Write a claim-driven rhetorical analysis in which you evaluate the persuasive devices and effectiveness of a documentary. Your essay should show you have carefully considered the main claim of the film, summarized it fairly, and probed it deeply. Remember your purpose is to evaluate objectively and to examine its strengths and weaknesses–not to argue for or against the claim. Your personal opinion about the issue is not the focus of the assignment.
Audience: Direct your analysis to an audience of your classmates.
Length: Your essay should be at least 1000 words, around 4 pages, double-spaced.
Style: Observe the conventions of MLA style for paper formatting, in-text citations, and the Works Cited page.
Introduction: Begin with a hook to grab your classmates’ attention. End with your main claim, one sentence stating the overall effectiveness of the film, plus your reasons. Use dependent and independent clauses. For example:
While he failed to do X and Y, overall, his argument was persuasive because of A, B, C, and D.
Summary of Argument: Write a standard form summary of the film’s main claim and reasons.
Body Paragraphs: Use the CREAC model of paragraph development. Introduce and cite your evidence. Use both paraphrase and direct quotations to support your main claim.
1. Logos: (2 paragraphs) Claim + Reason (clarity of argument and logical fallacies): is the core of the argument clear and soundly developed? What logical fallacies are in the argument? What fallacies does the film avoid?
2. Claim + Reason (evidence): Is the evidence effective?
3. Ethos: (2 paragraphs) Claim + Reason (credibility and trustworthiness): What is the film maker’s background? Does the film present multiple perspectives on the issue or is it overly biased?
4. Pathos: (2 paragraphs) Claim + Reason (shared assumptions) What are the shared assumptions? Claim + Reason (emotional appeals): How does the author tap into emotions, values and imaginations?
Conclusion: What implications are there for this film? Is it convincing and how does it fit into the larger conversation on this topic in America?
Writing Process Steps
1. Choose a documentary from the list I have provided from Kanopy to analyze for rhetorical effectiveness.
2. Evaluate the article’s use of ethos, pathos, and logos
3. Evaluate the article’s implicit and explicit arguments as we will discuss in class.
4. Evaluate the article’s logical structure by mapping the argument.
5. Develop a thesis statement (main claim) that clearly states your position on the effectiveness of the article.
6. Find evidence from the film to support your main claim.
7. Cite each quote/paraphrase in MLA format. Include a works cited page.
* Did I proofread out loud to find errors?
* Did you visit the Pier Tutoring Center on the third floor of the Seefeldt building? (You may visit at any time during your writing process.)
I used the video Empathy
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