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Understanding rhetoric

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Objective:
Write an essay that shows your understanding of rhetoric.

Method:
We have learned to ask the question: "What point does this make?" This could apply to a visual image, essay, articles, blogs, and websites. We also analyze the point by addressing its rhetorical context; in other words, when making the point, how does an author/institution appeal to its audience, credibility, and argument?

For this paper, you are to look at the attention given to a recent popular news story. This could be political, entertainment, sports, etc.

As you write, begin with these steps:

- Go to Google News or a news source you frequent and google a topic for the most recent news. Study the various websites and choose at least three articles on the same topic to thoroughly analyze.
- Create an argument as to why the story is the continued focus of the media. Your introduction should give a brief overview or background of your topic that leads to your thesis.

- Your body paragraphs should consider who the audience is. How do the media get the attention of the audience? Watch out for writing, "anyone who's interested..." Instead, be specific about who you think the target audience is. Think of the use of pathos here.

- When writing about the ethos of a news site, question why an audience is interested in the source(s) writing the story. Are the sources or authors credible? How so? How is ethos being utilized?

- As you think about logos, what is the media presenting about either one of these stories? What type of evidence do they provide? What strategies do they use to maintain an audience's interest?
- Conclude with an overview of your ideas or wrap up your ideas that you have presented in your body paragraphs. You may include your final thoughts about the topic as well, but resist adding any new information that hasn't already been discussed.

When writing your argument, the focus is not on what you think about the story. It is not whether you have issues with domestic abuse, morality, single parenthood, or the rise and fall of sports figures. The question you need to answer is why there is such a continued interest with the particular story you choose and how/why do the sources continue to print the stories.

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Solution Preview

For this task, the first thing to do is to choose a topic which is currently receiving mass-media attention. This is not a hard thing to do as the mass-media do tend to focus on several specific topics for a longer period of time; perhaps one of the easiest and richest topics to study in your case would be a political topic - take the Syrian conflict, for instance. You will certainly find many articles related to this issue; here are some links:

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&gl=us&tbm=nws&authuser=0&q=syrian+conflict&oq=syrian+conflict&gs_l=news-cc.3..43j43i53.2326.6715.0.7078.15.7.0.8.8.0.124.804.0j7.7.0...0.0...1ac.1.rSVJRPRfwO4

After you have chosen your articles, you will surely notice that, as concerns the motivation for choosing this topic, all mass-media outlets probably have a common concern - in this case you can consider the real importance and impact of the Syrian conflict on the global welfare, the importance to make the people aware of the ...

Solution Summary

The following posting discusses rhetoric.

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See Also This Related BrainMass Solution

Understanding Modes of Rhetorical Appeal: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos

Using the Jackson and Rodgers article attached, answer, with EVIDENCE from the article, the following questions:
1. Where did the authors use logos, ethos, and pathos as rhetorical appeals to reach the audience? Provide at least one example of each, and explain why it exemplifies logos, ethos, or pathos.
2. Who was the intended audience for this article? Explain how you arrived at your conclusion.
3. What is your evaluation of the scholarly quality of this article? Explain how you arrived at that evaluative judgment.

Reference:
Jackson, M. W., & Rodgers, J. L. (2012). Digital Assessment: A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Surveys. Planning for Higher Education, 40(2), 59-68.
http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/articles/70268356/digital-assessment-picture-worth-1-000-surveys

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