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Unit 2 Rhetorical Analysis

Preliminary Thesis Statements, Logical Fallacies
by

Prof Johnson

on 2 February 2019

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Transcript of Unit 2 Rhetorical Analysis

Unit 2: Rhetorical Analysis
According to the OWL Purdue, a thesis statement "summarizes the main point of your essay and previews your supporting points. The thesis statement is important because it guides your readers from the beginning of your essay by telling them the main idea and supporting points of your essay." Generally, a thesis statement usually appears at the end of an introductory paragraph.
Thesis Statements
How do you write a thesis statement for your Unit 2 essay?

Start here...
Thesis Statements
The key questions:
Who is the artist's target audience?
What response is the artist trying to elicit from his/her/its audience?
Is the artist successful?
HOW does the artist attempt to elicit this response from his or her audience?

2) Ask Important Questions
For the Unit 2 assignment, I recommend that you save your thesis statement for (almost) last. How come?

TIP: An introductory paragraph does NOT need to have a topic sentence! A concluding paragraph does NOT need to have a topic sentence!

So... which paragraphs require topic sentences?
Side-Notes
The purpose of the assignment is to determine whether or not a particular music video is successful in HOW it aims to elicit a particular response from its target audience. How? By analyzing the "language" it uses.

That is the PURPOSE of this essay.
1) Think about PURPOSE
Objectives
Reminder: Your Unit 1 Final Draft is due on Friday

U2 Thesis Statements

Logical Fallacies

Target Audience
The target audience of Taylor Swift's "Blank Space" is young adults who might buy into rumors spread by mass media.
How mass media portrays T.S.'s personal life
T.S. acts out how she (the person - not the artist) is portrayed in mass media
What is the RESPONSE Swift tries to elicit from those who buy into mass media reports of her personal life?
The response Swift hopes to elicit from her audience is an awareness that mass media exaggerates her personal life.

Mass Media = Idiots
People Who Believe Mass Media = Idiots
HOW does the artist attempt to elicit this response from her audience?
3) Put it all together!
Through contradictory lyrics, images of gross materialism, and sociopathic actions, "Blank Space" by Taylor Swift successfully communicates to young adults that mass media exaggerates her personal life.
PRELIMINARY THESIS STATEMENT
Contradictory Lyrics
Gross Materialism
Sociopathic Behaviors
"Nice to meet you, where you been?"
Use this process to write your preliminary thesis statement.
When analyzing your chosen video, you need to examine the Rhetorical Situations and the Rhetorical Appeals to determine HOW a particular response is elicited from an audience.

In addition, you must pay attention to...
LOGICAL FALLACIES!
What are logical fallacies?
A logical fallacy is a rhetorical move that corrupts solid reasoning and is considered to be “the verbal equivalent of sleight of hand” (How to Write Anything, 321). In other words, a logical fallacy is a kind of trick used to persuade an audience.

Here are a few examples....
Hasty Generalizations
Making a generalization about a whole group of people that is offensive and/or false.

Example: “All rich people are snobs” or “people on welfare are uneducated.” Check out this one:
East Haven, CT, Mayor Joseph Maturo (2012)
Evasion
When someone avoids the truth entirely, or when someone doesn’t answer a direct question.

Example: When a politician is asked a direct question and responds with, “You know, the real question is this –” and then answers his or her own question. Or they walk away, like this guy...
Bandwagon
When an author appeals to an audience through what’s popular in order to make YOU feel left out and unaccepted.
"But mom, everyone's doing it!"
Fear or Scare Tactic
According to blogger Bo Bennet, these tactics are used "when fear, not based on evidence or reason, is being used as the primary motivator to get others to accept an idea, proposition, or conclusion." For example, "If you don’t accept X as true, something terrible will happen to you."
Let's Apply
Now that you have an idea about what a Logical Fallacy is, please do the following...

Class Portal > Logical Fallacies In-Class Activity
1) Think about purpose

2) Ask important questions

3) Put it all together
Review
On Friday & Monday we asked...

Who is Swift's AUDIENCE?

What is Swift trying to elicit from her audience?

Success?


A rhetorical analysis is all about

ASKING QUESTIONS.

Now that we have an idea about who Swift's audience is, what response she is trying to elicit from that audience, and an initial sense about her overall success, what we need to do now is ask...
HOW DID SHE DO IT?

How did Swift successfully (or unsuccessfully) elicit a response from her intended audience?

What LANGUAGE did she use?
Language is not bound to alphabetic text (i.e. books). Language can be expressed in a variety of ways in order to communicate meaning (or the absence of meaning if you want to get existential).

Body Language
Video
Print Images / Digital Images
Signs
Sounds

In order to write a compelling rhetorical analysis of your chosen music video, you will need to analyze what you see, hear, contextualize, intuit, and so forth in order to figure out HOW the artist has elicited a particular response from his or her audience. What LANGUAGE does he or she use?

To examine the "language" used in your chosen music video,
and long before writing your thesis statement
(...l...o...n...g... b...e...f...o...r...e...), you will need to tear apart your chosen music video. Question everything; write it out; make a mess on the page; read into everything.

Like this...
“A Rhetorical Analysis of Taylor Swift’s Blank Space” by Teach Argument
Freewrite #11
(Don't forget the seating arrangement.)
Analyze this image in order to identify 1) the target audience, 2) what the image is trying to elicit from its audience, and 3) the image's success.
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