How to Tame a Wild Tongue – Rhetorical Analysis

For this rhetorical analysis assignment, you’ll be analyzing the structure and style of one essay. To do that, you’ll need to (1) identify the essay’s various components of structure and style, and (2) make an argument that answers, proves, and explains how these components work together to advance the author’s argument. In other words, you must go beyond just identifying the components in order to conduct rhetorical analysis and meet the assignment requirements; you need to answer how/why what you identified impacts the essay’s rhetoric, its argument. You need to support that answer (your argument) with evidence and/or explanation. (Note: You are not expected to identify and analyze every instance of every structure and style component; that would be impossible for this page length.)

Your essay should be 3-4 pages long and in MLA format. Please include a works cited page.

As you prepare to write your essay, here are some questions that you can ask yourself. Of course, don’t just answer these questions one by one. Instead, answer these questions as part of your brainstorm process, then use this information to form your answer to the prompt.

  • What are the main component parts and/or subparts of this text? What does each part or subpart contribute to the reader’s experience?
  • Does a particular section in the text set up the reader for an experience delivered later by another part of the text?
  • What expectations are created and then satisfied by these different sections?
  • What conventional forms are at work? (Or is the form unconventional?)
  • What expectations is the audience likely to have based on the genre?
  • Are those expectations met?
  • How would you describe the style of the work?
  • What do you think the author intended in presenting the work in the style he/she choose?
  • What stylistic virtues does the argument exhibit?

What terms from the structure and style PowerPoint lectures have you identified in the reading you selected?