rhetorical analysis how to analyze an author’s rhetoric

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Rhetorical Analysis How to analyze an authors rhetoric Slide 2 What is rhetorical analysis? Rhetoric: language Rhetoric: language Analysis: method of studying the nature of something or of determining its essential features and their relations Analysis: method of studying the nature of something or of determining its essential features and their relationsnature of something or of determining its essential features and their relationsnature of something or of determining its essential features and their relations Sorhetorical analysis is, simply put, studying the nature of an authors language. Sorhetorical analysis is, simply put, studying the nature of an authors language. Slide 3 No, really, what is rhetorical analysis? No, really, what is rhetorical analysis? Each time an author puts pen to paper, he has a purpose. He has a goal he wants to achieve. Each time an author puts pen to paper, he has a purpose. He has a goal he wants to achieve. With rhetorical analysis, we first have to figure out what the authors purpose was when he wrote his work. With rhetorical analysis, we first have to figure out what the authors purpose was when he wrote his work. Once we determine his purpose, then we look at the language he uses to achieve that purpose. HOW did he use language to achieve that purpose. Once we determine his purpose, then we look at the language he uses to achieve that purpose. HOW did he use language to achieve that purpose. Slide 4 So, rhetorical analysis is. HOW an author uses language to achieve his purpose. HOW an author uses language to achieve his purpose. Slide 5 But how do I explain that in an essay?? When youre looking at a piece of writing and youre asked to analyze the rhetoric, there are several things you need to consider about the language. When youre looking at a piece of writing and youre asked to analyze the rhetoric, there are several things you need to consider about the language. Slide 6 Diction Word choice. Word choice. What words did the author use? What words did the author use? How did he use them? How did he use them? Slide 7 Diction: Connotation vs. Denotation Connotation: the implied meaning of a word Connotation: the implied meaning of a word Denotation: the literal meaning of a word Denotation: the literal meaning of a word Examples: happy vs. ecstatic vs. joyful Examples: happy vs. ecstatic vs. joyful Sad vs. devastated vs. sorrowful vs. depressed Sad vs. devastated vs. sorrowful vs. depressed Angry vs. furious vs. irritated Angry vs. furious vs. irritated Slide 8 Diction: Abstract vs. concrete Concrete: tangible Concrete: tangible Abstract: intangible Abstract: intangible Examples: Examples: Abstract: education, justice, freedom Abstract: education, justice, freedom Concrete: books, jail cell, Declaration of Independence Concrete: books, jail cell, Declaration of Independence Slide 9 Diction: General vs. Specific General: the author might refer to freedom in general or life in general, etc. General: the author might refer to freedom in general or life in general, etc. Specific: the author might refer to a specific instance when someones freedom was taken away or to a specific time in his life. Specific: the author might refer to a specific instance when someones freedom was taken away or to a specific time in his life. Slide 10 Tone The attitude of the writer towards his subject and/or audience. The attitude of the writer towards his subject and/or audience. Words like accusatory, bitter, sincere.these are tone words; they describe an authors attitude. When you write about tone, you MUST go deeper than simply stating, the authors tone is happy. How do you know? Whats he happy about? Why? How does he convey this? How does it accomplish his purpose? Words like accusatory, bitter, sincere.these are tone words; they describe an authors attitude. When you write about tone, you MUST go deeper than simply stating, the authors tone is happy. How do you know? Whats he happy about? Why? How does he convey this? How does it accomplish his purpose? Slide 11 Syntax Whereas diction is an authors choice of words, syntax is how the author puts those words together and the punctuation he uses to emphasize his word choice. Whereas diction is an authors choice of words, syntax is how the author puts those words together and the punctuation he uses to emphasize his word choice. Think Yoda. If you watch Star Wars, you will notice Yoda rearranges words: Jedi you are, instead of you are a Jedi. Think Yoda. If you watch Star Wars, you will notice Yoda rearranges words: Jedi you are, instead of you are a Jedi. Why does an author put words together in a certain way? Why is there a comma here or an exclamation point there? Why does an author put words together in a certain way? Why is there a comma here or an exclamation point there? Why is this sentence short and this one long? Why is this sentence short and this one long? Slide 12 Think of it this way When you begin a conversation with someone, you have a specific purpose for that conversation. When you begin a conversation with someone, you have a specific purpose for that conversation. If you want to ask your parents to buy you something or allow you to go somewhere, you have a reason for your word choice, your tone, your syntax. If you want to ask your parents to buy you something or allow you to go somewhere, you have a reason for your word choice, your tone, your syntax. If you want your friend to do you a favor, your word choice, your tone, your syntax will be different from the choices you made when speaking to your parents. If you want your friend to do you a favor, your word choice, your tone, your syntax will be different from the choices you made when speaking to your parents.

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