rhetorical analysis and response 4


You are to demonstrate your understanding of critical reasoning and writing by composing a rhetorical analysis and response. You have to read the selection, which is a little over 2000 words, and to write the essay. Once there is access to the article the time limit for finishing the essay is 3 hours! Make sure you are in a good working space and have the full three hours to tackle this. Late essays will not be accepted.

To prepare, you will want to review all of the modules in the course. To help you focus your studying, I am pasting the actual prompt below, without the reading selection (which is from Psychology Today).


After reading the assigned text, construct a cohesive essay in which you do each of the following (you may group them as you see fit):

  • introduce and provide a brief explanation of the author’s argument, including the rhetorical situation, major claim, and intended audience (look at where his argument is published);
  • identify and analyze the type of reasoning employed: deductive or inductive.
  • identify and analyze the strategies the author employs to appeal to credibility (ethos), reasoning (logos), and emotion (pathos);
  • discuss the assumption(s) on which the argument is based (assumptions are the principles, propositions, beliefs, and values upon which arguments or parts of arguments rest. Assumptions can be explicitly stated or implicit (merely implied or suggested) in an argument. They are effective to the extent they come to be shared by the reader and writer, thus forming “common ground”;
  • identify and analyze the effects of any informal logical fallacies the author may make;
  • evaluate the extent to which his intended audience would find the argument convincing;
  • finally, briefly respond to his argument with your own position.

Be sure to follow these directions carefully, rather than simply agreeing or disagreeing or writing an extensive summary of the article.


The essay should:

  • illustrate close and critical reading of the assigned text;
  • fully respond to the prompt and demonstrate comprehensive knowlege of rhetoric;
  • be well organized with smooth transitions between paragraphs and ideas;
  • work directly with the text in the form of summary, paraphrase, and direct quotes to illustrate analysis and support assertions;
  • not drop quotes in, but introduce and integrate them smoothly with sufficient commentary;
  • be in MLA format and style, including a Works Cited page;
  • be written in the Literary Present Tense;
  • be as long as it needs to be, given the time constraints, to cover the prompt.

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