Rhetorical Analysis #1: Technology’s use in English Language Teaching


Rhetorical analysis paper will be modeled in class.  This paper will examine the grammatical structure and rhetorical effectiveness of a selection of written text.  Papers will be assessed for application of grammatical concepts studied as well as the analysis of the rhetorical effect and worldview of the structures.  Papers may further examine ways in which the analysis could help in the teaching of or writing about the content area under examination.  Students may approach the paper(s) in any way that makes sense for their writing journey, projected career path or personal goals.  (100 points)  (CO 2.1-2.4, 3.3)

There are two approaches to the assignments.

1) The first takes a representative chunk of the student’s own writing for analysis. You will identify problematic areas within the selected passage and analyze them using their understanding of grammatical terms and concepts required in class. The analysis will also include a synthesis of these problematic areas and suggest prioritized steps to take to improve the selected passage overall. Finally, a revision of the selected passage will be provided along with a brief discussion of how these changes have improved the overall effectiveness and rhetorical impact of the passage. This approach will likely include a page overview that discusses goals, approaches, and provides a roadmap of how areas will be identified and organized within the analysis. For example, you may wish to organize around categories of issues (careless errors, punctuation problems, sentence structure issues, word choice considerations, cohesion and organization, etc.) The body of the paper will be the analysis itself. That section will likely depend the number of problems and the depth of analysis. A reasonable ratio might be a page analysis to two pages of writing, and a very. The conclusion will likely also be page. Students taking this approach may also wish to attach evidence of sentence diagramming or other more kinesthetic approaches to data gathering and analysis. (For example a scanned or electronic copy of the paper showing evidence of the student’s ability to identify subject verb pairs, main versus subordinate clauses and so forth.

Advantages: working with one’s own writing will allow for immediate application and potential improvements. Using this approach pares very nicely to analysis of pure writing, perhaps lessening the burden to approach rhetorical analysis from multiple perspectives.

Disadvantages: it may be more difficult to develop ideas about how to make an infected paper rhetorically effective than it is to look at good writing and identify what makes it rhetorically effective.

2) the second approach is to take an example of exceptionally good, effective writing (likely from a published author or famous text) and analyze the rhetorical features that make it as active as it is. This paper would also begin with an introduction outlining the findings, methodology, and organization of the discussion. Analysis would be similarly proportional to the number of pages in the selected text and exhibit significant depth of understanding of grammatical/rhetorical concepts covered in the course.  Conclusions will perhaps situates be that the rhetorical elements in the impact the particular piece has had on audiences over the years, and/or may derive ideas for how to improve students own writing (i.e. things that this writer as well now you don’t, or things that you would like to try from your own writing they may not have thought to use before.

Advantages: This approach allows you to focus on good habits rather than identifying poor ones. A well-chosen passage here is likely to provide more readily identifiable “meet” for analysis then perhaps student writing will. This approach may also allow the student to examine carefully what good writing looks like within their personal discipline.

Disadvantages: This approach puts the burden of application more heavily on the student’s shoulders for subsequent writing. It does not provide the “improve as you go” advantage of option one

Link to Article: www.ipedr.com/vol33/030-ICLMC2012-L10042.pdf