Writing question

A #2: Rhetorical Analysis Instructions


Americans are constantly bombarded by political rhetoric, particularly during election years.

Presidential elections are hotly disputed. We still have many examples of political campaigning

fresh in our memories. Much of this rhetoric seems empty and meaningless; what does it mean

to say that “I’m for America,” or “I’m running on a platform of family values?” The purpose of

this project is to help you learn about political rhetoric. You will learn to identify the different

types of appeals, analyze political jargon, and consider how politicians use rhetoric to influence

voters. A good understanding of political rhetoric is an absolute necessity for citizens in a


This project is designed to help you learn about classical and modern rhetorical concepts like

the three appeals (ethos, logos, and pathos), audience, and identification.

Assignment Details

First, visit

The Livingroom Candidate

website and browse the political commercials

Use this link and pick Mitt Romney vs Barack Obama year 2012 as your chosen comercial!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (http://www.livingroomcandidate.org). You can also use a commercial from YouTube or other

site for a political ad, but I recommend the Livingroom Candidate because it provides some

context and background information on the commercial that you may find helpful.

Your 1,000-1,500 word essay should do the following:

1.DESCRIBE the commercial and its historical/political context

2.DETERMINE the intended audience

3.IDENTIFY the types of appeals and issues addressed in the commercial

4.EVALUATE the effectiveness of the commercial.

The commercial will be your PRIMARY source; you also need at least two other SECONDARY

sources to support your arguments or supply additional material. These secondary sources can

benewspaper or magazine articles, political websites, or political or rhetorical texts. An paper

from the International Conference on Language and Education titled, “Language, Power and

Manipulation: The Use of Rhetoric in Maintaining Managerial Influence,” by Maya Khemlani

David (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322386004… and_Manipulation_The_Use_of_Rhetoric_in_Maintaining_Managerial_Influence) is accessible and quality source for further understanding the way many politicians use and control the

image they share with potential voters Use in Citations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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