Academic writing rhetorical strategies
Rhetoric is the study of how writers and speakers use words to influence an audience. A rhetorical analysis is an essay that breaks a work of non-fiction into parts and then explains how the parts work together to create a certain effect—whether to persuade, entertain or inform. You can also conduct a rhetorical analysis of a primarily visual argument such as a cartoon or advertisement, or an oral performance such as a speech. In this handout we will use the word rhetorician to refer to the author of a speech or document or to the creator of an advertisement, cartoon, or other visual work. When writing a rhetorical analysis, you are NOT saying whether or not you agree with the argument.
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Individual course descriptions for Spring courses can be found here. Together, these courses teach strategies for writing to well-educated readers in diverse academic and nonacademic situations. Students learn rhetorical principles, the analysis and use of readings and source materials, and techniques for generating, revising, and editing texts for specific situations. In each course, students complete several writing exercises and, through sustained practice and systematic instructor guidance, they complete at least four polished papers, totaling some 20—25 pages. By the end of the two-course sequence, then, students have completed at least 40—50 pages of polished writing. Our faculty take a wide variety of approaches in course design, choosing readings, assigning papers, and teaching in general so students have a great many options in selecting their courses. These courses lay the foundation for writing in further Common Curriculum courses including the Advanced Seminar- ASEM courses , writing in students' majors, and writing in professional and civic life after graduation.
Successful college writers look beyond the assignment to the larger picture and seek to understand the purpose and audience for the assignment. If the assignment's purpose, subject, or audience is not clear ask your professor questions such as these:. Make sure you understand what kind of thinking and what type of paper is expected. Sometimes your questions help a professor clarify an assignment. Ask to see a model of what the instructor wants.
Last Updated: April 5, References Approved. This article was co-authored by Megan Morgan, PhD. This article has been viewed 1,, times. A rhetorical analysis can be written about other texts, television shows, films, collections of artwork, or a variety of other communicative mediums that attempt to make a statement to an intended audience. In order to write a rhetorical analysis, you need to be able to determine how the creator of the original work attempts to make his or her argument.