Rhetorical Analysis Essay/”Learning to Die in the Anthropocene”
Read the article “Learning to Die in the Anthropocene”, then imagine you are a guest editor for The Longhorn (The school’s newspaper), and the opinion editor has asked you to analyze the article and offer recommendations for or against publication. The editor is looking for columns students will find interesting,(keep in mind most students are more liberal than conservative) columns that are nuanced and complex, well argued, relevant, and controversial. You’ll evaluate the article based on those criteria and make your recommendation for or against publication accordingly. Below is the link to the aforementioned article.
Include what reasons the author is using to support his/her central claim. Imagine if you could ask the author in person ” Why do you believe that [Central Claim]? Based on the info in the article, how would the author reply? would he reply with one reason or many? If many what would they be?
The editor will want to know whether the author provides evidence for his reasons and whether that evidence will prove convincing to the student body. This means you must combine analysis of the text with evaluation of its effectiveness.
The editor will want to know if the author addresses potential opponents. Does the author anticipate objections to parts of his argument? If so, does the author represent opponents fairly or set up straw men? Does the author provide a convincing reply to opponents?
The questions listed above deal with the author’s logos appeals, but the author will want to know about the author’s ethos appeals.
Do the author’s credentials make his claims more credible? Does the author seem knowledgeable and well-informed on the topic? Does the author consider alternate view points?
The editor will be particularly interested in the author’s pathos appeals, since the main point of analysis is to determine how the article will be received by Longhorn readers. Ask yourself:
Does the author evoke emotions in readers that are likely to help his case? Does the author evoke sensations in readers that will make the writing seem vivid?
Clearly indicate the thesis but also what larger conversation that thesis is responding to. In this case the conversation you are responding to is to the one initiated by the editor’s request. Indicate that in the beginning of the paper, before the thesis is stated, that you’re writing in response to that request.
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