Possibly expanding on Journals #5 or #6, write a rhetorical analysis of either an advertisement or a speech. Focus on analytic thinking, which in a rhetorical analysis means both identifying and arguing the significance of how the communicator uses rhetorical appeals (logos, ethos, and/or pathos). In other words, a rhetorical analysis isn’t simply a matter of identifying what the communicator is trying to persuade the audience of, but rather analyzing how and why the communicator chooses to persuade their audience. What kinds of rhetorical choices does the communicator make and why? How and why are those choices meant to be persuasive?
After you’ve identified and analyzed the communicator’s use of rhetorical appeals, argue the rhetorical effectiveness of these appeals on the audience. Analyzing the rhetorical effectiveness of an ad/speech isn’t the same as saying whether you agree or disagree with what the communicator has to say or whether you think the advertisement is “good” or “bad.” Your reader expects you to argue how and why the rhetorical choices made in the ad/speech might be effective or ineffective in persuading at least one specific audience demographic. What kind(s) of specific audiences would be persuaded by the communicator’s use of rhetorical appeals and why? How and whydoes the communicator target at least one specific type of audience? Remember, you can’t say the audience is "anybody" or "everybody."
Be sure to provide consistent, direct textual evidence in the form of quotes and/or specific details (such as the use of music in an advertisement or a speaker’s tone of voice). Your reader expects evidence that helps illustrate and explain your analytic thinking, meaning any and all details should serve as evidence of the use of rhetorical appeals in the ad/speech and/or the rhetorical effectiveness of those appeals rather than serve as a summary. Though rhetorical analyses don’t assume that your reader has already read, heard, or seen the speech/advertisement, focus on showing them everything they need to know to understand your analysis and nothing that they don’t.
Advertisements are pretty accessible to you already, but here’s a list of speeches that I would suggest for Essay #3 (if analyzing a speech sounds interesting to you). You can deviate from this list, of course, but these are several very popular choices that have a ton of potential for analysis:
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