I need to write a rhetorical essay.
McCutcheon, Karen. (2014). “Work-life balance.” Journal of Perioperative Practice, 24(11), 239. Retrieved on October 23, 2016.
Ludden, Jennifer. (2010). “When Employers Make Room for Work-Life Balance.” NPR’s Morning Edition. National Public Radio (NPR) Morning Edition, 15 March 2010. Retrieved on October 23, 2016.(Cover Page)
RHETORICAL ANALYSIS OF A PROFESSIONAL DOCUMENT
LLD 100A Section# …….
Prof. Nathapong Shugan
a. Introduce the piece of paper you are analyzing:
1- What is the full title of the paper?
2- Who is the author?
3- Under what circumstances was the paper written? (You may have to
guess based on the content and the purpose.)
4- When was it written?
5- Who was the intended audience? Describe the discourse community
the paper was written for.
6- What is the author’s purpose in producing this piece of writing? What
did he/she want to achieve? What do you think the author wanted
the reader to think or do after reading this paper? (to inform, to
b. (Preview Statement) Indicate the rhetorical Appeals and/ or strategies you will
discuss in the rest of this RA- NOTE: Must include the use of rhetorical appeals and
development of ideas (narration, description, exemplification). You may also include
organization, style, tone, flow/transition, presentation/format (look at page 16, 23-27 of
your Course Reader, “Framework for Analyzing Genres and Rhetorical Strategies.”)
ANALYSIS OF RHETORICAL APPEALS AND STRATEGIES
You will begin each paragraph with a topic sentence, and the paragraph will have a
unified focus. You should write one paragraph on each of the rhetorical appeals and
strategies you mentioned in the introduction. Here is how you may develop your
a. Define the rhetorical appeals/ or strategy you will be discussing in that
paragraph (you can quote or paraphrase from your course readings)
b. Quote or paraphrase 2-3 examples from the document that illustrates the
author’s use of the strategy
c. Explain why the example illustrate the strategy and how it contributed to the
In this article, the author could have explored more the use of ethos, she could have cited more
sources for the information she presents. Ethos is the appeal that guarantees credibility and
authority for the author to write on a certain subject (Sunderman, 2011, p.25). The author can use
ethos by quoting and paraphrasing from people that has authority on that subject. In the paper I
am analyzing, Schwartz (2009) is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic
Research. She also presents Alan Greenspan’s idea, who served as Chair of the Federal Reserve
of the United States: “Greenspan does not explain why the Fed could not have conducted a less
expansive monetary policy that did not lower interest rates to levels that made mortgage lending
and borrowing appear riskless and encouraged house price increases” (p. 23). She mentions
Greenspan in order to criticize the Federal Reserve’s attitude during the financial crisis. With the
use of ethos, it is easier to convince the audience of the veracity of the facts presented and also to
expect them to prevent it from happening again.
Logos was effectively used by Schwartz in the article to derive the events that happened in the
crisis and its consequences. As Paul Sunderman (2011) defines, Logos is “[a]ppeal to logical
reasoning ability of the audience through use of facts, case studies, statistics, experiments,
logical reasoning, analogies, anecdotes, authority voices, etc” (p.25). When talking about auction
rate security, Schwartz (2009) uses logic reasoning to show the consequences of auction failure,
she shows that when it happens, there are fewer bidders than the number of securities to be sold.
In consequence the securities are priced at a penalty rate. This means the investor is unable to
redeem his money and the issuer has to pay a higher rate to borrow (p. 22). She also uses
statistics to show that Fannie and Freddie’s target was getting higher every time and cooperating
to the crisis: “The target increased to 50 percent in 2000 and 52 percent in 2005” (p. 20). The use
of logos is important for the readers to follow the writer’s reasoning and idea development. This
way it is easier to understand the author’s point and agree with her.
Development of ideas
Narration is defined by Helen Hadley Porter (2011) as “storytelling and is frequently paired with
specific and concrete description in essays with an expressive purpose” (p.23). Schwartz (2009)
uses narration as her writing style for this article. For each of the events that led to the crisis, she
narrates it in chronological order showing how it cooperated to the depression. She uses
narration when describing the Federal Reserve inefficient monetary policy. It was
accommodative too long from 2001 on and was slow to contractionary monetary policy, delaying
tightening until June 2004 and then ending the monthly 25 basis point increase in August 2006.
The rate cuts that began on August 10, 2007, and escalated in an unprecedented 75 basis point
reduction on January 22, 2008, was announced at an video conference meeting (p.19). She shows
the Fed monetary policy from 2001 until the crisis in 2008. Schwartz also uses narration when
presenting the role of Fannie and Freddie in the crisis. She describes how the Department of
Housing and Urban Development were increasing every year Fannie and Freddie’s target for
mortgage financing to borrowers with low income that cooperated to the subprime crisis (p.20).
Both of the examples are examples of storytelling where the author is describing what happened
with the government policies until 2008. The chronological format helps the reader to understand
how the situation aggravated until finally becoming a crisis.
Cause analysis is one of the main strategies used by Schwartz (2009) because it is her main
purpose with the article of analyzing the causes of the 2008 crisis. Cause analysis is critical
analysis of the origin of a phenomena (Porter, 2011). The first example I am bringing is when
she analyses how the government helped with the crisis: “In the case of the housing price boom,
the government played a role in stimulating demand for houses by proselytizing the benefits of
home ownership for the well-being of individuals and families” (p.20). The second example is
when she analyses the congress’ responsibility with the crisis: “Congress was also more than a
bit player in this campaign. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were created as government-sponsored
enterprises. Beginning in 1992 Congress pushed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to increase their
purchases of mortgages going to low- and moderate-income borrowers” (p. 20). In these two
quotes, the author is describing how both government and congress cooperated to the subprime
crisis. Schwartz also uses cause analysis when she says that the problem with innovations in
investment instruments is the difficulty in pricing them: “The basic flaw in each of them was the
difficulty of determining their price” (p. 21). This strategy helps us understand the factors that
drove us to the crisis.
Effect analysis is when we explore the consequences or effects of a phenomena (Porter, 2011).
Schwartz uses effect analysis when analyzing the consequences of the subprime mortgage
market collapse: “The market became chaotic with different rates resulting for basically identical
auction rate securities” (p.22). In this example she is showing that similar auction rate securities
started to get different rates. She also uses this strategy when describing the effects of failure in
securities pricing that did not consider subprime mortgages in the pool: “Absent securitization,
all the various peripheral players in the credit market debacle including the bond insurers, who
unwisely insured securities linked to subprime mortgages, would not have been drawn into the
subsidiary roles they exploited” (p.21). Another consequence of the crises was the issuance of
securities linked to subprime mortgages that cooperated to the collapse of it.We can see another
example of the use of effect analysis when Schwartz presents the consequences of the losses
investors had: “The losses investors experienced as a result will keep these markets from
operating until tranquility returns to the credit market as a whole and the weaknesses have been
corrected” (p.23). The losses investors had also cooperated to the crises because they did not
want to invest their money on risky investments. The author explores the consequences of all the
factors that led to the crisis and draws its scenario.
Comparison and Contrast
Porter (2011) defines comparison and contrast as: “Comparisons examine similarities; contrasts
examine differences” (p.23). Schwartz (2009) uses comparison and contrast a lot in her essay,
mainly contrast to show the scenario before the crisis and how it changed leading toward it. The
first example I am going to bring is when the author contrasts the banks’ behavior with auctions:
“Failed auctions were rare before the credit market crisis. The banks that conducted the auctions
would inject their own capital to prevent an auction failure. From the fall of 2007 on, these banks
experienced credit losses and mortgage write downs as a result of the subprime mortgage market
collapse, and became less willing to commit their own money to keep auctions from failing” (p.
22). The second example is when she compares the role of securitization and auction rate on
causing the crisis: “Each seemed to be a brilliant innovation. Securitization produced products
that were difficult to price. Auction rate securities could not survive the inherent falsity of its
conception. Both proved disastrous for credit market operations” (p.22). The first quotation is a
contrast between what was happening before the crisis and what changed in the banks’ attitudes
that helped with it. The second quotation is a comparison between securitization and auction rate
on how both had a bad effect on the credit market.
(a.)Summarize briefly the main points of the analysis
(b.)Explain the significance of your analysis as you consider the following:
1. What appeals/ strategies were successful for the author’s intended audience
and purpose? Give examples and explain why.
2. What changes would you recommend to the author to better achieve his/her
The main point of the analysis is to check if the author is successful in using the rhetorical
appeals and strategies and if she is able to use them toward her goal and to convince the audience
of her point. She was successful with the use of logos, narration, cause analysis, effect analysis
and comparison because they helped us understand the reasons that led the United States to the
2008 crisis. The narration format combined with logos help the readers to follow her reasoning.
Cause and effect analysis are important to present both the origin and consequences of the crisis
and its factors. Comparison and contrast is the strategy that connects cause and effect as to show
the changes in the scenario that led to the depression.
One of the strategies she could have used more is description because some of the terms she uses
are specific from economics and a lot of people might not be familiarized with them. She could
have also used more of ethos. Although the author uses ethos on her paper, she could have
developed more this appeal. She brings a lot of data and information about the 2008 crisis but
she does not cite the sources from where she got most of it. When Schwartz presents the history
of the Fed monetary policy until 2008, for example, it would be interesting if she had mentioned
the source where she got the data. Citing her sources would be a good way she could reinforce
the credibility of her paper.
Porter, H. H. (2011). Rhetorical Strategies of Idea Development and Organization. Professor Shugan,
LLD 100A: Writing Competency Through Genres (p.23-24). San Jose State University.
Schwartz, A. J. ( 2009). Origins of The Financial Market Crisis of 2008. Cato journal, 29(1), 19-23.
Sunderman, P. (2011). The Rhetorical Triangle. Professor Shugan, LLD 100A: Writing Competency
Through Genres (p.25-26). San Jose State University.
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