For this assignment, you can choose a song, a speech, a newspaper article, an essay, or anything else that is written for the purpose of persuading someone. To find a piece to analyze, you can do any of the following:
Choose a song you like.
Go to a newspaper website. Find any article/editorial that makes an argument. Even if the argument is not overt, any article/editorial has an argument.
Political speeches are full of rhetoric! Google any politician and “speech.”
Commencement addresses are also rife with rhetoric. Search youtube or Google for commencement addresses.
Find an essay from an anthology of essays or a website dedicated to essays (such as Lennyletter.com, goodblacknews.com, brietbart, etc.).
If you use a speech, make sure you can find the text of the speech, not just the audio.
Consider how easy/difficult the piece will be to analyze. Don’t choose something you have trouble finding the argument/purpose.
You may choose a satire piece (“A Modest Proposal,” anything from The Onion or the Berkowitz Report, etc.), but rhetorical devices work differently for satire, so take that into account if you decide to go that route.
You can choose a poem or piece of fiction. This doesn’t mean you should choose a poem or piece of fiction. As with satire, devices work differently in fiction, so I would only choose this option if you’re a lit major or really like analyzing poetry.
These are only suggestions. There are a million things you can analyze for this. So long as it is something that uses words, you can use it for this assignment. Don’t choose something with images–that’s our next paper.
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