The Three Aristotelian Appeals, And The Elements Of Rhetorical Situation

The Three Aristotelian Appeals, And The Elements Of Rhetorical Situation

5-6 full pages of text. (Note: Full pages means the whole page; not 3 ½ or 3 ¾; title and work cited pages do not count toward this total.)

12pt, Times New Roman font.

Double-spaced, left-justified text.

Citations and a references page in MLA format. 

1-inch margins on all sides. (Microsoft Word sometimes defaults to 1.25; check!)

A Peer Review and Submission Draft, demonstrating revision.


About the Assignment

Andrea Lundsford et al. explains, “[d]epending on what the audience looks like, we will make very different decisions about what, and how, to write” (145). Put another way, in order to understand what an audience thinks of your ideas, you’ll first need to learn to understand how the idea of audiences shapes the texts all around you.


Think, for example, of a TV advertisement you know well. What time of day the ad plays, on what channel, and during what television show can tell you a lot about what kinds of people the marketers think might buy their product. The actual content of the ad will help you guess at a target audience as well. And if these two things don’t match up with reality, that company may be unsuccessful in selling their product! Writing an audience analysis is about identifying the factors in a text that lead to or hinder an author’s success at reaching their intended audience. 


For this assignment, you will compose an audience analysis of a digital text chosen from In composing your analysis, you’ll need to identify the rhetorical situation of the text—its audience, its medium, its purpose, and come to some decision about how effective that text is likely to be for the situation you identify. 


We’ll begin by reviewing some parts of argument you may already know something about—the three Aristotelian appeals, and the elements of rhetorical situation. Though Aristotelian argument is focused primarily on logic, we will focus our attention on his characterization of speaker credibility and emotional appeal. We will also consider methods of argumentation appropriate to digital contexts, such as visual design. 


For this assignment, you’ll write a 5-6 page analysis of the text you’ve chosen from the Everyone’s an Author tumblr. Be sure to choose a text with enough substance for a good analysis—you’ll want something using a variety of methods and appeals. Also keep in mind that an analysis is not the same thing as a response—so you should choose a text you feel you can write about objectively. It’s okay to choose something you have a strong reaction to, but it’s important to keep in mind that your analysis should not include your opinion about the topic, rather it should focus on the how and why the author composed their text for a specific audience.


Finally, remember that an analysis is a kind of argument too! You’ll be applying the strategies we learn about in class even as you are discussing them—you will need to find ways to appear credible to academic readers, for instance.

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