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Rhetorical Analysis Grading Rubric
(Worth 15% of class grade)
Genre: a closed form argumentative essay, written in third person. Purpose: To strengthen your ability to rhetorically analyze a text, develop your own views about the text’s rhetorical effectiveness (taking into consideration the relationship between writer, content, and reader), and provide evidence for those views in an organized paper. This will in turn help you become aware of these rhetorical elements when engaged in your own writing. Audience: MDC students and instructors who have not seen the TED Talk you will be analyzing.
Your task: Write an MLA styled, 750 word or more, rhetorical analysis of one of the three TED Talks. Note that you’re not being asked to tell me if you agree with the speaker. Your task is to evaluate the speaker’s use of rhetoric. In essence, you are evaluating how the speaker presents, not whether or not you like his ideas.
Your essay will be graded as follows:.
10= Superb, 9=Very good, 8=Good, 7=Solid, 6=fair, 5=needs improvement, 4=needs much improvement, 3 and below=content area is missing or needs to be completely rewritten.
Intro (Worth 10%): 1) Begins with an interesting story, anecdote, or vivid example that relates to the topic your chosen author addresses. This is called giving presence to an issue. Make the reader care about the topic at hand by emphasizing its importance and relevance to your readers. 2) Explains who is the person you are writing about, full name of speaker, title of TED Talk, speaker’s background/(angle of vision), 3) The rhetorical aim of the speaker and 3-5 sentence summary of the main points of the speech. 4) Write a “surprising reversal” thesis statement about whether or not the speaker achieved their rhetorical aim. In this type of thesis statement you will address rhetorical weaknesses and strengths while emphasizing the strengths if you felt the speaker was mostly effective or emphasizing the weaknesses if you felt the speaker was mostly ineffective
Counterargument and Rebuttal (Worth 10%): Presents the alternative view (of whether or not he as rhetorically effective) and then refutes it through argumentation and textual evidence. For example, if you argue that the speaker was ineffective overall, you will present some of the speaker’s strong points and then reject them by stating your case that he nevertheless was ineffective. This should be at least one paragraph long and should include textual evidence from the transcript. This section can go in the beginning, middle or before the conclusion, as long as it is there and it is well developed.
Rhetorical analysis of the speaker’s appeal to ethos and logos (Worth 20%): Student makes a claim about the speaker’s effective or ineffective appeal to credibility, speaker’s ability to gain the audience’s and the manner in which the speaker deliver’s the speech (student might look at evidence, tone of voice, verbal and nonverbal cues, appearance, choice of vocabulary, restrained, sincere, fair minded presentation, clear Articulation). Student makes a claim about the speaker’s effective or ineffective appeal to logic by examining the message of the speech. Student looks for consistencies and inconsistencies in logic (i.e. does the speaker contradict him/herself? Are the major claims supported by evidence, facts, and studies? Does the speaker include counterarguments and rebuttals in his speech to give a balance and unbiased approach? Is the argument logically constructed?)
Rhetorical analysis of the speaker’s appeal to pathos and use of visuals (Worth 20%): Student makes a claim about the speaker’s effective or ineffective appeal to pathos by examining the extent to which the speaker connects to the audience. The student must look for and analyze the speakers use or lack thereof of vivid, concrete language, emotionally loaded language, connotative meanings, emotional examples, vivid descriptions, and narratives of emotional events, emotional tone, as well as the use of figurative language. Student makes a claim about the speaker’s effective or ineffective use of visual aids by analyzing whether or not the visuals draw readers in by offering easy to understand images, charts, graphs, videos, uses visuals to help support his argument and better explain a point, and uses visuals to keep the audience entertained and engaged with the message.
Conclusion (Worth 10%): The student does not write a 3 sentence conclusion, but an inspired and well developed one that ends with a shorter, more concise version of the thesis. For exampleIn the end Dr. Gomez swayed his audience through pathos and ethos. The student follows that with further explanationHis proposal, that we grant Medicare benefits to veterans seems practical and doable and the evidence he provides effectively address all sides of the argument, and ends with the student’s own thoughts on the topic. This where students may give their opinion concerning the issue, what the student has learned and what s/he would like the reader to learn.
MLA Format, in-text citations and Work Cited page (Worth 10%): Student follows proper MLA style, including headings and title, Times New Roman 12pts font, double space, a Work Cited page, and includes quotes from the transcript as evidence in each paragraph; these quotes must not take over the student’s writing and must be keep shorter than three lines per quote. The quotes must be properly cited and analyzed.
Mechanics and Word Count (Worth 10%): the student demonstrates ethos meeting the 750 word count (counted from the first word in the intro to the last word in the conclusion, but does not include the headings or work cited page). The student demonstrate ethos by carefully revising the essay, making minimal typos and careless grammar mistakes; the student uses proper punctuation, has varying sentence structure and lengths and each sentence can be clearly understood the first time read.
Organization (Worth 10%): The student has a well-organized essay that contains all the elements required. Each paragraph has a clear topic sentence that makes a claim. The claim is supported through explanations, examples and a focused argument. There are appropriate paragraph breaks and transitions between ideas. The essay flows, seamlessly connect one idea to the next and fulfills read expectations by presenting old information before new information.
Rhetorical Analysis Grading Rubric
(Worth 15% of class grade)
Genre: a closed form argumentative essay, written in third person.