Blackfish A Cruel World


The paper is a Rhetorical Analysis of the documentary Blackfish by Dir. Gabriela Cowperthwaite. Perf. Samantha Berg, John Hargrove, Kim Ashdown, and Dean Gomersall.

Formal Assignment #4: Rhetorical Analysis of an Argument

Everyday we encounter arguments from other people, organizations, corporations, etc. that seek to persuade us to adopt their/its viewpoint on a variety of different issues. As a student and critical thinker, it becomes important for you to understand the message others are trying to convey and the way in which they convey the message so that you can make an informed choice or opinion on the matter. In a rhetorical analysis, you analyze how one constructs his or her text and message by examining such points as intended audience, diction, sentence structure, and rhetorical appeals like ethos, pathos, and logos. For this assignment, I want you to analyze one of our class texts, and create a rhetorical analysis in which you explain whether the text is likely to persuade its intended audience.

Essential questions you must answer in this paper:

  1. Who is the intended audience?
  2. Is the argument effective in persuading its intended audience?
  3. Does the author effectively use ethos, pathos, and logos?

Other questions to consider:

  1. What is the text’s tone?
  2. What kind of language does the writer/director use? What kind of sentence structure does the writer use?
  3. What is the writer/director focusing on? Why?
  4. If you’re analyzing a film you choose uses pictures, how does the writer/director use images to make his or her point?
  5. In what mode does the writer/director develop his/her ideas? Narration? Description? Definition? Comparison? Analogy? Cause and Effect? Example? Why does the writer use these methods of development?
  6. Does the writer/director consider ideas that are opposed to his or her own? How does s/he present them as legitimate? Absurd? Partially correct? Utterly false?
  7. Does the writer/director use any literary devices or figurative language to convey or enhance meaning? Which tropes–similes, metaphors, personification, hyperbole, etc. does the writer use? When does he/she use them? Why?

NOTE: This is not a personal response or a personal critique; therefore, your personal experiences, your personal stance on the issue, and your like or dislike are nonessential to this assignment and must not be included. Your goal for this assignment is to dissect the text’s argument and analyze its effectiveness. Did the author successfully meet his or her purpose, considering his or her intended audience? Be sure to follow the prompt!

-Be a minimum of 5 FULL pages

-Uses evidence from the readings and/or film and incorporates at least three (3) quotations following MLA

-Follows MLA basic formatting

-Contains a works cited page following MLA guidelines

SKU: rhetorical-analysis-blackfish-a-cruel-world Category: