Methods of Rhetorical Analysis
Close Textual Analysis
- Black, Rhetorical Criticism: A Study in Method; “The Second Persona,” Rhetorical Questions: Studies in Public Discourse, “The Aesthetics of Rhetoric”
- Lucas, “The Rhetorical Ancestry of the Declaration of Independence,” “George Washington and the Rhetoric of Leadership”
- Leff, “Topical Invention and Metaphoric Interaction,” “Textual Criticism: The Legacy of GP Mohrmann”
- Leff and Sachs, “Iconicity and the Rhetorical Text”
- Graff and Leff, “Revisionist Historiography and Rhetorical Traditions”
- Leff and Mohrman, “Lincoln at Cooper Union”
- Jasinski, “The Status of Theory and Method in Rhetorical Criticism” and “Feminization of LIberty, Domesticated Virtue, and the Reconstitution of Power”
- Browne, “Thomas Jefferson’s First Inaugural Address and the Rhetoric of Nationhood,” “Representing Evil in Theodore Weld’s American Slavery as it Is”
- Murphy, “Political Economy and Rhetorical Matter,” “Robert F. Kennedy and the American Jeremiad,” “George W. Bush and September 11”
- Lucaites, “Visualizing ‘The People’: Individualism vs. Collectivism in Let Us Now Praise Famous Men
- Hariman and Lucaites, “Performing Civic Identity: The Iconic Photograph of the Flag Raising at Iowa Jima, ”Visual Rhetoric, Photojournalism, and Democratic Public Culture”
- Palczewski, “Male Madonna and the Feminine Uncle Sam: VIsual Arguments, Icons, and Ideographs in 1909 Anti-Woman Suffrage Cards,” “The 1919 Prison Special: Constituting White Women’s Citizenship”
- Zaeske, “Signatures of Citizenship: The Rhetoric of Women’s Antislavery Petitions”
- Zarefsky, “Four Senses of Rhetorical History,” “Making the Case for War: Colin Powell at the United Nations,” “The Presidency has always been a site for Rhetorical Leadership,” “George Bush and the Transformation of Civil Rights Discourse, 1965-1990,” “Presidential Rhetoric and the Power of Definition”
Ideology Criticism (Resource Guide on Ideology and Rhetorical Studies)
- McGee, “A Materialist’s Conception of Rhetoric,” “The Ideograph,” “In Search of the People,” “Text, Context, and the Fragmentation of Contemporary Culture”
- Lucaites and Condit, “Reconstructing Equality: Culturetypal and Counter-cultural rhetorics in the Martyred Black Vision” (ideographic analysis)
- Wander, “The Third Persona: An Ideological Turn in Rhetorical Criticism”
- Raymie McKerrow, “Critical Rhetoric” (1989)
- Cloud, “The Null Persona,” “To Veil the Threat of Terror” (ideographic analysis), “The Materiality of Discourse as Oxymoron: A Challenge to Critical Rhetoric”
- Charland, “Constitutive Rhetoric: The Case of the Peuple Quebecois"”
- Greene, “Rhetoric Dis-Appearing,” “Another Materialist Rhetoric,” “More Materialist Rhetoric,” “Rhetorical Pedagogy as a Postal System”
- Bost and Greene, “Affirming Rhetorical Materialism,” “Money/Speech”
Deconstruction (Units on deconstruction from COMM 5110)
- Schrag, “Rhetoric Resituated at the End of Philosophy”
- Biesecker, “Rethinking the Rhetorical Situation from within the Thematic of Differance”
- Davis, “Identification: Burke and Freud on Who You Are,” “Addressing Alterity: Rhetoric, Hermeneutics, and the Nonappropriative Relation,” “Creaturely Rhetorics,” “Rhetoricity, Temporality, Democratic Nonequivalence”
- Gaonkar, “Object and Method in Rhetorical Criticism: Between the Extremes of Leff and McGee,” “Rhetoric and its Double: Reflections on the Rhetorical Turn in the Human Sciences,” “The Very Idea of Rhetorical Culture,” and “The Idea of Rhetoric in the Rhetoric of Science”
- Gunn, “Polytoning Rhetoric’s Perverse Apocalypse”
Final Project Proposal
- Please submit all written work using the appropriate Canvas portal.
- Sample Project Proposal: Atilla's submission to the 2022 ASHR Preconference
- All written work should be composed in Canvas, using Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx), Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) or Google Docs (external link). All assignments should follow these standard formatting guidelines. These are often the default settings of the programs just mentioned:
- 11-12 pt. Font
- Times New Roman, Calibri, or Arial
- Either 1.5 or double spaced
- 1-inch margins
Where I have indicated page length requirements, these do not include the bibliography or works cited page. Students should aim for 10 (or more) citations for this writing assignment beyond the original article. Please select a citation style and follow the guidelines accordingly. My preferred citation styles include APA (Links to an external site.), Chicago (Links to an external site.), and MLA (Links to an external site.). The bibliography of works cited does not count toward page count. Additionally, it is not required that you cite 10 or more sources within the text of the proposal, the citations may gesture toward sources you know have a place in the final project, but which you are still thinking about or considering.
Please note that the revised proposal may be incorporated into the final project. If, for instance, students choose to complete an annotated bibliography, the revised version of the prospectus may serve as a 1-2 page ‘wind-up’ for the final project, summarizing the major claim and the “umbrella” themes that cover all of the explicated articles. Alternatively, portions of the revised prospectus might also be folded into the introduction of the essay, if that is the kind of final project under consideration.
Following approval of your topic, compose a 1-3 page prospectus of your final paper or project. This can include a full paper or a part of a larger essay. It can also be an annotated bibliography (for exams or for a project in progress) or some portion of work toward developing course content for yourself. It is the job of the prospectus to define the scope of the work you wish to complete for the final project.
If you are planning to write a final paper (in whole or in part) or create an annotated bibliography, the prospectus should offer the following (the order of which is up for revision):
If it’s an annotated bibliography
- What is the use or function of the annotated bibliography? What is its purpose?
- What is the logic of selection or organization used to assemble it?
- What is the umbrella term, concept, or idea that unifies all of the entries?
- What is excluded from your search, or does not fall under this umbrella?
- What research question/problem does this help you to answer/solve?
If it’s an academic essay:
- A brief history that frames your primary text,
- A brief discussion of the key meanings at stake in that moment,
- A full sourcing of your primary text,
- A general overview of key scholarly contributions and absences particular to this moment and/or your text, and
- The research question(s) you aim to answer in this paper.
Other things to consider in your writing might include the following:
I. If you’re looking at primary documents. You’re looking for a source that has authenticated your texts. You should provide detailed citations for the original texts. This is particularly important for historical documents that may have circulated and later edited.
II. A brief discussion of your topic. What is the exigency for the project you are pursuing? What are the broad strokes of the literature that you are engaging? If you are composing (academic) writing, what is the conversation your work is entering? “Folks in public address like X have addressed it in these ways, I intend to address it in this (different) way.”
III. Your questions. Your preliminary research questions are … 1,2,3. No need to craft prose around this, I want to know what the scope and direction of the project is.
IV. A works-cited of 10-20 sources from class or elsewhere.
This Week’s Readings
- Do the citations selected in this essay point us toward a specific set of methodological or theoretical commitments?
- What are the issues with a “critical rhetoric”?
- Why is the “radical subject” a better focus of our criticism? Is it?
- What does “solidarity” look like? What does “method” look like?
- In what ways is publicity a mode of containment? Why and how do the authors recommend resisting inclusion?
- “Working towards the disavowal of publics built on logics of colonial recognition and inclusion requires more than just simply challenging our epistemological assumptions, but reimagining our ontological orientation to rhetoric and Indigeneity altogether.” What does it mean to “reimagine our ontological orientation to rhetoric and Indigeneity altogether”?