Richard C. Jones, Ph.D MAINE SOUTH HIGH SCHOOL, PARK RIDGE, IL
12th Grade ELA : Unit #10 - Completing a Rhetorical Analysis : Lesson #4

Essential Questions and Style Notes for Writing Your Rhetorical Analysis

Objective: SWBAT identify and discuss an article's claims, evidence, appeal, and style in order to begin drafting a Rhetorical Analysis.
Standards: RI.11-12.1 RI.11-12.4 RI.11-12.5
Subject(s): English / Language Arts
60 minutes
1 Introduction and Context - 8 minutes

At this point it is time to begin the note-gathering that will lead to the final essay.  These steps in the process of creating the Rhetorical Analysis, the ones for this lesson, are very deliberate and guided in order to coax students in to analysis rather than recognition.  Each student has selected the appropriate piece and color-coded the rhetorical appeals; now, it is time to do something with all this rich data ...

I start by showing this Slides deck, and discussing the task,  as outlined in this assessment description. (I've shared these two items in order and reverse-order, and I think it slightly better to show the assessment instructions first.)  (I've attached the assessment instructions as a .pdf here.)

After fielding any relevant questions, it is time to have students start the process of answering some pointed questions regarding their selected articles AND identifying instances of style they can comment upon ... 

2 Parsing Your Selected Reading: The Essential Questions - 19 minutes

I've created a Goggle Doc table of a version of the questions, found on Slide 3 of the presentation.  I distribute this table and ask students to "make a copy" for their own Drives.  Then, I ask them, simply to begin carefully, methodically answering the questions.  I let them wrestle with the complexities of the questions for a few minutes, as I circulate in the classroom and assist ...

3 Parsing Your Selected Reading: Style Considerations - 19 minutes

After a few minutes (4 - 6), I stop them and then re-project slide #8.  I point out that they should be "on the lookout" for instances of the specific style applications as articulated on slide #8.  I do this consciously as it, generally, causes them to re-read the beginning of the article wherein (usually) so many of the questions (for the table) may be answered.  (I've added a screenshot of slide #8 for easy reference.)

I distribute an index card for a ticket-out, and I ask each student to label the card with name and period.  In order to "leave" they must pass along a quoted example of ONE style point they find during their re-reading.