Steps in Rhetorical Analysis
- Identify the question being addressed
- Identify the author’s purpose
- Observe diction, syntax, examples (anecdotes), structure, and persona
- Evaluate the effectiveness of strategies at conveying the questions and meeting the author’s purpose
Categories of Questions at Issue
These are also known as Stasis Questions.
- Setting: time and place
- Circumstance: identities, attitudes, values, actions, backgrounds, messages, and behaviors
Analyzing Context of a Published Work
- Where was it published?
- Written by whom?
- Why was it written?
- For whom was it written?
- When was it written?
- Presenting yourself as a speaker or author of authority
- Voice: point-of-view, person, etc.
- Tone: formality, attitude, etc.
- Ethos: The ethical appeal to an audience/readers
- Legal, religious, social
- Pathos: The emotional appeal to an audience/readers
- Often anecdotes used
- Love, hate, pain, suffering, etc.
- Logos: The logical appeal to an audience/readers
- Research, history, any factual evidence
- The words chosen by an author or speaker
- Nouns and pronouns matter most, indicating people, things, or ideas at issue
- Verbs reflect intensity and opinions (reading carefully)
- Modifiers can reveal emotional intensity, depth of feelings
Look for patterns in word choices