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Rhetorical Analysis Activities

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MLL | Cultural Rhetoric

Translating for Analysis

This creative activity asks students to apply their multilingual skills to rhetorical analysis, asking them to translate sections of Ted Yoho's July 2020 public statement into one of their own languages or dialects as a way of better understanding how language -- and cultural perspectives -- influences argument.

Rhetorical Analysis Thesis Workshops

These two activities are designed to introduce students to the idea of a thesis statement for a rhetorical analysis essay and provide structured peer feedback on their draft thesis statement.

Cultural Rhetorics

Beyond Tolerant - Revise and Decolonize

Through this activity, students engage with problematic statements from a series of different artifacts as a way of analyzing how dominant cultural stereotypes infect everyday discourse, then offering revisions designed to make the texts more inclusive.

Evolving Your RA Argument

In this workshop, students apply the Evolving Thesis method to their RA pre-write, using the pre-write as a foundation to develop their first working thesis. 

Preparing for the Rhetorical Analysis

This activity helps students prepare for their rhetorical analysis by leading them through a set of questions to help them identify important aspects of the rhetorical situation and then exploring the text's use of "available means of persuasion" within that framework.

Moving beyond Transition Words

This activity helps students focus on the importance and power of effective transitions by asking them to re-connect paragraphs from a published article that have been cut into separate pieces.

Analyzing the Rhetoric of Newspaper Advertisements

This activity is designed to introduce students to rhetorical analysis. It focuses on the visual rhetoric of advertisements.

Analyzing Mode, Medium, and Message

This activity asks students to consider how different media aggregate their global development content in order to consider the rhetorical relationship between mode, (internet, printed paper, etc.) medium (publication) and message (content of the story).

Analyzing Viral Videos

This fun, low-stakes activity combines an initial asynchronous step with a follow-up engagement in real-time during class.  It invites students to start thinking about research topics, practice/refresh their rhetorical analysis skills, and to develop their oral communication skills (through a brief in-class presentation).

Rhetorical Analysis Choice Board

This asynchronous module applies Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles to help students practice rhetorical analysis. Students choose three tasks that speak to their needs and interests and engage with a variety of audiences, messages, and modalities in the process.

Reading the Stanford Campus

This activity invites students to close read a space on campus by identifying the space's audience and purpose and determining which parts of the space are private/public and welcoming/unwelcoming to visitors.

We Shall Overcome Delivery Activity

In this light-hearted activity, students take turns delivering the same short passage using a different (exaggerated) mode of oral or embodied delivery.

These activities are licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. Please remember to attribute all activities to their original authors (even if with an “adapted from”) on any handouts, webtexts, slides, or assignments sheets you generate from them.

If you have any activities of your own that you’d like to share, please send them here.