English Essay Rhetorical Analysis

For this module of our class, our discussions are focused on rhetoric.  Aristotle[1], a classical rhetorician, draws a distinction between essentials and non-essentials and suggests that the purpose of rhetoric, or persuasive speech, is to reveal truth.  Wayne C. Booth[2], a modern rhetorician, on the other hand, concerns himself less with what rhetoric should be, preferring to discuss how one can master the art of persuasive speech. 

Your task as a writer is to take a position about the purpose and ethics of rhetorical speech; for example, do you agree with Aristotle that “[i]t is not right to pervert [a] judge by moving him to anger or envy or pity”?

Choose two of the readings from this module forward (King, Marx, Smith, Reich, Plato, etc., except the novel) to use as your “expert” sources.  You must also use the TED Talk by Tshering Tobgay we assigned in class this week as an example of persuasive speech.

Using your expert sources, develop your own ethic of rhetoric.  What is acceptable in persuasive speech?  Why?  Then, analyze and critique the TED Talk based on the criteria you establish in your rhetorical ethic.


4-6 page minimum length (does not include works cited page)

12 pt. Times New Roman font

MLA style throughout, including a complete and correct works cited page

Heavy analysis (no summary)

No “five paragraph” essays

Here is the link to the text book: A world of ideas