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Consider literary elements that strengthen gladwell’s argument.

by | Nov 10, 2022 | Literature | 0 comments


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For this assignment, you will be given the choice of analyzing one of the chapters from Malcolm Gladwell’s book David and Goliath. Gladwell argues that underdogs and misfits can use techniques and strategies to overcome their perceived weaknesses and beat the odds, or to use Gladwell’s analogy, beat their giants. (Goal: 4-5 pages, double spaced).
In each chapter Gladwell uses anecdotal stories, historical elements, charts, graphs, and analytical research to persuade his readers to accept his premise that a “slingers” can beat “giants.” The rhetorical question is this: why should I believe Gladwell? What evidence does he provide to his readers to justify his point of view?
In preparing for this paper be sure to think about the 5W+ (who, what, when, where, why & how)
• Main Idea: What is the big idea for the chapter? What are the key ideas in each section that relate to the big idea?
• Purpose: How do the ideas relate back to Gladwell’s title David and Goliath?
• Audience/Relationship to the Reader: To whom is Gladwell writing? And, for whom are you writing?
• Context: What evidence does he present to his readers? How compelling is his evidence?
• Voice: What is the overall tone?
• Genre: What type of writing is the text?
• Strategies: What techniques are used?
• Effectiveness? How is Gladwell effective? How does he (or not) convince you to see things his way? How has your thinking changed?
Your rhetorical analysis should demonstrate how the Gladwell utilizes the three rhetorical appeals:
• Ethos: Appeals to the character, reputation, credibility of the author (or perhaps, the sources). Do you trust Gladwell? Why? What do Gladwell’s critics say about him and his conclusions? Do you trust his critics?
• Logos: Appeals based on logic, reasoning, and evidence concerning the subject. Does his argument make sense? Why? Is the research he cites solid and well supported?
• Pathos: Appeals to the beliefs and values of the audience. Is there an emotional, sympathetic, sentimental, or passionate element to his writing? Can readers relate somehow to the stories and experiences he shares?
You will want to consider the ways in which the Gladwell uses rhetorical elements to enhance the effectiveness of the chapter. In considering the overall design of the document, you may want to address how the following basic principles of design:
• Balance: Does Gladwell provide balance within the text? Are you getting both sides of the story?
• Alignment: Are there patterns in his writing that remind you of his argument?
• Grouping: Are the stories and examples effectively grouped?
• Consistency: How does Gladwell keep his argument in the forefront so that the reader is reminded of it regularly?
• Compare/Contrast: How does Gladwell compare and contrast his examples to strengthen his argument?
• Repetition: Do themes come up again and again? Are there phrases or ideas repeated for the benefit of the reader?
Remember, the writing you do in this class is considered public writing. Therefore, the audience for your rhetorical analysis paper is the instructor and your classmates.
You must have 2 sources for this paper, with one being the actual book. You should be quoting/paraphrasing throughout the paper.
The purpose of this assignment is to:
• Analyze the rhetorical situation and the use of rhetorical appeals.
• Analyze the use of literary elements to enhance the effectiveness of a given artifact.
• Articulate and develop a critical and analytical perspective in writing
• Develop strategies for critically engaging information and develop it in writing as evidence for arguments
• Study the writing in relation to articulating human values, cultural perspectives, or interdisciplinary understanding
1. Find Your Artifact: Determine which chapter most appeals to you.
2. Consider The Rhetorical Situation: Look at it from as many perspectives as you can.
3. Consider The Rhetorical Appeals: Focus on the three elements of ethos, logos, and pathos.
4. Consider literary elements that strengthen Gladwell’s argument.
5. Develop A Clear Thesis Statement: This is perhaps the most critical step in the writing process.
a. You must ask yourself, “What is my purpose for writing this essay?” Based upon your answer, you should be able to come up with a strong (unique) thesis statement.
b. A thesis statement should reflect your assessment of Gladwell and how effective he is convincing his readers to accept his position (i.e. a thesis statement is your opinion, and ought to be arguable).
6. Support Your Thesis Statement: The body of your essay should be devoted to supporting evidence for your thesis statement. This will entail techniques of using direct quotation, integrated quotations, paraphrasing, and your own response.
7. State Your Conclusion: The purpose of your conclusion is to clearly, but briefly, reiterate what you were hoping to accomplish in your essay. In other words, it should reflect (mirror) your thesis.
8. Sources: Follow-up on points that Gladwell makes in his argument. Consider professionals that agree or disagree with Gladwell. Perhaps Gladwell is only sharing sources that support his argument rather than detract from it.


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