Scaffolded Assignment

Over the course of this semester, I’ve had a chance to practice crafting and scaffolding assignments for my future English 1101 classes. Below you will find a *rough* draft of my rhetorical analysis assignment, as well as my plan on how to scaffold the assignment over a period of five weeks. It is my intent with this assignment to have students critically analyze the rhetorical moves and appeals in a digital or online format, such as TikTok, commercials, or online advertisements.

Rhetorical Analysis Paper

As we have discussed in great detail this semester, we are exposed to rhetorical strategies and situations every single day. For example: what strategy did you use to convince your parents to let you stay out late with a friend on a school night? In your lifetime you will come across so many different rhetorical situations, some you are personally involved in, and some you are just a viewer for. The rhetorical analysis paper asks for you to do just that – analyze a rhetorical situation and consider how the author/speaker/creator effectively conveys their rhetoric.

When writing a rhetorical analysis, you should read a text closely and make detailed observations about choices that the writer makes in the text. From there, you must analyze the detailed observations that you have made and consider why the author makes these choices and what effect these choices have on the audience. A rhetorical analysis also considers how the author uses the rhetorical appeals such as pathos, logos, ethos, and kairos to make an impact on their audience.

The purpose of this assignment is for you to develop your close reading and analytical skills as you make specific observations about a chosen digital or video text. As you make observations about your selected rhetorical device, analyze the way the writer utilizes the rhetorical appeals and how these rhetorical appeals have impacted their intended audience. As you write this essay, you will be developing and strengthening your ability to think critically and analytically, which will prepare you for future assignments as you move forward in your academic career.

Write a 3-4 page rhetorical analysis of a digital/virtual/visual text. This can include anything from a commercial, to a magazine ad, to even a TikTok. Please be sure to approve your selection with Ms. Zajac before you begin your rhetorical analysis. We do NOT want you writing a great paper that doesn’t analyze the required topic!

As you read through, try to identify your messenger’s, well, message as well as how they effectively or ineffectively utilize the rhetorical appeals to make their claim. Consider their target audience and the expectations surrounding your specific genre as you write your essay.

You must provide specific examples for how the messenger effectively or ineffectively utilizes the appeals that you are analyzing, and you must provide direct quotes, citing them correctly.

See the Criteria for Success below as well as the Brainstorming Questions for the appeals.

This essay is worth 100 points
I will be grading this holistically, but the points system is to show you a general breakdown of what I am looking for.

• Rhetorical appeals are identified and analyzed for effectiveness (35 pts)
• Clear thesis statement (20 pts)
• Focused body paragraphs with examples from the review (20 pts)
• Intended audience and context are considered (10 pts)
• MLA formatting and citations are used correctly, including a works cited page (10 pts)
• Grammatical and mechanical mistakes are minimal (5 pts)

Ethos: Who is the messenger and is their message credible? Have they written/spoken/addressed the topic in the past or not at all? Do they present their argument with certainty and confidence or are they timid in their opinions? What other ways do they attempt to prove their credibility? Will their audience trust their opinion or not?

Pathos: Does the messenger evoke any sort of emotion from the reader/viewer? Do they use personal anecdotes that are emotionally relatable? Do they make you feel a specific emotion, and why/how?

Logos: Does the messenger logically show a comparison or evolution? Does the messenger give any statistics, facts, or figures? Does the messenger use logical reasoning in order to defend their review/opinion? What ways might logos enhance the message if it were added?

Kairos: How does timing help reach an intended audience? Are people more curious about the topic? Would this topic still be relevant in a month? A year?

*Not all of these must be answered. Each genre will inevitably be different and you must decide how the rhetorical appeals best fit into your specific text.

Due Dates:
Rough Draft – TBD
Peer Review – TBD
Final Draft – TBD


Week 1
-Read Ch. 6 of “Everything is an Argument”
– Monday: Discuss Ethos
– Wednesday: Discuss Pathos
– Friday: Discuss Logos
-HW: Review Rhetorical Analysis Assignment Guideline and Submit Initial Topic; Write blog journal entry about rhetorical appeals

Week 2
– Show examples of rhetorical devices among multiple genres
-Monday: Video or TedTalk on linguistics; have students analyze video
-Wednesday: TikTok (possible compilation video?)
-Friday: Article discussing linguistic representation (TBD)
-HW: Blog Journal entry showing potential outline of rhetorical analysis paper

Week 3
-Begin writing drafts
-Monday: Review “Guide to Writing a Rhetorical Analysis” in Lunsford textbook
-Wednesday: Writing Workshop
-Friday: The Do’s and Don’t’s of Peer Reviews
-HW: Peer Review Drafts due Sunday by 11:59 pm

Week 4
-Revision Week
-TBD on days; potential class topics include proper citations; common grammatical errors; dedicated class time to meeting with peers and going over things to fix

Week 5
– Final Draft Due

Texts Used Throughout:

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