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Rhetorical Analysis Rubric










Rhetorical Appeal Examples:

Health care reform ads:

   Pharma and Families Usa

   Americans for Stable Quality Care

   Funny Health Care Reform Commercial

   Health Care Reform; Marriage

   Peter Jennings reports on health insurance 40 min.


Mixture of print and visual texts to introduce rhetorical strategies:


Nicholas Carr, "Is Google Making Us Stupid?"


Responses, Extensions & Challenges to Carr


Teaching Rhetorical Strategies 



Sample of a Rhetorical Analysis of E.B. White's "The Ring of Time"

Sample essays to analyze


Rhetorical Analysis Assignment of Argument:

Rhetorical analysis is a way of understanding and interpreting texts by examining and interpreting rhetorical devices used in a piece of writing. You are to find a piece of published work that is persuasive in nature; in other words, it argues a point. Editorials and pieces from opinion/commentary sections of magazines or newspapers will generally work the best. You may find these online at sites such as startribune.com or sctimes.com., or in an actual publication. The piece you choose should be at least 350-500 words in length. Choosing an article that is too short may result in not having enough to write about in your paper, choosing something too long may not fit the parameters of this assignment. Write an essay in which you in which you ANALYZE the author’s rhetorical effectiveness/ineffectiveness. How does the author appeal to ethos, pathos, and logos? 

Primary Audience: Educated readers who have not read the text you are analyzing.

Point of View: Objective

General Purpose: To help your readers understand the connections between purpose, audience, subject matter, and rhetorical techniques.

Things to consider when writing the rhetorical analysis:

  • Take the time to find an article with a topic you can relate to. Don’t just choose the first article you find.
  • Photocopy the article, because it will need to accompany all drafts.
  • This paper is NOT a summary. One will be included, but it should be no more than one paragraph in length.
  • Your focus is not to agree or disagree with the author’s article, but to analyze how effective or ineffective the author is in presenting the argument.


The Rhetorical Analysis of Advertising Assignment: 

Rhetoric is everywhere, it permeates all forms of media, and is the driving force of commercialism. The best defense against rhetoric is learning how it works, and being able to dissect it at a cursory glance. Doing so will also improve your ability to reason and debate with people around you, though with a much higher quality acumen. In an era when media bombards the general public with strobing colors and short-lived product lifespans, having an ally in your brain is an asset for everyday life.

General Requirements

Audience: Academics

Purpose: To analyze and determine the methods used in media rhetoric.

Length: 4-6 pages

Description: You will analyze a print ad; television, radio, or internet commercial, a billboard, or other similar form of advertisement. With the exception of radio, the advertisement must have a visual aspect to it. Infomercials and short magazine articles featuring new products are also acceptable.

Major Requirements:

1. You must select between 1 and 3 advertisements from the same company, preferably for the same (or similar) products or services.

2. You must explain in detail the strategies or philosophies behind the design (or wording) of the ad.

3. The paper cannot explore the social impacts or implications of the ad; this is not a “media in society” paper!

4. Must follow the proper formatting guidelines as listed in the syllabus.

5. You must have a proper introduction, body, and conclusion. This is an academic thesis.




Lesson Plans:





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