Knowing how to conduct a rhetorical analysis can be useful in academic contexts and in your daily life. So what exactly is a rhetorical analysis? According to Moxley and Staggers, a rhetorical analysis is
- the practice of analyzing a rhetorical situation (https://writingcommons.org/section/rhetoric/rhetorical-situation/)
- to understand human decision making
- to guide efforts to communicate and compose
- to interpret the texts of others.
- a mode of reasoning that informs composing (https://writingcommons.org/section/composing-process/) and interpretation.
- a heuristic, an invention practice (https://writingcommons.org/section/invention/invention-heuristics/), that helps writers go beyond their perspectives and consider the perspective of the audience
- the process undertaken to generate rhetorical knowledge (https://writingcommons.org/section/writing-studies/epistemology/rhetorical-knowledge/).
- a method of analysis (https://writingcommons.org/section/research/research-methods/textual-methods/rhetorical-analysis/) used to understand (https://writingcommons.org/section/research/research-methods/textual-methods/) and critique (https://writingcommons.org/section/collaboration/critique/) texts (https://writingcommons.org/section/rhetoric/rhetorical-situation/text-composition/). (For a more detailed description, check out Rhetorical Analysis (https://writingcommons.org/section/research/research-methods/textual-methods/rhetorical-analysis/))
Read Phyllis Mentzell Ryder’s article Rhetorical Analysis in the Real World: A Useful Thinking Tool (https://writingcommons.org/article/rhetorical-analysis-in-the-real-world-a-useful-thinking-tool/)and think about how rhetorical analysis might be useful to you both academically and personally. Then, answer the following questions based on Ryder’s article:
1. Ryder argues that rhetorical analysis can be useful in the real world. What reasons does she give to support her argument?
2. Ryder discusses two types of encounters that lead to rhetorical analysis. What are these encounters?
3. What strategies from Ryder’s article do you think will be useful when you conduct your rhetorical analysis for project 1?
4. In what ways do you think rhetorical analysis might be useful to you, both academically and personally?