The Rhetorical Analysis & Response

Instructions for Essay 1:  Rhetorical Analysis / Reader Response
You have already written two brief rhetorical analyses in this unit.  For your major essay, you will write another rhetorical analysis, this time combined with a response or rebuttal.
Format:  MLA paper format and documentation.
Sources:  at least one source (the essay you are analyzing).  Use of additional sources is encouraged but not required.
Length: Three pages,  approx 800 1000 words
Due Date: Refer to the assignment calendar for this course.
First,  read/view the texts that I have provided for you in the folder Texts for Essay #1 located at the top of this page.  Choose one of these texts to be the subject of your analysis and response. You will notice that there are a variety of texts to choose from, including videos and hybrid written/spoken multimedia texts.  Some of the essays are from the New York Times, which requires that you create an account after 10 free articles.  You can sign up for a free account at this link:

Approach your rhetorical analysis much like you have with the previous assignments in this unit.  Identify elements such as audience, purpose and context as a means of understanding how the text communicates its main idea (also known as a thesis).  Also identify and provide examples of the types of appeals used by the author, pathos, logos, ethos, etc.

The new element for this assignment is that you will be responding to the main idea or thesis of the text that you are analyzing.  In other words, once you have established what the texts thesis is and how it communicates that thesis, you will then need to add your own voice, ideas and opinions to the mix.  Think of it as joining a conversation.  Do you think the author of the original text is mistaken?  Has he/she failed to consider some important point?  Or do you agree with the author?  Perhaps you can provide additional reasons, examples and evidence to support the thesis.  Sometimes you can both agree and disagree with the author, but if you do so, be sure to clearly identify which portions you agree with and which you disagree with. 
An outline of your essay might look like this:
            Identify the text, the author and the subject matter. Make sure your reader knows what you will be talking about in your analysis.
Rhetorical analysis
            Analyze the rhetorical situation (audience, purpose, context, visual or spatial elements, auditory elements, etc.)   Explain how these elements, along with the author’s use of logos, pathos, and ethos are used to persuade or convince the audience and evaluate the effectiveness of these elements.  This section might be several paragraphs long.
            Respond to the authors thesis by agreeing/disagreeing.  Add your own ideas opinions and examples.
            Wrap up the essay by restating your conclusions and position on the topic. 

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Fortnite

Senior, Jennifer. “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Fortnite.” The New York Times. April 5, 2019

What you Lose When You Gain a Spouse

Catron, Mandy Len.  “What You Lose when You Gain a Spouse.”  The Atlantic. July 2, 2019.

“Should Art That Infuriates Be Removed?”
“Should Art That Infuriates Be Removed?”

Smith, Roberta.  “Should Art That Infuriates Be Removed?” The New York Times. March 27, 2017.

An Imperfect Adversity Score Is Better Than Just Ignoring Adversity
An Imperfect Adversity Score Is Better Than Just Ignoring Adversity

Kahlenberg, Richard D. “An Imperfect Adversity Score Is Better Than Just Ignoring Adversity.” The Atlantic.  May 25, 2019

The Perpetual Panic of American Parenthood
The Perpetual Panic of American Parenthood

Druckerman, Pamela. “The Perpetual Panic of American Parenthood.” The New York Times. Oct. 13, 2016.

Together, You Can Redeem The Soul of Our Nation

Together, You Can Redeem The Soul of Our Nation

Lewis, John.  “Together, You Can Redeem The Soul of Our Nation.”  The New York Times. July 30, 2020.

It’s Totally Normal to Watch Other People Play Video Games