persuasive analysis

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identify and analyze a specific persuasive artifact (e.g., Web Page, movie, documentary, newsletter) that pursues a persuasive goal. After you have identified the artifact you wish to study, you will analyze the persuasion (or persuasive strategies) employed by the rhetor (e.g., the use of God terms and Devil terms to create identification and disidentification, the use of persuasive heuristics, specific forms of argumentation, identity-management strategies, or propaganda). It is expected that you will arrive at your topic in consultation with a member of the teaching team. Your completed paper should be 7-10 pages (double-spaced with 12-point font and one-inch margins). Your persuasive artifact will count as one source on your reference page. Other than your textbook, you should consult and cite two other sources. These sources may inform your understanding of your “theoretical lens” or a broader issue or social problem implicated in your research. We are limiting the sources required to emphasize that the bulk of your work, thinking, and writing should be devoted analysis of your persuasive artifact.

Your persuasive analysis should be organized with the following headings and address the following issues:

1. Purpose of the persuasive analysis

2. A general description of your persuasive artifact. This description should provide an understanding of the social significance of your topic and artifact. .

3. Your description of the theoretical lens that you use to understand and critique your artifact. You should define the theoretical concepts you use to understand your artifact. For example, if you are examining a website maintained by a hate group in terms of its narrative features, then you will want to describe and discuss the “narrative” concept so that a reader will know what you mean by narrative and why it is important.

4. Analysis: This would include your critique of your artifact. For example, if you are analyzing an advertisement’s use of persuasive heuristics, then this portion of your paper would provide concrete and specific descriptions of advertiser’s attempts to encourage the heuristic processing of persuasive information.

5. Conclusions: This should include a discussion of what you have learned from your analysis. This should also include a brief discussion of the practical use of your findings.

6. Reference page including the sources described above

Comprehensiveness: Does the paper include all five sections of the persuasive analysis? Is each section thoroughly developed?

Heuristic Value: Is the paper and the analysis theoretically interesting? Does the analysis take the reader beyond a “common-sense” explanation and understanding of the artifact? Does the paper address a significant social or communicative issue? Does the paper have the potential to influence how we think about the issues addressed by the writer?

Quality of Expression: Is the paper well-written? Is the paper a coherent whole with clear transitions that permit the reader to experience the paper as a seamless whole? Well-written papers possess the following characteristics: (a) The author’s writing does not contain attributes that distract the reader from the argument being developed in the paper (e.g., missing words, incorrect use of grammar, incorrect punctuation, awkward or convoluted expression). (b) Ideas are expressed with parsimony. Parsimony is achieved when the writer has taken the time review and edit their writing to achieve the most clear and simple form possible. (c) Quality writing is effective argumentation. Good writing is only possible to the extent that the writer develops effective arguments. Do claims derive from the purpose statement? Is evidence provided to support claims? Is the evidence used in a way that makes its relationship to the claim clear? Are quotations, for example, interpreted by the writer?

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