Rhetorical Methods and Strategies Types of evidence a

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The following PAPA Square presents a rhetorical analysis of “Hounding the Innocent” by Bob Herbert:

PURPOSE: To create a sense of public outrage over the

use of ethnic profiling by law-enforcement in the U.S.

Rhetorical Methods and Strategies

1. Types of evidence

a. Numerical Data - “More than 45,0000 people were stopped and frisked by members of the Street Crimes Unit in 1997 and 1998

b. Anecdote – The Story of Rossano Gerald and his twelve-year old son, Greg.

c. Example: Anti-Loitering law in Chicago
2. Language and Tone

a. Emotive/Loaded words – “howled”, :abomination”, “petrified”, “wept uncontrollably”, “regime”, “astonishing”, and “breathtaking”

b. Sarcastic Tone – “Spare me” and “what a surprise”

3. Text Structures

a. Lack of qualifiers – “no good reason”, “perfectly innocent”, “all”, “virtually everybody”, and “clearly”

4. Moral or Ethical Appeals

a. Appeal to Authority - ACLU


(Racial profiling is (Readers of the is a widespread, New York Times, unconscionable and typically well-educated, unconstitutional urban, middle-class violation of African- professionals)

American and

Hispanic citizens’



(Angry, compassionate, ethical, frustrated, credible reporter

for The New York Times disgusted by the extensive use of

racial profiling to “target the innocent”.)


(What is the purpose of this piece? What is the writer trying to accomplish?

Why is this topic important to the writer? To the community?)

Rhetorical Methods and Strategies
1. Logical [logos]

What kind of logos (evidence/facts or arguments) is used to persuade the audience?
2. Emotional[pathos]

What kind of pathos (emotional appeal) is used to inspire strong feelings, positive or negative?

3. Image[ethos]

What kind of ethos (image/authority) is used to inspire that a speaker has good: sense/will/character.


(Who is the Intended Audience? Who was meant to see/read this when the creator made it?)


is the thesis/message?

Is it stated or implied?)

(What persona (public image) is the writer giving?

What kind of feeling does the assigned speaker/symbol reveal?)

PRECIS step by step direcitons

Read the following directions carefully and be sure to use paragraph form!

First identify the author(s), the genre, the title of work, and provide the date/year of publication in parentheses; choose a rhetorically accurate VERB (such as “claims” “suggests” “asserts”); finish with a THAT clause expressing the main idea or thesis statement of the work.

Then, identify what the author is doing (verbs) and how he/she is doing it (methods). Next, identify the author’s apparent purpose, followed by an IN ORDER TO phrase that explains why the author feels that it is important to achieve her/his/their purpose.

Finally, provide a description or identification of the intended audience; then either explain the relationship the author(s) establish(es) with the audience, or follow with a BECAUSE clause that explains what in the writing indicates the type of audience she/he/they are writing for.

Rhetorical Precis Format

Sentence One:

Title (date), author, rhetorical verb, author’s argument.

  • In her Commencement Address to Mount Holyoke College (1994), Anna Quindlen argues that individual desire and motivation is more important than blind conformity

Sentence Two:

How does the author convey their message?

  • Quindlen uses rhetorical questions, personal examples and a metaphor of a backpack to convince readers that lock-step conformity is not always the right path.

Sentence Three:

What is the author’s purpose and WHY is that their purpose? (“in order to” statement).

  • Quindlen’s purpose is to help students find their individual paths in order to change the way recent college graduates will act.

Sentence Four:

Who is the intended audience and what is the relationship established?

  • Quindlen successfully addresses her audience of recent college graduates through her casual and conversational tone.

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