Resources:• “Anatomy of an Essay” (Handout)•“MLA Formatting” (Handout)•Introduction to Rhetorical Analysis (PowerPoint)• Ethos, Pathos, Logos (Handout)• T-GAP (Handout)• Claims, Reasons, Evidence (Handout)• Templates & Transitions (Handout)Overview:You will conduct a rhetorical analysis where you will be identifying and examining the Aristotelian appeals of ethos, pathos and logos in either the article “Leaving the Paris Agreement Would Be Indefensible” by Todd Stern OR the article “Why Is Climate Change Such a Hard Sell in the U.S.” by Firmin DeBrabander. You must offer a critical analysis of the text and bring in your unique insights in order to answer the following question: How does the author argue their case and do they do it effectively? Why or why not?Purpose: 1) Demonstrate knowledge of important rhetorical concepts such as audience, purpose, genre, and context.2) Identify and analyze rhetorical and organizational strategies from a variety of texts and employ appropriate strategies to compose thesis-driven essays.Audience & Point-of-View: Assume your reader is unfamiliar with the article you are discussing. Use 3rd person point-of-view (avoid using the pronouns “I” or “you.”). E n g l i s h 1 2 0 R h e t o r i c a l A n a l y s i s E s s a yRequirements: Your essay should be 1000-1500 words in length (about 4-5 pages). Craft a catchy title that encourages the reader to keep reading. Include an introduction paragraph, 3-4 body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph. Use MLA formatting, and include the word count in your heading. Highlight your thesis yellow, and your topic sentences green. Include 10-15 templates and transitions. Highlight these blue. Submit your essay to Canvas by the final due date.Leaving the Paris Agreement Would Be Indefensible
I was Obama’s chief climate negotiator. Whether to stay in the agreement is not a close call.
May 31, 2017
1. Reports suggest that President Trump has finally decided to pull out of the
2015 Paris climate agreement after many weeks of a back and forth
administration tug-of-war. Trump himself has tweeted that he will make an
official announcement in the coming days. I have followed the ups and downs
of this debate more closely than most, and weighed in where I could, because,
as the U.S. special envoy for climate change, I led the U.S. negotiating effort
from the start of the Obama administration through and beyond the Paris talks.
Along with many others, I have tried to defend and preserve the U.S. role in
Paris not because of the personal blood, sweat, and tears that my team and I
invested (well, mostly not), but because we understand the climate threat, we
recognize what’s at stake, and we know the giant step forward that the Paris
2. The president evidently intends to follow his own misguided calculus. A
decision to withdraw would be indefensible. It is important to understand why
and to consider what we need to do next.
3. The administration’s withdrawal caucus has argued that the Paris Agreement is
a bad deal for the United States, but they don’t have even a passing knowledge
of the facts. The truth is, Paris was a landmark achievement, establishing a
durable global climate regime for the first time since the original “framework
convention” was agreed to in 1992.
4. The Paris Agreement is ambitious, universal transparent, and balanced. It
brings China, India, and other developing countries fully into the regime. It
combines strong, aggregate goals with a “bottom-up” structure in which
countries decide their emissions targets for themselves and then continually
update those targets on five-year cycles. Yet Paris boxes no one in; all are urged
to aim high, but targets are not legally binding. It succeeded with strong U.S.
leadership every step of the way. The entire world has signed on, save only
Syria and Nicaragua. It appears that the president now means to expand that
group of two to include the United States of America.
5. Pulling out of Paris would cause serious diplomatic damage. The countries of
the world care about climate change. They see it as a profound threat. They
recognize there is no way to meet that global threat without an effective global
regime. And they understand that the Paris regime cannot work in the long run
if the world’s indispensable power has left the table. The president’s exit from
Paris would be read as a kind of “drop dead” to the rest of the world.
Bitterness, anger, and disgust would be the wages of this careless act. As
Ronald Reagan’s secretary of state, George Shultz, said recently about Paris,
“[g]lobal statecraft relies on trust, reputation and credibility, which can be all
too easily squandered. …[I]f America fails to honor a global agreement that it
helped forge, the repercussions will undercut our diplomatic priorities across
6. What is perhaps most astonishing about the possibility of withdrawal, given
Trump’s business background, is that such a decision would fly in the face of
nearly across-the-board support for Paris among top American companies, in
sectors ranging from oil and gas to retail, chemicals, utilities, agriculture,
finance, information, and autos. Business leaders know climate change is real.
They know Paris is an agreement they can work with. They know having U.S.
negotiators at the table to protect their interests on matters like intellectual
property and trade is crucial. They know that the transition to clean energy is
one of the biggest economic plays of this century, that climate change is a
major driver of this transition, that the United States is perfectly positioned to
lead with our unmatched culture of innovation, but that opting out of Paris will
undermine this opportunity to expand markets, create jobs and build wealth.
7. Against these potent reasons to stay in the Paris Agreement, the withdrawal
crowd has offered up bogus legal arguments that misunderstand the agreement,
but they are just excuses. The real reason for their opposition is that they reject
the importance of containing climate change in the first place. Remember
OMB Director Mike Mulvaney’s words: “we’re not spending money on
[climate change] anymore; we consider that to be a waste.”
8. But we are far past the point when we should be discussing whether climate
change is a live risk. The Pentagon calls it a “threat multiplier” in vulnerable
regions of the world. The National Intelligence Council says climate change
“will almost certainly have significant effects, both direct and indirect, across
social, economic, political, and security realms during the next 20 years.” Firms
like BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and Shell, among others, have
produced serious climate reports focused on the transition needed to meet the
goals of Paris. And just look at the signals from nature, at the dozens of “100year” events—floods, superstorms, droughts, wildfires, record heat waves—
taking place in the United States and around the world in recent years.
Weather-related losses have tripled since the 1980s.
9. In short, whether to stay in the Paris regime is not a close call. It is not
hard. There is no significant outside constituency arguing for America to leave.
There is a massive outside constituency—world leaders, Fortune 100 CEOS,
civil society—urging us to stay, even if the price for Trump staying is a
downward adjustment of our target. The Trump team now appears to be
getting it wrong. Where are the determined internal voices for getting this
right? Where is the vaunted national security team to protect our standing, our
reputation, our honor? Where are the grownups to channel the near-consensus
of American business and prevent this train-wreck of a decision?
10. But we have to confront the likelihood that this happening. So, what do we do
11. What we don’t do is wring our hands or lose hope. All over the United States
and all over the world we must resolve to defeat the Trump administration in
its effort to toss climate change overboard.
12. Around the world, I believe countries will stay in the Paris climate agreement
and work to build it into a regime that will enable us to meet the climate
challenge. They need to elaborate follow-on guidelines, rules and procedures in
a manner faithful to the essential balance of the accord. And, with others, I will
encourage them to do this in a manner that will pave the way for re-entry by an
enlightened American administration in the years ahead.
13. In the United States, the already strong efforts of our states and cities will loom
even larger, demonstrating to ourselves and the world our commitment to
confront climate change. States from California, Washington, and Oregon to
Minnesota, Illinois, New York, New England, and many others are dedicated
to strong climate action and will examine whether there is still more that they
can do. Many more states, both red and blue, are charging ahead in developing
wind and solar energy.
14. The dozen U.S. cities that are part of the global C-40 group on climate change
account for 25 percent of U.S. population and 30 percent of U.S. GDP. In
Mexico City last December, led by Mike Bloomberg, they promised to deliver
action, regardless of what the new Trump administration decided to do. These
and dozens of other committed U.S. cities have a more important role to play
15. It would also be valuable and impactful for engaged U.S. states and cities to
work with the UNFCCC, the parent body for the Paris regime, so that a
platform is provided to these pivotal U.S. players to convey to the global
community a message of engagement, commitment and accomplishment back
home. The message needs to come through that, while the Trump
administration may have checked out on climate change, America has not.
16. Business also has a crucial role to play in driving the clean energy
transformation. The boom is well under way. Wind and solar accounted for
two-thirds of all new electric capacity in the United States in 2016. Costs of
wind and solar have dropped over 80 percent in the past eight years for solar
PV and over 60 percent for wind. And hi-tech advances are happening all the
time, in battery storage, materials science, electric vehicles, and other key
elements of the transition. It would be a mistake for companies to bet on a goslow, “Trump” phase. The Trump administration’s actions at home and abroad
are problematic to be sure, but no one can hold back the tides. The transition
to clean energy is the right side of history, and the smart bet for businesses and
investors is to keep their eyes on the prize and not get distracted by the
ideological wars of Washington.
17. Finally, civil society, from students to citizens of all ages, already active across
the country, needs to ramp up even more, to stay engaged or get engaged, and
make clear to politicians at every level that rejecting strong climate action will
cost them on election day.
18. The Trump administration is about to throw down the gauntlet. If it does, we’ll
need to take up the challenge.
Todd Stern is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. He was the United States
special envoy for climate change from 2009 to 2016.
CLAIMS, REASONS, & EVIDENCE
A claim is your ARGUMENT. Claims are statements of belief that can be argued
against. For instance, here is a claim:
Bob should be elected class president.
Why is this a claim? Because it is arguable – someone can disagree with it.
A resaon is your LOGICAL SUPPORT. Reasons are statements of logic that
support your statement or belief (i.e. your claim). For instance, here is a
Bob should be elected class president because he’s a natural leader.
Why is this a reason? Because it logically supports the claim and it makes the
claim stronger – more difficult to disagree with.
Evidence is your PROOF.
Evidence comes from sources, fieldwork, and
research. It proves that your logical support (i.e. your reasons) is valid support
for your statement or belief (i.e. your claim). For instance, here is some
Bob should be elected class president because he’s a natural leader.
When we got lost in the Smoky Mountains on our class trip, Bob took
control and navigated us back to civilization.
Why is this evidence? Because it proves the reason (i.e. Bob is a “natural
leader”) that supports the claim (i.e. “Bob should be elected class president”),
and it makes the claim even more difficult for someone to disagree with.
Ask these questions about
– is it arguable?
– is it obvious?
– is there a bias?
– is there a specific agenda
the writer is working
– is the claim general?
Ask these questions about
– is it logical?
– is it connected/ related?
– is it a consequence of sound
– is it fair minded & not biased?
– is it tangible ( it isn’t purely
conceptual & requiring the reader
to assume certain knowledge
they do not have)?
– is it reasonable?
– is it in support of the claim?
Ask these questions about
– is it relevant?
– is it convincing?
– is it specific?
– is it general?
– is it connected to the
T ONE , G ENRE , A UDI ENCE , & P URPOSE
*Being able to identify the following elements when reading an article, book, etc. is a
useful skill to have in college classes and for critical reading outside the college classroom.
DETERMI NI NG TONE
*Here are just some examples of the kinds of tone an author can take. Pay
close attention to the language (word choice) of an author.
Irritated, vexed, indignant, offended
Blunt, forthright, frank, abrupt
Provocative, defiant, questioning
Amusing, funny, jovial, joking
Intelligent, knowledgeable, thoughtful
Impartial, unbiased, open-minded, objective
Friendly, good-natured, affable
Dispirited, discouraged, unhappy
Satirical, disparaging, scornful, contemptuous
I D E N TI F Y I N G G E N R E
*Below is a chart that outlines the different genres (categories or types) of a
text. There are many genres and sub-genres—graphic novels, plays, social
media status updates, etc.—and by identifying the genre, we can determine
what we should be looking for or can gain from reading that text.
(Novel or Short Story)
Book, Essay, or Article
Magazine or Newspaper
Scholars or Professionals in the
Scholars or Professionals in the
Professional Writer, Scholar, or
Professional or Amateur Writer
Students, Professors, and
Others Educated Specialists in
Educated Reader (Students,
Professors, and Scholars)
Research Publication to
E S T A B L I S H I N G T A R G E T A U DI E N C E
*It is important to look at the kinds of information and the word choices of the
author (s) when trying to identify what specific group of people were the
target audience. Consider:
➢ Is it meant for the general public or a specific group of people?
o Are there terms only a doctor or a scuba diver is familiar with?
➢ Is the audience expected to have a certain level of education?
o Look at the level of vocabulary being used.
➢ Is there a specific age group being targeted?
o The kinds of examples and stories included in the source can help
CHOOSING ACCURATE VERBS TO DESCRIBE PURPOSE
I know what it says…but what does it do?
*The following verbs will be helpful when analyzing what an author is doing
(the rhetorical moves he/she is making), rather than what he/she is saying.
Ethos, Pathos, Logos
Whenever you read an argument you must ask yourself, “is this persuasive? And if so, to
whom?” There are several ways to appeal to an audience. Among them are appealing to ethos,
pathos, and logos. These appeals are prevalent in almost all arguments.
To Develop or Appeal to ETHOS
How an author builds credibility &
To Appeal to PATHOS (emotion)
Words or passages an author uses to
Ways to Develop ETHOS
Author’s profession /
Appears sincere, fair minded,
Concedes to the opposition
Morally / ethically likeable
Appropriate language for
audience and subject
Effect on Audience
Helps reader to see the author as
reliable, trustworthy, competent, and
credible. The reader might respect the
author or his/her views.
How to Talk About It
Through his use of scientific
terminology, the author builds his
ethos by appearing knowledgeable.
The author’s ethos is effectively
developed as readers see that he is
sympathetic to the struggles minorities
To Appeal to LOGOS
The argument itself; the reasoning the
Types of Pathos Appeals
Emotionally loaded language
Anecdotes, testimonies, or
Narratives about emotional
experiences or events
Emotional tone (humor,
Effect on Audience
Evokes an emotional response.
Persuasion by emotion.
(usually evoking fear, sympathy,
How to Talk About It
Types of LOGOS Appeals
Theories / scientific facts
Indicated meanings or
Factual data & statistics
Citations from experts &
Examples (real life examples)
Effect on Audience
Evokes a cognitive, rational response.
Readers get a sense of, “Oh, that
makes sense,” or “Hmm, that really
doesn’t prove anything.”
How to Talk About It
When referencing 9/11, the author is
appealing to pathos. Here, he is
eliciting both sadness and anger from
The author appeals to logos by
defining relevant terms and then
supports his claim with numerous
citations from authorities.
The author’s description of the child
with cancer was a very persuasive
The author’s logos appeals of
statistics and expert testimony are
Anatomy of an Essay
One thing to remember about writing is that organization is just as
important as content. No matter how much your reader might appreciate
your style and witty content, if your structure is confusing or ineffective,
your reader will lose interest—and this is something you definitely want to
avoid. Here’s a breakdown of the basic elements of an essay:
It’s always a good idea to try to come up with a catchy title for an essay;
however, do not be tempted to keep a catchy title if it does not accurately
indicate what the paper will about. The title should not hint at one portion of
the paper; instead, it should describe the main argument or topic of the
paper. While you can think of the title at any given point, it makes most
sense to finalize the title after the paper is written in order to avoid
misleading your reader. Avoid titles that are too general or too specific.
Here are some good tips for writing a title:
1) Many times titles will ask the question they seek to answer.
The American Dream: Dead, Alive, or on Hold?
Are too Many People Going to College?
2) Some titles use clever plays on words or sounds.
A Tale of Two Profiles
The Good, The Bad, and The Daily Show
3) The colon can provide a title that is both catchy and practical.
Having it His Way: The Construction of Masculinity in FastFood TV Advertising.
Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter.
The first paragraph of your essay has two functions:
1) The first function of your introduction is to arouse your readers’
interest. It is very much an advertisement for the rest, like the “back
ad” on a book cover. If you don’t engage readers immediately, they
hardly will be likely to read on. Think of all the magazine or
newspaper articles you have started but put down after the first
boring paragraph. Seize your readers’ interest through:
(A) snappy opener (also called a “hook”):
“At any given moment, devilish smoke fills my lungs and burns my
eyes. I struggle and gasp for fresh air, but it feels as if the devil is
taking over my body. He is trying to deprive me of oxygen and rob
me of my eyesight! My mind fights to clear the cloud of smoke that is
deceiving me. But it’s not the devil. It’s just the secondhand smoke
coming from my downstairs neighbor’s cigarette that has wafted
underneath my closed front door.”
(B) The rest of the introductory paragraph; here you take your
readers from the snappy opener to the thesis statement, perhaps
employing one or more of the following strategies along the way:
A broad statement or question narrowing to your thesis
A brief anecdote (personal or hypothetical story)
Refutation of an opinion your reader is likely to have formed
A poignant quotation (just make sure you introduce it
A telling fact or statistic (just be sure to cite your source)
1) Framing. A very good way to achieve unity in your essay, to pull
everything together, is to “frame” it by linking your introduction
and your conclusion.
2) Establish credibility. A reader will be much more interested in
what you have to say (and is much likelier to adopt your
viewpoint) if you establish credibility on the subject matter you
intend to discuss. In other words, explain to the reader why they
should listen to you.
2) The second function of the introduction is to introduce your subject.
The key tool for doing this is the thesis statement (also known as
your argument), usually a single sentence which contains:
(A) Your subject—limited enough so that you can cover it effectively
in an essay that may have strict word/page length requirements
(B) Your attitude toward (or your unique angle on) your subject
*The thesis statement is traditionally located in the last sentence of your
introduction. It may help you to envision the introduction as an inverted
triangle, starting out generally (to ease your reader in) and ending
specifically (to narrow the focus of your paper):
credibility, statistics, etc.
Think of each body paragraph as a mini-essay. Just like an essay, your
body paragraph will need an introduction (topic sentence), body, and
conclusion (concluding sentence). In addition, use transitions between
paragraphs to carefully guide the reader from one idea to the next. The
topic sentence is a great place to put a transition.
Here’s a breakdown of the elements of a body paragraph:
A. Topic Sentence (also known as a claim or Assertion):
Expresses the main idea of the paragraph (must be an arguable
assertion, not a fact). Must clearly support thesis statement.
C. Support (also known as Concrete Examples):
Provides reasons, details, evidence, quotes, and other examples
supporting the topic sentence.
E. Development (also known as Explanation):
Further explanation and analysis of the topic sentence or
S. Concluding Sentence (this is where you would include Significance):
Reiterates the topic sentence in light of all that has been said in
the paragraph; it serves as a conclusion to the section or
paragraph. This is a great place to answer the big questions: So
what? Who cares? Why does any of this matter?
Organizing your text. The following are organizational strategies which may
be used as patterns of development either for an entire essay or for its
component sections and paragraphs.
Chronological—time sequence, used when telling a story (narration).
Spatial—details as they occur in space.
Simple to complex—moving from easy to more difficult.
Emphatic or climactic—people remember most what they experience
last, so save your most compelling material for last.
Process analysis—explain how something is done, or describe the
circumstances leading up to an event.
Causal analysis—explain why; discuss reasons and consequences.
Comparison/contrast—point out similarities and differences.
Definition—analyze the meaning of a word, phrase, or concept.
Division/classification—determine the parts of your subject, and
In a good conclusion you will do these things:
1) Reiterate your thesis statement, subtly altering the words,
reinforcing the main idea of your essay. You should ALWAYS do this.
2) Summarize key points. Reiterate the main idea of each main section
of your text, using a sentence or so for each.
3) Use the rest of the paragraph to wrap your subject up, perhaps
employing one or more of these strategies:
Real-World Application: Show how your thesis extends beyond the
scope of the present treatment.
Prediction—what are the ramifications of what you have said?
Call to action—if what you say is true, what should your readers
do? This is a very effective strategy for concluding an
It may help to envision the conclusion as a triangle this time. You should
start specifically (by restating your thesis) and end globally.
Summarization of Key Points
Real-world application, prediction,
or call to action.
Finally, when drafting conclusions, avoid bringing up new points or
including quotations. This will confuse your reader. Remember, a
conclusion should provide closure for the essay.
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