Who is your audience? Write your essay for a reader who is an educated adult who is not as familiar with the text you are analyzing as you are.
What is your purpose? To summarize a letter and analyze how the authorr aims to achieve his purpose with the target audience through an appeal to either ethos, logos, or pathos.
Which speech will you analyze? You will analyze excerpts from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” _April 1963_, which you can access here this file is uploaded below
Note: King’s letter is much longer than the excerpts you will analyze, but for the sake of time, you will only analyze parts of it. Please do read the whole thing when you are able.
How long should Essay 2 be? Essay 2 will be a minimum of four (4) paragraphs: an introductory paragraph, a summary paragraph, a thoroughly developed rhetorical analysis paragraph that follows the MEAL plan, and a concluding paragraph. Generally, an effective MEAL plan paragraph for a rhetorical analysis will be 400-500 words long. The introductory paragraph can be accomplished in 150-200 words, maybe more. The summary paragraph can be accomplished in 300-400 words, considering the length of the letter. And the concluding paragraph can be accomplished in around 100 words. This will make your essay length about 1000-1200 words, but you may write more.
How should you format your essay? Use MLA format.
What is required in the introductory paragraph?
Your opening paragraph should orient your readers to the who, what, where, when, and why of your text:
The letter’s title
The author’s full name and credentials
The date of the letter
The date published
The context surrounding the letter: what event or circumstances prompted the text?
You will have to look up the context, so be sure to attribute the research you do. Do not plagiarize. When in doubt, cite the source.
Your opening paragraph should close with a thesis statement that is appropriate for a rhetorical analysis essay:
Your thesis should reveal your insight into one way the author attempts to achieve his purpose through a specific aspect of one of the rhetorical appeals.
For example: Mayor Rawlins evokes outrage in his audience to persuade them to reelect him.
This thesis works as a rhetorical analysis thesis because 1) it identifies the author’s purpose and 2) it identifies one way the speaker uses a rhetorical appeal to achieve that purpose.
What is required in the summary paragraph?
In every sentence,
use attributive tags to attribute the ideas to the author:
use the author’s last name or he/she
use precise signal verbs (see Step 4 in Lesson 1 for a list of signal verbs),
use transitions and other signposts to show the relationship between the ideas, capturing the structure and flow of the source’s ideas.
Represent the source’s ideas accurately, fairly, objectively, and comprehensively yet concisely.
What is required in the body paragraph?
Your body paragraph must meet these requirements and apply these skills and strategies:
Apply the MEAL Plan paragraphing strategy for effective development and structure
It must present one main idea that makes a claim about how the speaker appeals to either ethos OR logos OR pathos
It must present sufficient (enough) andrepresentative (the best) examples from the letter as supporting evidence for the main idea
It must make the case for each example through thorough and helpful analysis, illustrating for readers precisely that and how the example works as a rhetorical appeal and explaining what role the example plays in the author’s overall argument and purpose. In short, show readers the effect the appeal is meant to have on the audience–don’t merely state the effect; illustrate it with thorough analysis.
Properly quote examples
The paragraph must be thoughtfully structured and organized so that readers follow your thinking from the first word to the last without interruptions in the logical flow of ideas. The development of your ideas should clearly carry readers to your paragraph’s conclusion (or main idea) without impediments caused by non sequiturs or gaps caused by unidentified or faulty assumptions. In other words, your paragraph should walk readers carefully and transparently through your reasoning so that they see what you see.
What is required in the concluding paragraph?
Your concluding paragraph should wrap up your analysis
The best way to do this is to briefly explore how analyzing the letter in the way you have offers us insight into the author’s choices and their effects
Your conclusion should NOT wrap up the ideas of the letter or repeat the letter’s final words because this is the closing paragraph of your ideas, not the letter’s ideas
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