Rhetorical Breakdown Composition

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WRITING A
RHETORICAL
ANALYSIS
ESSAY
The Scarlet
Letter
Passage 1
The Rhetorical
Analysis
All
essays are questions
answer them.
There are two essential
questions that must be
answered on the
rhetorical analysis essay.
THE QUESTIONS
There
are two questions
that need to be answered
Question 1:
tone/purpose/theme (TPT)
Question 2: Prompt
Question (attitude)
 In
The Scarlet Letter
Prompt
the following passage from The
Scarlet Letter, the narrator introduces
the reader to the Puritan community
of the novel. Read the passage
carefully. Then write an essay
analyzing how the narrator’s
description of the Puritans and their
community suggests his attitude
toward them.
Big Question
 On
top of prompt write T/P/T:
 Tone: Read the passage-at the top write T
and provide five tone words
 Purpose: After reading passage-what was
his purpose for writing this-to expose,
indict, critique, judge (verb)
 Theme-tie it to an abstract noun-is it to
expose the Puritans for the hypocrites they
are and thereby reveal human nature?
Analysis of TONE
 Tone
is the
emotional voice
of the author
 Tone is
expressed
through specific
and strong
adjectives
 List
four specific
adjectives that
speak to
Hawthorne’s
tone of voice
towards the
Puritans.
Analysis of AUTHOR’S
PURPOSE
 Author’s
purpose
is the goal or
intent of the
writer’s written
work
 Author’s purpose
is always
expressed
through a specific
and strong verb
 Look
at your tone
words find verbs
(doing words)
that reflect the
meaning of your
adjectives
 What does a
critical voice do?
Analysis of THEME STATEMENT
 Theme
is a
universal statement
about the human
condition
 Theme is expressed
with a strong verb
and an abstract
noun
 Think
about
Hawthorne’s
message about the
Puritans and their
life choices.
Big Question
Write
your TPT statement.
Circle your TPT statement.
Highlight all adjectives.
Initial TPT statement
 Hawthorne’s
narrator in The Scarlet Letter
indicts an intolerant Puritan community.
Revising your TPT
statement
Count
how many words
you have until your first
adjective
That’s your first answer
How strong are your
adjectives
The Big Question: Revising your
TPT statement
Block
your first verb.
That’s your second
answer
TPT statement
format




The format you have to use: adj. and adj.,
author+title, verb+abstract noun
Accusatory and critical, Hawthorne in The
Scarlet Letter indicts the Puritans for their
intolerance.
Other format: Author, adj. and adj., title
verb+statement
Hawthorne, accusatory and critical, in The
Scarlet Letter indicts the Puritans for their
intolerance.
TPT Statement addresses
the BIG Question
Circle
your
theme/main idea/big
idea statement.
Has to have an
abstract noun
Does your answer to the
Big Question look like
this?
 Rewrite
first sentence so it addresses
TPT
 Using this recipe:
 Adjective and Adjective+, +title
author+, +verb+theme statement
 Or
 Author+, adjective and adjective, +
title+ verb + theme statement
Little Question: what the
prompt is asking for
Where
do you address
narrator’s attitude
towards the Puritans?
(a good start is an
adjective)
Little Question
Use
the word voice and
answer the question what is
Hawthorne’s attitude
towards the Puritans?
Little Question
Always
address the
question(s)
listed in the
prompt.
What
is the
narrator’s
attitude
toward the
Puritan
community?
Attitude
Look
up
synonyms
for
attitude
Attitude is not TONE
Tone
is the
emotional
position of
the author
Attitude
is the
author’s
perspective, point
of view ,opinion
toward the
subject
(characterization)
Rewrite
Sentence
1
an
appositive or
absolute
Adjective
clause
Sentence
A
2
strong
answer to
the prompt
question
about
attitude
Introductory paragraph:
answers Big and Little Question
 Accusatory
and critical, Hawthorne in The
Scarlet Letter indicts the Puritans for their
intolerance. The narrator’s scathing voice
augments the caustic irony which operates
to critique Puritan zealotry.
TALLY ASSESSMENT
Trade
papers
Write tally at
the top of the
paper and
sign your
name at the
bottom
Circle the first
sentence
Circle
the first sentence
Highlight the twin adjectives
Examine for correctness
Assign one tally or write no tone
adjectives
Circle the Verb
Examine
the strength of
the verb
Expose, criticize, judge,
evaluate, highlight,
augments
Assign a tally or write lacks
verb
Underline the
THEME/BIG IDEA
Make
sure there is an
abstract noun (is there a
negative abstract noun)
Intolerance, oppression,
control, mean-spiritedness
Assign one tally or write lacks
theme
Second Sentence
Highlight
an
adjective
Assign a tally or write
no detail/specificity
Second Sentence
Circle
the word attitude or
synonym (you must have a
stem of the question)
Assign tally or write no stem
Second Sentence
Underline
the answer to
the question-What is
Hawthorne’s attitude
towards the Puritans?
Assign tally or write no
answer.
Scoring
6=A
4=C
2-1=F
5=B
3=D
Tally for Introduction
 Sentence
1 or
TPT=adjective
phrase or
appositive (1
point), strong verb
(1 point) and an
abstract noun
addressing Big
Question (I point)=3
points




Sentence 2=Thesis it
addresses the prompt
Adjective (voice)(1
point)
Stem of the question
(voice, attitude,
outlook, perspective,
position)( 1 point)
Tie it to rhetoric or big
idea (1 point)=3 points
Supporting Paragraph
Essays
are idea driven
not evidence driven
You did not create the
evidence, so you will
not be assessed on it.
Circle your supporting
paragraph
 Underline
your first
many
sentence
answers did you
 Highlight only your
have?
ideas in one color
 Minimum of 5 or 1
 Highlight evidence in
per sentence.
another
 Adjectives
 You only assess
 Strong verbs
by the
(descriptive not linking commentary
verbs)
 Abstract noun
 How
Sentence 1





Highlight the
Initial sentence 1:
sentence
 The irony evident in
Circle the adjective
paragraph one sets
Underline verb
the tone for the rest
Circle abstract noun
of the passage.
Make a note of what  *missing adjective,
you are missing.
verb could be
stronger, where is my
abstract noun?
Revised: The sardonic diction evident from
paragraph one sets the damning judgment of
the intransigence of the Puritan community.
Accusatory and critical, Hawthorne in The Scarlet Letter indicts the
Puritans for their intolerance. The narrator’s scathing voice augments
the caustic irony which operates to critique a fanatical society.

The sardonic diction evident from paragraph one sets the
damning judgment of the intransigent Puritan community. One sees
the town’s “good people” gathered; one anticipates some
execution for some awful crime, perhaps a homicide. However, the
narrator lets us know that “early severity” of the Puritans could be
triggered by something as trivial as a sluggish bond-servant or an
undutiful child, hardly the insidious crimes one expects from their
stern, rigid physiognomies. It is clear that the narrator arraigns the
Puritans for their intolerance. As a result, he makes us question
whether these people are “good people” indeed. Their rigidity
makes them an extension of a harsh penal code which they should
reject but instead embrace. Here are a people who have crossed
an ocean, severed ties with all they know in order to achieve
religious freedom, but instead have become a medium of
oppression-where humanity is intolerable and the “mildest and
severest acts of public discipline are alike.” Hawthorne chides the
Puritans for their narrow-mindedness because he knows that it will
bring about their own demise.
Body
How
dense is your
body?
Highlight the
evidence and
underline
commentary
(your ideas)
 How
many circles do
you have?
 Commentary should
have a minimum of
three (they should
follow each of your
evidence)
 Your commentary is
the only thing you
are being assessed
on.
Last Sentence





Circle your last
sentence
Highlight the
adjective
Circle the verb
Underline abstract
noun
Make a note of what
you are missing
 Was
your last
sentence evidence
rich or
commentary rich?
 There should be no
evidence in your
last sentence.
REVISE Using this Structure
 First
sentence-adjective, verb,
big idea about rhetorical device
 Body-evidence and commentary
(the effect or what is being built
by the rhetorical device)
 Ending sentence-adjective, verb,
big idea about rhetorical device
Conclusion Paragraph
 1st
sentence-restatement of thesis (Little
Question)-You have to paraphrase it.
 Frame TPT-restructure
 Ender-insight
 Or
 Frame TPT-where you address part of it
 Thesis –restate
 Ender-bring back to big idea
Sample Intro. and Conc.
Introduction
Conclusion
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