyze the chosen text.
- -Include a full account of how the text might works persuasively in terms of the theory or concept you have identified
- -Be specific: make sure you point to particular features of your chosen text
- -Point toward the implications of your analysis
- -End with a conclusion
- -Be carefully formatted and proofread
- -Cite any sources (including course readings) using MLA format