How do you rhetorically analyze somebody's essay? What are the elements to look for?  The essay under evaluation is controversial claim by a scientist, whose claim is refuted by another person in...

How do you rhetorically analyze somebody's essay? What are the elements to look for?

 

The essay under evaluation is controversial claim by a scientist, whose claim is refuted by another person in a argument essay. If I have to analyze the above essay, what are the steps. The topic is that women are not good in the fields of Science and Mathematics,hence they are not given senior position in careers involving these two fields?

 

 

Asked on by jacobj48

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akannan's profile pic

Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The previous thoughts are well asserted.  The content is not as important as how it is stated or phrased in a rhetorical analysis.  Prior to this, I would ask if a rubric is present.  In many of these situations, there is a rubric that outlines what is being assessed and how it is being evaluated.  If you or your instructor has one, then I would ask to see if this could be used as a reference point.  All essays are much easier to grade and more clear in the assessment analysis with a rubric, as opposed to wide ranging thought and input that is not consistent with stated goals or expectations.  If you are able to do so, there are many examples of rubrics available on line for free that you can download or modify to your own standards, or those of your instructor.  If these can be accessed and used, I would strongly suggest doing so.  In terms of general basics on rhetorical analysis, I would pay attention to how the paper has used word choice, syntax, and persuasive elements to convince the reader of its thesis.  Simply put, how has the argument been framed through language?  This is where a rubric would be extremely helpful.

teachertaylor's profile pic

teachertaylor | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

If you are performing a rhetorical analysis of an essay, the topic is of little relevance since the method is the same.  Rhetorical analysis asks the reader to focus on the manner in which language is used to house and develop the argument being made and to make a relationship to the reading audience.  A good place to start is to identify the rhetorical devices that are used by the writer in the argument.  Examples of rhetorical devices may include punctuation, syntax, sentence variety, analogies, metaphors, and figures of speech (there are many rhetorical devices that writers may use as tools in their work).  Next, analyze the use of these devices by asking what the writer hopes to achieve through the use of the device.  For example, if the writer uses a rhetorical question in the essay, the intended effect is most likely to persuade the reader the think a particular way about the subject.  Now, draw connections in the analysis to explore the ways in which the writer has used language to state his/her point and develop the argument.

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