READER RESPONSE WORKSHEET

In the boxes below, give your workshop partner three COMPLETE suggestions for revision. By “complete,” I mean that you (1) tell him or her WHAT you’re suggesting; (2) explain WHY you believe this revision will strengthen the draft ; and (3) explain HOW to go about making it. Be DETAILED in your advice. Partner’s name: Stu Student Suggestion #1: WHAT Clarify the thesis. Your thesis, while strong, lacks clarity. (Unless I’m mistaken, the following sentence is your thesis: “Through the use of rhetoric, politicians force their audience to be attentive to and concerned with arguments that lie within a democratic system that places free and equal citizens together in order to make decisions for the entire population.”) WHY The thesis defines both rhetoric and democracy, but it does not connect them, which leaves the reader confused. What instead is being constructed is a blanket statement. HOW You need to look back at the question of how rhetoric promotes democracy. Think about why this is promoted, what purpose does rhetoric serve? Exactly, how does rhetoric effect the listener, and to what end? The best way to narrow your though is to look back at the Guttman and Thompson text. Suggestion #2: WHAT The use of vocabulary in your hypothesis is not convincing. WHY The phrase “force to be attentive to…”, is not entirely accurate. Politicians are not trying to force anything, but rather, are arguing in favor of a certain position. Rhetoric is used by politicians as a means to persuade the audience. To force someone to think a certain way sounds more like a tyranny than a democracy. HOW You need to define rhetoric as a means to persuade an audience. The Garston text is full of passages in which rhetoric is defined. You can quote anyone of these passages, then explain it, to create a definition that works for your argument. Suggestion #3: WHAT In your analysis you discuss how Obama’s personal beliefs are persuasive. WHY This needs to be elaborated on. What exactly makes these beliefs persuasive? Are his beliefs timeless in the sense of American democracy, or is it that his use of rhetoric persuades other to believe what he does? HOW I think a good place to start with this would be to point out how these views contrast immensely with the current administration. You may also want to bring up that Obama is effective because he speaks with sincerity. I would argue that this is his greatest appeal to the American public; he does not seem to be giving ‘lip service’ in his speeches like many other politicians do. I would think critically about why people are dissatisfied in the direction the country is going, and how Obama uses rhetoric to emphasize this fact, as well as persuade the audience to believe in his leadership abilities. Your name: Diane DiScipula

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