You must choose your text for project 1: the rhetorical analysis from this list.
1. The Death of Marat painting: https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Death-of-Marat (Links to an external site.)
2. Frederick Douglass’s “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” speech:
https://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/what-to-the-slave-is-the-fourth-of-july/ (Links to an
3. Gandhi’s “Quit India”/”Do or Die!” speech: https://www.mkgandhi.org/speeches/qui.htm (Links to an external
site.) (contains typos)
4. Elon Musk’s “Becoming a Multi-Planetary Species” article/presentation:
What is the text’s message/argument/purpose?
Who is the text’s author/who is making the claim? (Google the author and research who publishes his/her
Where and when did the text originally appear?
Was there a particular reason why the writer needed to write or speak at that moment (writer’s exigence)? Is
the argument timely?
Who is the intended audience/rhetorical audience? What specific attitudes, beliefs, and values of the audience
must the author appeal to or counteract in order to succeed?
How does the writer establish credibility (ethos)?
How does the writer appeal to the reader’s emotions (pathos)? Pathos is frequently communicated through
vivid stories, descriptions, details, and examples; pathos, like ethos and logos, is also communicated through
the style and tone of an essay so pay attention to word choice, metaphors, and other stylistic features.
How does the writer appeal to the reader’s logic and reason (logos)? Is there evidence or data to support the
argument? Are there implied claims? Do they reinforce the overall argument?
Is one of the rhetorical strategies listed above (ethos, pathos, logos) dominant?
How is the text organized? Why are its elements arranged as they are? Could the writer have organized
elements in another way, and if so, why did he or she pick this arrangement?
What is absent from the text?
Does the text use transitions, headings and subheadings, documentation of sources, juxtaposition of images?
What is the overall tone, voice, and style? Style is one of the most important aspects of any rhetorical text.
Style speaks to the overall shape, mood, and atmosphere of the text; it has to do with decisions at the
sentence and word level, and sometimes is revealed through visual appearance.
What is the context (social, political, etc.)? Is the writer responding to or trying to address something? What
outside factors might have influenced the text’s creation and/or reception?
What plausible claims and good reasons does the writer make?
Does the text use media?