Understanding and being able to analyze rhetorical situations can help contribute to strong, audience-focused, and organized writing. The PowerPoint presentation in the Media box above is suitable for any classroom and any writing task. The resource below explains in more detail how to analyze rhetorical situations.
At least once during the course of writing your essay, isolate what you consider to be your thesis. Is your proposition both arguable and reasonable? If it is obvious (i.e. Mary Rowlandson used the Bible for comfort during her captivity) you don’t have an argument. Argument requires analysis (i.e. taking things apart and explaining them). One test that may help is asking yourself what the opposite "side" of your argument would be. A good, complicated thesis (which was proposed by one of your classmates) is that "Although Mary Rowlandson says she often used the Bible as a source of comfort during her captivity, a closer reading of her narrative suggests her faith may have been more troubled by her experience than she lets on." One useful structure for writing thesis statements is the "although" form used above: "Although x seems to be true about this piece of literature, y is in fact more true (or makes our thinking about x more complex)." In this form you present both sides of your argument at once and show which side you’re on. Your job in the paper is to convince your reader to join you. Another way to write an effective thesis statement is to use the form "If we look closely at x (e.g. how Bradford defines freedom) we discover y (that ).
For advice on an argumentative essay, see . At the end of the following list, you'll find links to a number of argumentative paragraphs and essays.
In addition to the rhetorical triangle, structure of an argument, and rhetorical appeals, you should look at the following devices used by authors when performing critical analysis.
There are three types of rhetorical appeals, or persuasive strategies, used in arguments to support claims and respond to opposing arguments. A good argument will generally use a combination of all three appeals to make its case.
His purpose is to persuade readers against the death penalty in order for them to realize that it is inhuman, irrational, and that “neither justice nor self-preservation demands that we kill men whom we have already imprisoned.” Bruck does not employ an array of devices but he does employ some such as juxtaposition, rhetorical questions, and appeals to strengthen his argument....
The third essay in this set stands out from the rest. Had the panel who were grading the compositions understood the context of this essay in light of the six others in the set, they probably would have given it more credit. Its strength lies in its funny, lighthearted approach-it shows a completely different aspect of the candidateâs personality. Without it, he would have appeared deadpan serious and probably a bit dull. However, showing the wittier side of himself strengthens the set considerably. It is a good example of allowing yourself to take a risk in one essay, as long as more serious approaches in the others balance it.
In order to write a strong argumentative essay I had to follow requirements such as: structure it correctly and provide enough evidence to support my arguments.
The requirements for the project were to be able to write an argumentative essay, to show a student’s point of view and his/her writing skills as well, to implement a good reasoning.
Wherever the matter for Dialectic is found, it is, of course, highlyimportant that attention should be focused upon the beauty and economyof a fine demonstration or a well-turned argument, lest veneration shouldwholly die. Criticism must not be merely destructive; though at the sametime both teacher and pupils must be ready to detect fallacy, slipshodreasoning, ambiguity, irrelevance, and redundancy, and to pounce upon themlike rats. This is the moment when precis-writing may be usefully undertaken;together with such exercises as the writing of an essay, and the reductionof it, when written, by 25 or 50 percent.
If you think it will be hard to come up with arguments against your topic, your opinion might not be controversial enough to make it into a persuasive essay.
A glib speaker in the Brains Trust once entertained his audience (andreduced the late Charles Williams to helpless rage by asserting that inthe Middle Ages it was a matter of faith to know how many archangels coulddance on the point of a needle. I need not say, I hope, that it never wasa "matter of faith"; it was simply a debating exercise, whoseset subject was the nature of angelic substance: were angels material,and if so, did they occupy space? The answer usually adjudged correct is,I believe, that angels are pure intelligences; not material, but limited,so that they may have location in space but not extension. An analogy mightbe drawn from human thought, which is similarly non-material and similarlylimited. Thus, if your thought is concentrated upon one thing--say, thepoint of a needle--it is located there in the sense that it is not elsewhere;but although it is "there," it occupies no space there, and thereis nothing to prevent an infinite number of different people's thoughtsbeing concentrated upon the same needle-point at the same time. The propersubject of the argument is thus seen to be the distinction between locationand extension in space; the matter on which the argument is exercised happensto be the nature of angels (although, as we have seen, it might equallywell have been something else; the practical lesson to be drawn from theargument is not to use words like "there" in a loose and unscientificway, without specifying whether you mean "located there" or "occupyingspace there."
These three well-written essays create a strong set. The first and the last would have been impressive on their own. Reading them all together magnifies their impact considerably. This student does an especially good job of targeting the school. This student focuses his first essay on his extracurriculars and relates them to why Duke would be perfect for him. He focuses the third on his Chinese background and how it relates to his career goals and academic interests. Then he also relates these interests to why Duke matches him perfectly. His favorite book provided the focus of the second essay. What makes this second essay better than others like it is that the applicant manages to put himself into the question. He does not just talk about the book, he uses it to talk about himself and stress the inquisitive nature of his personality-always a plus.