Close Analysis Assignment: Elements Of The Rhetorical Situation (Essay Sample)
Close Analysis #1 Assignment Sheet2-3 pages double-spaced, Times New Roman 12-pt
For this assignment, you will select a passage from a text (or video) we have looked at in class and closely examine how the author uses language and rhetorical strategies to construct an argument. The main questions to consider are: 1. What argument is the text making? and 2. How does the author make this argument, using logic, evidence, and the rhetorical situation?
You should consider the elements of the rhetorical situation (speaker, audiences, exigence, counter-arguments, constraints) and the logical structure of the argument (what are the claims, reasons, warrants, and evidence; what assumptions does this argument rely on; does the author employ any logical fallacies?) However, you do not need to address every single one of these components to write a successful close analysis. Most importantly, your analysis should be supported by textual evidence (quotations from the text or descriptions from the video.)
A successful close analysis will…• Concisely and accurately state the main argument(s) of the text• Focus on a particular passage or aspect of the text• Analyze elements of the rhetorical situation and how the author uses or addresses their position as speaker, target audience, constraints, etc. to create a convincing argument• Analyze the logical structure of the argument, potentially including the arguments claims, reasons, and underlying assumptions (warrants)• Demonstrate attention to language such as tone, word choice, metaphor, juxtaposition, etc.
A close analysis does not…• Merely summarize the text• List and describe elements of the rhetorical situation without analyzing them• Point out logical fallacies or strategies without analyzing how they further the argument• Merely reiterate what has been said in class discussions
Possible texts for analysis: For the longer texts I recommend that you choose a selection of a few pages rather than attempting to analyze the entire text• Jamaica Kincaid’s “A Small Place” chapter 1• “Reason as racism: An immigration debate gets derailed” editorial from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette• Vox video OR article on Haitian history: https://www(dot)vox(dot)com/policy-and-politics/2018/1/12/16883224/trump-shithole-foreign-policy-haiti • “Visit Antigua” video https://www(dot)youtube(dot)com/watch?v=AG7-MEG_UYQ
A Small Place is a narrative by Jamaica Kincaid describing her life and her account of the history of her home, the island of Antigua. Kincaid reviews the growth of tourism in the 1970s and the aftermath of the British rule, criticizing the negative influences by the British Colony on the people of Antigua. Throughout her book, A Small Place, Jamaica Kincaid utilizes a variety of rhetorical techniques that contribute to the overall effectiveness of her novel, revealing her anger, disgust of the tourism and the negative effects of colonialism on Antiguans.
To express her anger, she provokes reader's emotions using ethos and pathos to paint beautiful scenes of a tourist view of Antigua. However, she stains these images with details of what most tourists omit when describing the place (Kincaid, 1988). In the opening paragraphs of the book, Kincaid presents two different views of Antigua; he gives a beautiful description about the Island from a tourist perspective and later presents her views by informing readers about the negative effects of tourism like corruption and poverty in the Island. She further reveals the real life of the locals who suffer in silence (Kincaid, 1988).
Kincaid sympathizes with the natives by appealing to the reader's pathos as she examines the harsh conditions of the locals. She says "
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