Rhetorical Analysis Paper

As we have discussed, writers convey messages not only in what they say, but how they say it. These many choices—word choice, sentence length, use of dialogue, descriptive language, cited information or reference to experts, rhetorical devices such as alliteration, metaphor, euphemism, etc, and appeals to logos, pathos, and ethos, among others—contribute to the effect the text has.
Your goal in this assignment is to explain how the rhetorical choices made in two essays— Alexandra Rowland’s “One Atom of Justice, One Molecule of Mercy, And the Empire of Unsheathed Knives” and Tochi Onyebuchi’s “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream”—are reflective of the purpose of each essay, convey messages, and/or indicate the intended audiences. Why do the authors make the choices they make? Both of these essays are about the creative process and pressures of writing within the context of what both authors perceive as a world rife with injustice. Still, each makes rhetorical choices that are different from one another. How, and why?
Before Writing
Re-read both assigned essays—Onyebuchi’s and Rowland’s.
Consider how their messages, their purposes, their context, and their audiences are similar and dissimilar.
Consider how they use language both similarly and differently. Look for patterns in language use.
What are these writers doing? Why? Is it the same thing? Is it different?
Decide–will you work with BOTH essays to provide comparisons, or would you rather focus on ONE essay?
Either choice is fine. Some writers find analysis easier when they can compare, others prefer to dig into one text at at time–it is up to you to decide how YOU can best apply analysis to be successful in this assignment.
Organization and Development
This paper should be roughly four pages in length (not three or three and a couple lines!).
Provide an introduction and conclusion, and craft a thesis statement that presents the main idea of your analysis. Make a claim that relates WHAT the writer/s say/s and WHY to HOW one or both used language.
Give context for your reader. You may briefly summarize the essay/s, but what is more important is to synthesize and set them into a context.
Transition into your rhetorical analysis. Slow down! Analyze in detail the choices in the texts.
When giving examples (and you should give many!) you may paraphrase or quote from the essays, but be sure to cite.
Consider how best to organize your essay.
You may wish to provide a compare/contrast in which you select rhetorical devices or appeals and compare how both writers use them.
You may wish to move through goals, audiences, or contexts of the writer/s and show what devices or appeals are used.
You may wish to focus more on one essay than the other–this is fine! Make a deliberate choice.
In ANY case, organize your essay logically
When writing analytically, write in the present tense and do not use first person.
Format: Standard MLA formatting. 4 pages in length.
Attempt 1

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