Introduction to Rhetorical Analysis (Lauren Poet)

Objective: Students will understand the Rhetorical Analysis assignment and the shift from Op Ed to RA. Students will demonstrate an awareness of objective analysis by analyzing multiple rhetorical situations and their effectiveness/ineffectiveness of a speaker’s rhetoric in multiple clips. I will be able to ascertain their individual understanding by using collecting their responses to the video clips.


Teacher Preparation: Pull up Sherlock on Netflix (18:05)

Student Preparation:

  • Read Mindful Writing, Chapter 5: “Reflection.”
  • Read RA Assignment Sheet and Rubric found under the Content page of Learning Suite.
  • Bring their final Op-Ed paper


Reinforce the Learning (from the Op Ed Unit)

Reflection Writing Activity: (20) – Music

First, write about your writing experience for the Op Ed. You may consider answering some of the following questions:

  • What strategies did you use on this writing assignment that worked well for you? Why did they work?
  • When do you think you’d use these strategies again?
  • What was the hardest or most challenging part about this writing assignment?
  • What did you learn from writing this paper? What did you learn about yourself as a writer? What’s left to learn/improve on?
  • What do you think you did well in this paper? What not so well?

I want to hear about your experiences. Call on people to share.

Now write about the Rhetorical Analysis unit:

    • How will I apply what I learned from the Op Ed to this new unit?
    • What will I change as I plan, practice, and revise for this essay?
    • What new goals will I set for this new writing task?

Call on people to share again.


Preparation for Learning (start by at least 25 mins into class)

Lecture/Discussion (3)

Slide: Rhetorical Analysis: what is it?

With a partner, quickly review what the RA is.

  • What are you being asked to do? What is the purpose?

Direct Learning

Lecture/Discussion (7)

Rhetorical Triangle

  • Where were we on the triangle during the Op-ed? (The rhetor)
  • Now where will be be for the RA? → We are the all seeing eye!! We see the entire rhetorical situation!

All Seeing Eye.

  • In the RA, your job is not to construct an argument with all of the rhetorical elements in mind. In the RA, it is your job to analyze another writer’s argument.

Show students where articles for RA  are on LS

Sherlock Clip: “A Study in Pink” (18:05)

    • What is he summarizing?
      • Watson’s limp, tan line, scratches on phone, phone’s inscription, haircut, etc.
    • What is he analyzing?
      • Military background, medical training, relationship with brother, brother’s relationship and alcohol issues, etc.
    • Clues—-→Conclusions
    • Summary——→Analysis
  • The Rhetorical Analysis functions in the same way. We look at the summary of tools/devices happening and then we ANALYZE them to see what EFFECT they have on the reader.


Reinforce Learning: (15)

Now it is your turn to be Sherlock. Show clips and have the students be “Sherlock” and identify what tools are being used to make the rhetor effective or ineffective.

  • Emmet from the Lego Movie
  • Aragorn at the Black Gate  
  • Mr. Knightly

Last Question: What is the Rhetorical Analysis? (2)

Homework: (2)

  • Read “Sin” and “A Sin” in content tab
  • Read Chapter 15 of MW
  • DD RA goals