UMKC Volker The Power of Rhetoric Rhetorical Theory Argumentative Essay

Paper: The Power of Rhetoric (Rhetorical Theory Essay)

Outline: you will be discussing your Paper

In about 300-500 words address the following:

1) What argument are you planning to make about the “power of rhetoric?”

2) Which concepts from class do you plan to use?

3) Which examples of rhetoric, from class or elsewhere, do you plan to use?


Overview: In this assignment you will be writing an essay about the power of rhetoric. This will require you to make an argument based on rhetorical theory.

Examples of acceptable theses include, but are not limited to the following:

The power of rhetoric lies in its ability to motivate the public to take action.

The power of rhetoric lies in its ability to conceal the truth.

The power of rhetoric is that it can offer the public a new perspective.

You will then support your argument by explaining how specific rhetorical concepts serve the purpose you have stated. These could include any of the rhetorical concepts we have covered this semester, such as narrative, genre, metaphor, ideology, dramatism, etc.

Technical Requirements:

5-6 pages

12-point Times New Roman


APA in-text citations

APA list of Works Cited

Submitted to BlackBoard as a .doc file.

Sources: In this assignment you will need to use sources from the class. Specifically, you will need to use at least two of the theory readings (each Brummett chapter or Jasinski entry will count as a separate source), and two of the speeches, or other forms of rhetoric, we have watched this semester.

If you choose to use theory readings beyond class material, make sure you are using peer-reviewed scholarly sources. You may also find speeches and other forms of rhetoric beyond those we have watched in class.

Structure of the Paper

Introduction (1-2 pages)

Grab the reader’s attention.

Introduce your argument.

Preview the rhetorical concepts that you will be using in your argument. This should involve explaining the concepts by quoting and paraphrasing texts.

Body (about 3 pages)

Describe three to four ways rhetoric accomplishes what you claim it accomplishes.

These should be linked to a specific concept, such as metaphor, narrative, dramatism, etc. You should cite class readings, or supplemental sources, to explain how these concepts work.

For each of the concepts you discuss be sure to cite multiple examples from rhetoric we watched in class, or supplemental rhetoric that you have found.

Conclusion (1-2 pages)

Summarize your argument.

If you have not already mentioned ethical implications, you may do this here.

Describe how you have encountered the power of rhetoric in your own life. Or, how you expect to encounter the power of rhetoric in the future (i.e., your future career). In other words, this is your chance to discuss the practical implications of your paper.


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