The rhetorical analysis essay is your first foray into the conversation surrounding your Public Discourse Issue. You will analyze a piece of argumentation that deals with your PDI in some way, breaking down its rhetorical moves, identifying its purpose and audience. and making a claim about whether or not the argument is successful. The overarching goal here is to start thinking about how people talk and argue about your issue—who makes up the audiences invested in your issue, and how do speakers make appeals designed to reach them?
First, locate a concrete and specific piece of argumentation related to your PDI. This could be an op-ed from a publication from The New York Times or The Atlantic. a speech, an advertisement, a pamphlet, or a short video. The item must be discrete—that is, rather than selecting Donald Trump as a subject for analysis, you should select one of his speeches or even a portion of a speech.
Answer the following questions of the piece you’ve selected: To what rhetorical situation does the piece respond? Who is the intended audience? What appeals and other rhetorical strategies does the author employ? What do you think the piece is trying to achieve—and is it successful?