Rhetorical Devices Assignment

Each weekend, you will read short passages online about two rhetorical devices/strategies. (Usually two, sometimes more, sometimes less.)  During the following week, you should either find examples of people using these devices in the world OR make up your own examples and post them as comments to the Course Site blog post corresponding with those devices.

Along with each example, you should provide one or two sentences explaining the context and how the rhetorical device affects the rhetor’s message. If you made up the example, make up a context in which it could be used. Write about at least two examples per device per week. You may miss one week without penalty.

Additional Guidance on Analysis:
Good analysis doesn’t just answer the question, “How is your example representative of the rhetorical device?”. To develop your analysis, consider the following questions: “What does this device add to the meaning? ” “What effect does it have on the reader/listener?” or “What does the speaker/writer gain from using this device”? “What makes it different than saying the same information without using the rhetorical device?”

For example, saying “This is an example of Bandwagon because the commercial says that “America runs on Dunkin, so they are saying that everyone drinks Dunkin Donuts coffee” does not count as analysis. What does Dunkin hope to achieve by using this technique? How do they hope the use of the Bandwagon technique will affect the audience? 

Although the rhetorical device readings are listed as being due on Monday, I strongly recommend you read them as early (e.g. the preceding Thursday or Friday) as your schedule allows. This will give you more time to find examples.

Grading for the rhetorical device examples will be as follows:

0 points if you did not post.

1 point if you only posted one example per device, or if you did not provide context/analysis.

2 points if you completed the assignment.

Although each individual post is worth a very small portion of your grade, habitually not completing this assignment will significantly impact both your overall grade and your ability to do well on other assignments. The purpose of this assignment is to get you into the habit of noticing rhetoric at work around you while also learning about a wide variety of rhetorical strategies beyond the rhetorical appeals.

0 thoughts on “Rhetorical Devices Assignment

  1. Hadiann T.

    “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there”
    This is an example of Bandwagon because commercial is stating that they are helpful and resourceful as if they were a good neighbor. The audience gains reassurance that if something gets damaged or an accident occurs they can rely on State Farm. The speaker is targeting audience members that need insurance.


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