Rhetorical Analysis Essay: Gender & American Identity Term Paper (Term Paper Sample)
You’ve probably noticed that the world around you is full of rhetorical situations, textual objects and communicative acts. In this 4-6-page essay you will choose and analyze a text that makes an argument about gender. Look for a text that has interesting rhetorical features and eloquently makes a claim about how Americans construct gender identity. In other words, pick an excellent example of rhetoric that uses all three of the major appeals and is free of logical fallacies. You can pick from argumentative genres such as, but not limited to, editorials, polemic speeches, political cartoons, videos (5 minutes or less) published or broadcast within the last five years. You could also choose a monument or other publicly displayed object that has been installed for longer than five years if it is currently viewable to the public (take a photo to include with your essay).
Pick your text and present it to your high school instructor for approval. Answer the essay question below.
While hiking through the Texas Hill Country, you encounter an extraterrestrial being named Klrgug who visited earth back in the days of the Greek philosopher, Aristotle. Klrgug had a wonderful time learning about rhetorical theory and decided to come back to learn something about rhetoric in America today. Klrgug's species doesn’t have specialized sex characteristics and is curious about the concept of gender identity. Clearly, you can’t tell Klrgug everything about such a broad topic in a single essay. You can, however, take advantage of your common vocabulary in rhetoric to explain how one text makes an argument about gender. You are acting as a cultural ambassador; therefore, write in a clear, formal style with a neutral ethos. Remember: you’re an intergalactic diplomat, not an activist. Analyze, don’t advocate!
With that in mind, thoroughly introduce the specific rhetorical situation of your text. Gathering this important cultural context could mean doing some research, so be sure to document your sources. Then, include the audience for the text and its overarching claim. Explain how the text uses rhetorical appeals to support its claims. Relate your text back to ideas discussed in the curriculum using these questions to brainstorm ideas: What arguments does your text make about gendered power dynamics? Does your text approach gender through tropes or commonplaces about the roles people should play like mother, father, sister, brother, wife, husband, princess, hero? Does the text maintain or disrupt commonly held ideas? Are there small flaws in the text that reveal something about the larger conversation around gender?
Rhetoric Analysis Essay: Gender & American Identity
Recently, many intricate controversies in the American culture wars revolve around sex and gender issues. For instance, Americans tend to disagree whether one should limit marriage to a male and a female, who can use which bathrooms or washrooms and whether they should assume that taking care of children is primarily mothers’ responsibility. A Nature Research’s editorial, written in 2018, is an ideal example of a text that argues the current gender perceptions in American society. It is about a draft memo of a US proposal that intends to narrow the definition of gender. Hence, the HHS department proposes establishing a legal definition of sex by basing it solely on genital immutability. Therefore, the editorial rejects and criticizes classifying people as either men or women based on anatomy or genetics (Nature). The main argument for the proposals is that it will play a significant role in resolving physical appearance ambiguity. However, the author believes that the idea is terrible because it has no foundation in science and is likely to undermine the efforts to minimize gender bias, especially against trans individuals and people who do not belong to the binary groups.
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