Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Writing a Rhetorical Critique

The first time you write a rhetorical analysis, it may seem almost impossible, but there are some basic steps to help make it a bit easier.

Take a moment and watch the video. It has lots of good tips and strategies for writing a rhetorical analysis.

When you start your essay, you need to introduce the writer, subject, audience purpose, and occasion just like you would any time you introduce one person to another.

For example, if you were at a BBQ you might say something like, "This is Professor David Whalen, Provost of Hillsdale College, a Liberal Arts school, and we were just talking about an online essay he wrote in response to G.W. Thielman. Thielman published an article stating that colleges and universities should favor STEM education over the Liberal Arts. If you are someone who believes in the Liberal Arts, or in STEM, or anyone who ever has an argument, you would probably be interested in what he has to say." That statement introduces the writer, subject, audience, purpose and occasion.

For the subject, you would then move on to a summary of the article.

Then you move into the meat of your paper - the analysis.

Here's a short example from Whalen's article:
"The economic, political and social consequences of this or that kind of education, the cost of investment in disciplines given to self-indulgent theorizing, the needs impressed upon us by technological developments, military conditions and social necessities--all these matters matter, and all their arguments count."
When looking at this paragraph, we can see ethos, pathos, and logos at work.

Ethos - credibility. How is the author exhibiting his credibility? We know he is not just a professor, but the provost of a Liberal Arts college, so he knows what he's talking about like a doctor or a judge. He also acknowledges one of the flaws with the current liberal arts, when he refers to them as "self-indulgent theorizing"--an ethical arguer fairly presents the limitations of his claim. He shows some expertise in his use of the English language through alliteration "matters matter" to add emphasis to the idea that all arguments count.

Logos - logic. This one is pretty simple. He begins by saying all types of education are valid including STEM and the Liberal Arts because all their consequences are important ("all theses matters matter") and everyone needs to be able to form proper arguments ("all arguments count"). First you need to be educated in argument, then you can engage in a proper line of reasoning to come to a valid conclusion.

Pathos - emotion. Lots to work with here. Let's examine some vocabulary: "consequences," "cost of investment," "needs," "technological developments," "military conditions," "impressed upon us," all strike a chord of fear or imminent disaster. We have to deal with this problem right now or we may have bigger problems. On the other hand, you have "this or that kind of education," and "self-indulgent theorizing" which are both flippant. We can have either kind of education - implying that they are equal - one is not better than the other. He also says the Liberal Arts has degraded to a bit of "self-indulgence," but it still serves a purpose.

Look carefully at these three paragraphs. There is a description of what the quote says followed by analysis of what the quote does through ethos, pathos, and logos. You must do this in your own analysis. First you tell your reader what the author is saying and then you tell your reader what the author has done with ethos, pathos, or logos.

Do you think you will pay more attention to how someone is saying or writing something after writing this paper? Do you think you will be better able to form your own arguments after doing a rhetorical analysis? Why or why not?

22 comments:

  1. Yes, I think I am going to be more aware of what someone is saying after i write this essay. I will be able to pay more attention to pathos, logos and ethos in their paper. After this essay I think I will have a better understanding of how formulate my own arguments.

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  2. After writing this paper, I will thoughtfully pay attention to someones saying and writing choice. My writing skills would benefit from this after writing this rhetorical analysis. Mostly that this is teaching me how to write critically and think critically, and go into depth when reading someones paper. My writing skills will benefit also when I understand the rhetorical analysis, and it will help me form my own argument from it.

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  3. Chun Chang
    I will for sure. It will become a habit but also drives me crazy. Somehow, I like to read article without pressure. However, after this essay, I will think more when I read something. Yes! Cause I might be able to use logos, pathos, ethos in a better way and I will be able to put more different evidence relate to these three method. It will drives me crazy as well, but I hope as a good way!

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  4. Yes I do think I will pay more attention to what someone is saying after writing this paper. Because it will give me more of a description to what it's about. I've never wrote this kind of paper before. So it will make more sense and help me to do my own arguments after doing the rhetorical analysis.

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  5. I think I will definitely be thinking more about how someone is saying or writing after this paper because the way that people say things have a great impact on how its meaning is taken. Ethos, Pathos, Logos is an effective way to make a point. I will be able to form my own arguments after learning how to write a rhetorical analysis. By analyzing another ones' work I get a better understanding on what to do and what not to do.

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  6. I think I would like to read my reader's comment because could understanding what did I do well and what did I did bad in my article. Also, I can collect more information and idea from my reader to help me develop my writing skill and argument.
    furthermore, writing a rhetorical analysis helps me to discover the writer's idea and the way that he developed his idea. That means I could form my argument easier and stronger because I fully understand what the writer's view a argument.
    Simon Chen

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  7. In the future I will pay more attention to how someone is saying or writing something. Most of the time I look at what the author is writing not how he is writing. I think I will be able to form my own arguments after doing a Rhetorical analysis. It forces me to ask questions to myself, like What is the author's purpose and Who is the intended audience. It is not about a summary it is more of what is the author using and how is he using writing techniques to persuade me (Critical thinking).

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  8. I think I would pay more attention to someone's writing because it would be more detailed and have more information for me to understand the paper and their point of view fully. After doing a rhetorical analysis I believe that it will help me learn how to use ethos, pathos, logos in a stronger way.

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  9. I will definitely pay more attention to how someone is saying or writing something after writing this paper. I will do this, because now that I have the tools to understand how somebody is trying to persuade me I will be more equipped to point out fallacies within their arguments. I will be able to better form arguments after this rhetorical analysis, because I will in a way have a checklist of items that I need to place within my argument to make it complete.

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  10. The author is saying in this article that liberal arts are equal to STEM. Both serve a purpose that is similar and one is not better than the other. When he represents Ethos Pathos and Logos in the article the author starts off his topic sentence of each paragraph with these. Guiding readers through what ethos is and how it correlates with the three terms.
    I think that Pathos Ethos and Logos is a good way to real readers in for a paper. But no different than the liberal arts and STEM being similar, its all the same. MLA techniques do generally the same when it comes to paying more attention to how someone is saying something.
    I think it will be a breeze forming my own argument after doing this rhetorical analysis because i have gone through all the the details of this article. Has helped pick together pieces for an argument.

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  11. The author Mr. Whalen is saying that the liberal arts is worth saving and that it is useful in STEM, he is using logos and pathos because its logical to need the liberal arts in STEM in order to learn everything you need, and Pathos because he wants you to "save" the liberal arts by bringing in emotion into the equation.

    After writing this paper I believe that I will pay more attention to how someone is saying or writing something because I might analyze how they are using ethos, pathos, or logos in influence their readers and or listeners. An example being if someone is trying to use emotions against someone, meaning that they used pathos, to get an idea or something that they wanted done.

    I also believe that I will be able to for my own arguments better because I will have a better grasp of the knowledge of how to write good arguments by using ethos pathos and logos.

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  12. I will pay more attention, knowing the techniques writers use will enable me to pick up on what the author is trying to get across, while allowing me to comprehend more intricate writing. It will make me aware of points the writer is trying to get across, so I can analyze thoroughly. I will be able to form better arguments, since I have learned the techniques to persuade readers to my point of view. This will allow me to write more centralized on my main point and be able to argue it more effectively.

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  14. I feel like I will still pay more attention to speakers as I feel that it is more engaging and interactive. I believe that I will be able to formulate ideas better now as the video showed me many aspects of analyzing that I did not paid attention for before. An example of this is if the article was long and boring I could use an evidence such as "the average number of words for the first 10 sentences is 36". As this is an incredibly ridiculous number, I could use this as evidence to support my argument to show that the article is long and boring.

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  15. Yes I will pay more attention to how someone is saying after writing this paper. Yes I will be able to form my own arguments after doing a rhetorical analysis because by analyzing an argumentative essay by its pathos, ethos, and logos then I can determine whether or not the author's rhetorical appeals are strong enough to persuade to be on their side. However, this won't only allow me to determine my side on an argumentative essay but also anything that aim to persuade me in general (eg. advertisements).

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  16. I believe I might be able to pay more attention to how someone is saying or writing something after doing a rhetorical analysis since it will help me think more and argue more which effectively boosts my critical thinking skills.

    I will be able to form my own arguments after doing a rhetorical analysis since I will be able to think critically and see things in different points of view and therefore able to argue more. It will also help me with my analysis skills which would also help with making arguments.

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  17. Mursal Mousumi.
    I think I would pay more attention to how someone is saying or writing something after writing this paper. After writing the paper, I would learn more about the context of the paper, how the layout would look like and how to analyze an essay. I do think think I will be able to form my own arguments after dong a rhetorical analysis. After doing a rhetorical analysis, I should be able to write about not the article itself but the way the author wrote about his topic.

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  18. Wooyop Kim

    Yes. I will be able to pay more attention to one’s intentions (both of says and does), skills of arguing and uses of rhetoric in one’s writing after writing this essay number 2. Writing a rhetorical analysis will perpetuate my understanding of the skills of making an effective claims and having a persuasive voice that will contribute to convincing readers. Consequently, with the gains from writing a rhetorical analysis, I will be able to make a stronger argument.

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  19. After writing this paper, I think I will pay attention to how someone says or writes something because it will give me a better perception of what point the author is trying to get across to the audience. I also think I will be able to form my own argument after doing a rhetorical analysis because I can see what ways authors, such as Whalen, have used ethos, pathos, and logos in their essays and, then, apply them to my own. Using these methods of communication will also improve my abilities to argue for or against the prompt and persuade my audience to see my point.

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  20. In my opinion, I think I don't really have to pay much attention on HOW an author writes an argument as a reader. I still think that whether the opinion itself is logical and understandable or not is more important than being rhetoric. Even if the argument is rhetorically appropriate but the point(logic) of argument is not understandable or even incorrect, the argument will be even called WRONG. On the other hand, if the point of argument makes sense at all but rhetorically not appropriate, we still call the argument is effective.

    However, when I write the argument, I'll be thinking of rhetorical matter carefully. Even if what I say is all correct, but when the reader wants a piece written in the different rhetorical perspective, the argument won't be 100% effective to the every readers. As a writer, I have to avoid any risk on my paper is not being effective.

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  21. I think I will pay more attention and be better able to form my own arguments. By using pathos, logos, and ethos analysis , I can deepen my comprehension for someone’s speech and essays like how they shape their ideas. I can apply this skill to my essay. I can analyze my thought and organize my essays well. Then I can create more persuasive arguments.

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  22. I definitely will pay better attention to conversations that surround me now that we have done an in depth explorations of the use of rhetoric in our lives. After doing the ethos, pathos, and logos analysis, I am positive that I will be able to form better arguments and comprehend the different ways that I can persuade my audience and understand how someone is also trying to persuade me. I have learned different powers of word choice, ways of creating credibility, and bringing security to my audience with presenting facts to make my argument effective.

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