Rhetorical Analysis

3 Page Paper

Draft of a Rhetorical Analysis of a

Public Document Assignment



Write a 750-1,000-word essay that analyzes the rhetorical situation of a public document.


Complete a close reading of the assigned public document. Then, write a cohesive essay that:
1. Introduces and summarizes the document.
2. Analyzes the rhetorical tools used in the document. See posted announcements in LoudCloud for reminders and further directions.
3. Evaluates the document’s effectiveness

This essay is NOT simply an expository or descriptive essay.It is an analysis of how effectively rhetorical tools are used in the document.

• Include in-text citations and a References page in GCU Style for the document you are analyzing.


Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the GCU Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center.

Preparing to Write the Essay

Read the document closely:
o Do a first reading that uses underlining, annotation, and summary to make sure you understand what the writer is saying. Go back to any sections that need clarification.
o On a second reading, pay attention to what the writer(s) is doing by describing the writer’s strategy.

Conduct a pre-analysis:
1. Use your close reading to analyze the rhetorical situation of the document.
2. Here are some questions to guide your analysis.You do NOT need to answer all of them—pick those that make the most sense to you. Your close reading will help you generate ideas for your essay.
• What is the context of the issue(s)?
a) What do you know about the topic?
b) What issues does the topic raise?
c) Is there a larger debate, discussion, or controversy already going on?
d) What seems to be at stake?
• Who is the writer?
a. What do you know about the writer’s background, credibility, knowledge of the topic, beliefs, and social allegiances?
• What is the publication?
a. What do you know about its intended readers, reputability, political slant, and the topics it covers?
• How does the writer define the rhetorical situation and identify the call to write?
a. What is the writer’s orientation toward the issues involved?
b. What is at stake for the writer?
• Who is the intended audience?
a. Is the writer addressing one group or more than one group of readers?
b. Is the writer trying to bring an audience into being?
c. What kind of relationship is the writer trying to establish with readers?
d. What assumptions about readers does the writer seem to make?
• How does the writer use language?
a. How does the writer use ethos, pathos, and logos to appeal to the audience?
b. What is the writer’s tone?
c. What does the writer’s word choice show about his or her assumptions about readers?
d. Does the writer use specialized terms or slang?
e. Are there memorable figures of speech?
f. Does the writer stereotype?
• What is your evaluation of the rhetorical effectiveness?
a. Does the writer accomplish his or her purposes?
b. What constraints, if any, qualify the writing’s effectiveness?

1. An introduction paragraph ending with a thesis statement
2. At least three body paragraphs
3. A conclusion paragraph

Also, you will need to include a References page formatted in GCU Style that includes the document you are analyzing.

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