Sample Rhetorical Analysis | Good Grade Guarantee!
Sample Rhetorical AnalysisOverviewBelow is an example of a Rhetorical Analysis paper (it’s a bit shorterthan the one you’re writing). Notice that in the first paragraph itformally introduces the text it analyzes, and then it summarizes thattext. Finally, the first paragraph ends with the thesis, which I put inbold (do not do that in your essays). The next two paragraphs eachaddress one component of the thesis, using a topic sentence to identifywhich aspect of the thesis will be discussed. In each paragraph I gavea specific example (either in the form of direct quotation orparaphrase) of the rhetorical strategy that the paragraph focuseson. Then I explain how the argumentative strategy works and howthe strategy supports the author’s main argument.The conclusion paragraph is where I finally state my opinion abouthow successful I think the rhetorical (or argumentative) choices madeby the author were–basically do I think they made a good argumentor not, and why.Throughout, I have also underlined the signal phrases I used toattribute ideas to the author, and the in-text citations that I used whenI didn’t feel like using a signal phrase. Note the range of verbs I use inthose signal phrases and how often I use them. This is my way ofconstantly reminding my reader: “These are Addison’s ideas we aretalking about.” The signal phrases helped me clarify that these werenot my ideas/arguments; they are the original author’s (Addison).Sample EssayRhetorical Analysis of Addison’s “Two Years are Better Than Four”In Liz Addison’s article “Two Years are Better Than Four,” sheargues that community colleges deserve more attention and praisebecause they are the only place left that students can get the true“college experience of self-discovery.” Addison explains that studentsaccepted into 4-year colleges, have already proved themselves“worldly, insightful, cultured, mature” by completing rigorousentrance requirements. Community colleges, on the other hand willaccept anyone. There are no placement tests, and for students whomight not otherwise have a chance at higher-education, communitycolleges provide “accessible hope, and an option todream” (Addison). Ultimately, Addison views community colleges asa great American institution that deserve more respect and recognitionfor the opportunities they provide to the American public. Addisonrelies on a rebuttal to set-up her argument. However, most of thearticle is an evaluation based on logical reasoning, where Addisonpraises community colleges for various reasons and explains theirpositive features.Addison uses a rebuttal to start off her text. She spends the first threeparagraphs explaining the position of Rick Perlstein, who argued in adifferent essay that students today can no longer have a true collegeexperience like the one he had in the 60s. Perlstein’s argument is theperfect example of Addison’s point that community colleges areoverlooked, and Addison notes that his argument is incorrectbecause “Mr. Perlstein has never set foot in an American communitycollege.” Addison’s use of Perlstein as a counter-argument sets up herargument, and she can spend the rest of the text explaining why he iswrong. The presentation of Perlstein’s ideas provides the reader withevidence that community colleges are often over-looked, which thenleads smoothly into Addision’s main argument that they need to beacknowledged and appreciated.Although Addison refers to Perlstein throughout the essay, most ofher time is spent evaluating community colleges. She is arguing thatthey are a “great American institution” using some of Perlstein’scriteria, but also some of her own. Perlstein argued that collegestudents today are overly prepared and therefore are incapable ofhaving true personal growth experiences in college. Addisoncounters that community colleges still welcome those that are unprepared, explaining that it allows students to “just begin,” and thatanyone can begin their higher education “as arookie.” However, Addison adds her own criteria to the evaluation,explaining that community colleges deserve respect and appreciationbecause they offer students who otherwise “would never breathe thecollege experience” a chance at their dreams. Addison repeats thispattern (community colleges are great because…) throughout theessay, presenting the reader with clear logical reasons to support herevaluation of community colleges.Although I think that Addison makes an excellent point here–community colleges are unique in allowing any students a secondchance at a higher education–I didn’t like her tone in this piece. Shemakes a good point that Perlstein was wrong not to considercommunity colleges in his original argument. However, she doesn’tneed to be so snotty about it. The mocking tone that she used topoint out Perlstein’s omission undercut her own point. Her argumentwould have been stronger is she had treated the opposing viewpointwith more respect. This is an error of ethos–her tone might makeher seem unreasonable to some readers.
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