Rhetorical Analysis of Public document

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Write a 750-1,000-word essay that includes an analysis of a public document.

Your task is to do a close reading of a public document, summarize it, and then analyze its rhetorical situation. Use the sample rhetorical analysis from the textbook (pages 57-60) as a flexible guide—not as a rigid model. Your analysis will contain a few more features than the one found in the book. How you organize your analysis will depend in part on the writing you choose and in part on the decisions you make about how to arrange the parts of your analysis.

Directions (based on the Rhetorical Analysis assignment from chapter 2 of The Call to Write).

Read the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Web page on Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in the United States. The link to the page is http://www.cdc.gov/NCBDDD/adhd/data.html

To prepare for your analysis, use the reading strategies presented in chapter 2 to come to terms with the reading you’ve chosen:

1.Do a first close reading that uses underlining, annotation, and summary to make sure you understand what the writer is saying. Go back to any sections that need clarification. Chapter 2 can help you do a close reading.

2.On a second reading, pay attention to what the writer is doing by describing the writer’s strategy. Chapter 2 can help you describe the writer’s strategy.

Conduct a preanalysis. Use your close reading to analyze the rhetorical situation. Here are some questions to guide your analysis. You do not need to answer all of them—pick the ones that make the most sense to you. Your close reading will help you generate ideas for your essay.

1.What is the context of issues? What do you know about the topic? What issues does the topic raise? Is there a larger debate, discussion, or controversy already going on? What seems to be at stake?

2.Who is the writer? What do you know about the writer’s background, credibility, knowledge of the topic, beliefs, and social allegiances?

3.What is the publication? What do you know about its intended readers, reputability, political slant, and the topics it covers?

4.How does the writer define the rhetorical situation and identify the call to write? What is the writer’s orientation toward the issues involved? What is at stake for the writer?

5.Who is the intended audience? Is the writer addressing one group or more than one group of readers? Is the writer trying to bring an audience into being? What kind of relationship is the writer trying to establish with readers? What assumptions about readers does the writer seem to make?

6.How does the writer use language? What is the writer’s tone? What does the writer’s word choice show about his or her assumptions about readers? Does the writer use specialized terms or slang? Are there memorable figures of speech? Does the writer stereotype?

7.What is your personal stake in this issue? How do your past experiences with this topic (or previous knowledge about it) inform your perspective? What is your response to assertions that the writer makes? Do you agree and/or disagree with the writer? Why?

8.What is your evaluation of the rhetorical effectiveness? Does the writer accomplish his or her purposes? What constraints, if any, qualify the writing’s effectiveness?

Write your essay:

After developing your ideas, write a cohesive essay (example on pages 57-60) that:

1.Introduces and summarizes the CDC website on ADD/ADHD

2.Analyzes the piece of writing (here, you can incorporate ideas from your preanalysis above)

3.Evaluates its effectiveness (again, ideas from your preanalysis will be helpful).


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