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Chapter 4

ENC 1101 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Rhetorical Situation, Pathos

Center for Written and Oral Communication
Course Code
ENC 1101
Joseph Heizman

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Writing a Rhetorical Analysis
Rhetoric: various elements working together to form a convincing and persuasive
Rhetorical Analysis: systematically examining the strategies a writer
employs to achieve his or her purpose.
Parts of Rhetorical Analysis:
Rhetorical Situation: the set of circumstances (issue) that the author is writing
in response to.
Why the writer made the choices he did and how it affects the argument
The Writer: has anything in the writer’s background influenced the content
of the essay?
Political beliefs
Apparent preconceptions about the topic in the essay
The Writer’s Purpose: why did the writer write the argument?
Does he state his purpose directly or indirectly?
Is he writing to convince or to encourage action?
Does he rely on logic or emotion?
Hidden agenda?
The Writer’s Audience: who is the author intending to read the argument?
Friendly, hostile, or neutral audience
How knowledgeable is the audience on the topic?
Audience’s assumed background and values
Commonalities between writer and audience
The Topic: why is the writer speaking about this topic?
Is the topic broad or narrow?
How well is does the argument fit into the topic? Is it developed
The Context: what situation/issue is triggering the writer to make the
Social events
Historical events
Economic and political events
Cultural events
Means of Persuasion
Rhetorical Triangle:
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