Using Shared Reading to Teach Rhetorical Analysis

Part 1: Solnit rhetorical analysis

Homework: Write a 600-700 rhetorical analysis of Solnit’s article, using as guides for your writing the questions on page 98 of EAA and Milena Ateya’s sample rhetorical analysis on page 121. Notice, in particular, how Ateya organizes her analysis. Type, print, and bring to class. We’ll be annotating each others’ analyses, as was done to Ateya’s piece.


Part 2: In-class

Students trade rhetorical analyses with a classmate & annotate, using the annotations on page 121 of EAA as a model. Reviewers should note the strengths and weaknesses of the analysis in a paragraph at the end of the paper. As a class, discuss Solnit, based on the rhetorical analyses. Use the questions on pg. 98 to start discussion.


Part 3: Annotating Solnit & Re-organizing as a speech


a) Return to the Solnit piece and annotate her article. In the margins, identify these components: the major parts of her argument, the type of evidence she uses (and when and where she uses it) for the text’s logos, how she constructs her ethos, repeated themes or images, and any enthymemes you can find.

b) Then, imagine that you are Solnit, and you’ve been asked to re-work “Detroit Arcadia” as a speech. How would you organize and re-frame the argument and its evidence? Type a basic outline that includes an introduction with a thesis statement presenting the argument, the main points in body of the speech, and a conclusion. Be specific in your outline by paraphrasing claims and supporting evidence from “Detroit Arcadia.” 


Part 4: In-class

a) Discuss Part 3 assignments.

b) Students return to their own rhetorical analyses of Solnit, and, in a paragraph, note what they would add or change in their analysis now.

Course Name: 
WRD 111
Assignment Type: 
Classroom Activity
Assignment Length: 
Multiple Class Periods
Primary Pedagogical Focus: 
Preparation Guidance and Instructor Advice: 

This is an assignment set that focuses on a shared reading in order to practice rhetorical analysis.


Additional Information: 

This exercise set was created by Dr. Beth Connors Manke.

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