Short Paper 2.2

TS English
Short Paper 2.2
“Analysis: The Rhetoric of Persuasion”
2 pages, double-spaced
Times New Roman font, 12pt size
1 inch margins on all sides
One of the main tenets of this class is that “good writing” is a relative value – what “counts” as
good writing is dependent on the audience expectations and conventions which govern each
individual situation. From this follows another insight: effective writers know how to assess
their own work from this perspective and make the “choices” which will produce the desired
effects in their writing. By teaching a rhetorical perspective, I hope to give you a means of
assessing your own compositions in terms of the “choices” you make and their meaning in a
given situation.
Now the basic goal of most writing (academic or not) is to persuade audiences to a
particular idea or point of view; whether it is an academic argument, political manifesto, party
invitation, or advertisement, the most basic purpose of the writing is to get the reader to think the
way you want them to think. In academic situations, the work ideally persuades on the basis of
its analysis – it brings people over to its ideas by reproducing the evidence and types of thinking
that produced your claims. In this paper, your goal will be to take a rhetorical perspective
towards this analysis, using it to understand what is persuasive (and what isn’t) in an academic
In this paper, you will conduct a rhetorical analysis of Jeffery Cohen’s “Monster Culture
(Seven Theses). This time, your rhetorical perspective will have a more specific focus than it did
in Short Paper 2.1. But in many ways, the steps are the same. First, you will need to identify the
exigency that governs the paper and constructs its particular “situation.” After coming to
conclusions about the essay’s demand, purpose, and audience, you can proceed to assess its
“choices.” Paper 2.2 differs from 2.1 in that it asks you to consider “choices” directly related to
the essay’s evidence and analysis. Follow these steps.
1. Identify the situation. All rhetorical analysis starts by identifying the motivating
factor in the writing itself (if you don’t know why the author is writing in the first
place, it’s impossible to say whether or not he/she is effective in their goals). What is
the “problem” or unspoken exigency of the writing? What is the audience for this
work and why would they be interested in reading it? Why does this writing exist and
what does it intend to achieve?
2. Make a claim about the ways that Cohen’s use of evidence and analysis is
persuasive in that situation. Pick one or two specific examples of analysis and
consider these questions:
 What is the evidence? What kinds of evidence is being used and why? How
is the evidence taken up? How is the evidence treated differently than other
 What type of analysis is used? Can you say anything specific about the kinds
of analysis that are being used? What are its conventions and assumptions?
TS English
Short Paper 2.2
“Analysis: The Rhetoric of Persuasion”
What is the goal of the analysis, specifically? What is this analysis trying to
persuade us about exactly? How does this match up to the larger goals of the