Rhetorical Architecture

Rhetorical Architecture

Overview: This multi-step activity asks students to analyze and discuss the rhetorical structure of sample essays to help them preparing for drafting their own essay.

Author: Carolyn Ross

Activity name: Rhetorical Architecture: Analyzing Structure in Sample RAs

Class: PWR 1 (could be adapted to PWR 2)

Activity brief description: This “meat-and-potatoes” activity helps students closely analyze structure in sample Rhetorical Analyses and suggests some organizing principles to help them plan, write, and revise their Rhetorical Analyses and other essays in PWR and other classes. The exercise introduces inductive and deductive patterns of development (focusing on opening and closing paragraphs and thesis) as well as patterns of claim, evidence, and warrant (focusing on internal paragraphing, including paragraph focus, development, sequencing, and transitions).

Schedule: Week 2

Activity length: Approx. 60 minutes

Activity primary goals: The goal is to suggest principles for organizing whole essays and sequencing and developing internal paragraphs while at the same time making students aware that structural choices (such as whether to organize their essays deductively or inductively and how to build incremental analyses throughout) are their own (at least in my classes) and are themselves rhetorical choices.

Activity details: See handout.

Additional notes: This activity was originally published as an Activity of the Week in fall 2014.