Module 1: Rhetorical Analysis

In this module, students practice identifying rhetorical appeals and rhetorical context in a variety of modes: advertisements, social media clips, news segments, public service announcements, speeches and political campaigns. Then, in small groups, they create multimodal projects that use all of the rhetorical appeals to create messages intended for the university community. The module culminates in an academic paper in which students are asked to decide whether or not a piece of text is effective based on the rhetorical appeals–and awareness of rhetorical context–used by the author.

“…the world is not simply reflected back to us through systems of representation…we actually construct the meaning of the material world through these systems…” –Lisa Cartwright and Marita Sturken, from The Practices of Looking

“I feel that this module can be used in almost every aspect of life. Being able to use rhetorical appeals will help with job interviews, analyzing text in other classes, and when getting to know people (whether or not you can trust them based on if and what type of appeals they use).” –English 105 student

“Let us regard rhetorical situation as a natural context of persons, events, objects, relations, and an exigence which strongly invites utterance…” –Lloyd Bitzer, from The Rhetorical Situation

“The tools that I have gained from this module can be used in various situations. For example in the future when I want to buy something I can identify what they are selling and for what purpose. Understanding the who,what, and why is significant in many aspects of life. In other classes I can also use ethos,pathos, and logos to write effective papers.” –English 105 student



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