The Artefact

For this assignment, you will rhetorically analyze and evaluate how two different rhetorical artefacts from two different genres construct an argument focusing on a similar issue. The basic questions that you will want to address in performing your analysis are: How would you describe the genre of the artefact?  What are its important generic features that determine its effectiveness (or lack thereof) in making its argument? How does the artefact construct the exigence?  To address this question, consider: How does the artefact frame the issue?  What larger questions of value does the artefact attach to the specific topic?  What larger concerns does it have related to the issue? How does the artefact establish timeliness?  How might the genre of the piece help establish this sense of Kairos? Kairos means taking advantage of or even creating a perfect moment to deliver a particular message What is the purpose of the artefact?  How explicitly is the purpose stated?  Does it have to be inferred? How does the rhetor build their identity?  Is there more than one rhetor (for example, is there an author but also clearly an institution that they are representing, or is there both a speechwriter and a speaker)?  Does the rhetor have to modify aspects of their identity to connect with the audience?  Does the rhetor have a certain degree of anonymity, perhaps because of the genre? What audience is the text composed for?  Are there multiple audiences?  Are there primary, intended audiences directly signaled by the text?  Are there other audiences that might encounter the artefact, perhaps given its genre, that are not directly addressed by the rhetor? How does the artefact use sources, if at all?  How does it cite them?  Does this align with audience expectations for the genre? What rhetorical strategies does the piece use to prove its argument and fulfil its purpose?  These strategies could be the predominant appeals (logos, ethos, and pathos) that it uses. However, they could also be others that you recognize, such as the use of figurative language or repetition.  Don’t feel like you need to list several.  Refer to the most important ones. **The bolded words are specific terminology that you will want to weave into your discussion. As you determine the effectiveness of each artefact, you will be considering the constraints and affordances that each rhetorical situation provides.  Be sure to consider how these  constraints and affordances are muffled or amplified by the generic features of the text. Your thesis, ultimately, should evaluate the effectiveness of the texts as a whole.  The thesis can say that they are equally effective if we consider their specific audiences.  It can claim that they are both targeting similar audiences, but one is more effective at accomplishing its purpose.  The thesis can claim that one text is critically flawed or misleading while another is more valuable for the audience to make an informed decision.  The basis of the comparison is up to you.  When structuring the essay, you could use either an object-by-object or point-by-point comparison structure.  Consider your thesis when you decide which structure works best.  Really, the most important thing will be to remain consistent with the comparison.  When discussing the artefacts, however, it likely makes sense to begin by discussing their exigence and explain their rhetorical context.  It also makes sense to discuss their genres in general terms before getting into the specifics of their arguments. As you offer your points, make sure to provide descriptive evidence so that we understand the analytical claims that you are making.  If you say, for example, that the rhetor shifts their identity from one aspect to another, show us where they do this. Be selective in building your analysis.  While I want you to touch on all of the questions above, part of what makes this your distinctive analysis is how much time you spend on the elements.  If you think the shifting character of the rhetor is the most distinctive feature of an artefact, spend more time talking about that than, say, who their intended audience is. One last note. It is fine to have an inductive thesis (basically, where the thesis comes in the conclusion rather than the introduction) in this project if that makes more sense for you.  However, be careful.  It can be more difficult to structure and organize an inductive argument so that your audience doesn’t get lost. Two rhetorical artefacts from two different genres  5 pages. 

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