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Copy of Rhetorical Precis

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Michelle Castillo-West

on 7 January 2013

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Transcript of Copy of Rhetorical Precis

Rhetorical Précis What is a Rhetorical Précis? Differs from a summary
A brief representation of what a text says and does
A four sentence paragraph that records essential elements of an essay Each sentence of the paragraph should contain the following: How do I write a Rhetorical Précis? What?

Name of author, genre and title of work; date in parentheses, a rhetorically accurate verb (see "B" examples); and a THAT clause containing the major assertion (thesis statement/argument) of the work.

Think of it this way:

WHO are you talking about? WHAT is their background? WHAT did they write? WHAT year was it written? WHAT is their point? Sentence One: How?

An explanation of the strategies the author uses to develop and/or support the thesis.

Think of it this way:

HOW do they prove their thesis? Do they offer interviews? Official data? Other outside sources? Anecdotes? Sentence Two: Why?

A statement of the author's purpose followed by an "on order" phrase.

Think of it this way:

Are they trying to entertain you? Persuade you to feel a certain way or change your mind about an issue? Are they trying to inform you? WHY is that their purpose? In order to accomplish what? Sentence three: To whom?

A description of the intended audience and/or the relationship the author establishes with the audience.

Think of it this way:

WHO is the author trying to address? For example, are they talking to teachers? Parents? Senior citizens? Latinos? It can be anyone. You need to determine if they addressed formally (use of academic language, proper English) or informally (more conversational tone, use of slang, etc.). Fourth Sentence: Example:
In her article "Who Cares if Johnny Can't Read?" (1997), Larissa MacFar asserts that Americans are reading more than ever despite claims to the contrary and that it is time to reconsider why we value reading so much, especially certain kinds of "high culture" reading. Example:
MacFar supports her claims about American reading habits with facts and statistics that compare past and present reading practices, and she challenges common assumptions by raising questions about reading's intrinsic value. Example:
Her purpose is to dispel certain myths about reading in order to raise new and more important questions about the value of reading and other media in our culture. Example:
She seems to have a young, hip, somewhat irreverent audience in mind because her tone is sarcastic, and she suggests that the ideas she opposes are old-fashioned positions.
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