How to Write an Analysis | Rhetoric | Citation

How To: Write an Article Analysis

This course is founded upon learning and applying rhetoric in your academic and everyday lives. To this end, you will bring in two articles/essays/works of art/books/etc. each week (every Tuesday andThursday, even if I forget to remind you), with a synopsis and an analysis of the argument presented for each. They do not need to be typed, but each must contain the following: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Your name and date at the top. (This is logistical; I cannot give you credit if I do not know it is yours.) MLA citation of the work. (You will most likely be using the citation guidelines under the “Article in a Web Magazine” or “Page on a Website” headings. Author, name of article/work, and name of periodical (if you pulled it from a magazine or journal) in the first paragraph. Short (single sentence) explanation of which rhetorical devices the author uses and whether the work is persuasive. One paragraph outlining (with examples) how the author uses these rhetorical devices. One paragraph explaining why the article is or is not persuasive.

This may seem like a lot to do, but once you start writing them it becomes second nature. We will discuss these articles in class, so pick articles that argue a point (this is important; many newspaper articles merely report on a topic, so check the Opinion or Editorial pages for arguments) and come prepared to discuss. If you have trouble finding something to bring to class, or if you forget about it until the last minute, check out the RSS feed on the left of this page. I have set this up to deliver articles that I think are worth reading. Snag one, write an analysis, and enjoy class knowing you came prepared. It’s a good thing.

Example
Here's a quick example of an average article analysis of this article from last year. Note that the student dissects the argument without identifying the rhetorical devices used. This is appropriate as you begin writing your analyses, but take chances and implement the vocabulary you learn in class. Parker, Kathleen. “The Perils of Pandering.” Tulsa World. 17 Jan. 2008: A19. “The Perils of Pandering,” the title of Kathleen Parker’s latest opinion article, details the paradoxes and labyrinthine mix of intentions involved in the Democratic front-runners’ candidacies, specifically those of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Parker explores the argument of “it shouldn’t be about race or gender but it is” by referencing the candidates’ own words and actions to display their contradictions. For

Another interesting topic is brought up in the article: the idea that a victory for one candidate is a defeat for the other’s minority group.” Parker states. The juxtaposition of the paragraphs emphasize Parker’s point. “If a Clinton victory is viewed as a victory for all women. “The battle for race and gender has become a fight between race and gender. . that the candidates don’t know whether to play their minority cards.” while following up with Clinton’s cry to “shatter that highest glass ceiling” at Wellesley College.example. it’s a very effective piece. then her defeat can only be viewed as a defeat for all women. she can appeal to Republicans and Democrats alike. Her bias is mild compared to other articles she has penned—she acknowledges the party’s “noble intent” as she bemoans the identity politics. Her audience is not a narrow one.” Parker’s argument is convincing. Parker quotes Clinton’s insistence that she is “not asking you to vote for [her] because [she is] a woman. All in all. it’s hard to disagree when the quotations are from the candidates themselves.

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