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Sept 29

Page history last edited by Jared 9 years, 8 months ago

Hooked  on Rhetorical Analysis 

 


 Last Class's Exercise

 

 

The "Winners": 

 

Team 3: Ahmed, Nour, Samey,Toma', Derek

In “Don’t Blame the Eater,” David Zincenko argues that the hazardous overconsumption of fast food products is a battle between corporate responsibility (companies providing their consumers with necessary and essential information regarding the effects of their product) and personal responsibility (individuals’ ability to choose what’s best for themselves). He argues this point by using logical appeal and comparing the food industry to the tobacco industry.

 

  • This thesis has a very strong grasp of the authors central argument (though it's a bit wordy, it is accurate) and it does a nice job identifying two broad techniques that can carry the analysis a long way... 

 

 

Very Close second:   

Team 4: (a.k.a. the Inglorious Basterds)

 

In “Don’t Blame the Eater”, David Zinczenko argues that fast food companies are responsible for children obesity through the use of personal experience and statistics. 

  • This thesis is equally good as the above thesis in how it identifies two broad techniques, and better in that it has a nice concise formulation.  However, it narrows Zinczenko's argument a bit too much by qualifying it as an argument about the problem of "Children obesity"

 

The rest...

  • Although correct enough, some other thesis statements provided specific examples, not broad categories, in their thesis statement.
  • These read more like examples you'd provide in support paragraphs, not the broader categories that would be used to group these examples.

 

What categories would include these examples?

  • logos (his logical approach to the argument, using reason, statistics, science...etc)
  • ethos (his leveraging of personal examples) 
  • Resemblance (several comparisons are made to support his argument...) 

 

 

Better thesis statements stated the argument clearly (and with just enough explanation or summary) and set up the rhetorical techniques as general categories, broad enough to set up the rest of the (hypothetical paper), and selected those that are certainly present and important in the work under review. 

 


Basic building blocks of arguments:

enthymemes, stasis protocols, the artistic appeals 

 

Analyzing Fame Junkies

 

Much like the work you'll be taking up for your execution of Project Two, Fame Junkies is a book-length argument that is organized around a central thesis, but divided into distinct sections (both sections and chapters in this case) that support that thesis and perform the rhetorical strategy of the book in particular ways.

 

For today's class, we will collectively work on creating an appropriate thesis statement for a rhetorical analysis of Fame Junkies.Afterward, we'll break into teams that will collaboratively compose supporting paragraphs for that thesis based on the chapter of FJ that they were assigned.

 

We can get closer to a rhetorical analysis thesis statement for the book by asking some basic questions about the introduction to Fame Junkies:

 

1. First ask: What is the (most) general argument of the book?  

 

?

 

2. What are the key Stases being deployed here? (the form or forms of claims being made: definition, evaluation, resemblance, proposal?) 

Resemblance: ?

Definition: ?

Evaluation: ?

Proposal: ?

 

3. What are the most prevalent, important, or interesting strategies used to support this argument in the introduction?

 

?

 

 


Building A Skeletal Thesis: Quickfire Challenge

 

 

QUICK FIRE CHALLENGE!

The First team to formulate the thesis from these questions gets one bonus point towards today's exercise:

 

Halpern, in Fame Junkies, uses X, Y, and Z, to argue T.

or

In W, A argues T through X, Y, Z.

or 

A uses X, Y, and Z to argue T.

or ...

In Fame Junkies Jake Halpern, through the use of his personal reporting builds a logos involving the varied use of academic studies (including psychology, neuroscience and anthropology), historical and individual case studies to argue that the North American obsession with fame resembles an addiction. The book also builds an effective appeal to pathos through the individual case studies that demonstrate how deranged some people have become.


 

The Question Now is: How might we leverage the skeletal structure thesis to generate paragraphs for rhetorical analysis of for Fame Junkies?


 

 

Let's Get Rhetorical!

Now that we have a skeletal thesis statement to work with in our practice rhetorical analysis of Fame Junkies, let's work up possible supporting paragraphs for this thesis. Break into your teams and write a supporting paragraph for this analysis based on the chapter of FJ you were assigned. Most likely your paragraph will focus on how one of the strategies in our thesis statement is deployed in that chapter. When composing these, keep the supporting paragraphs from our previous student examples in mind as well as what we learned about quoting and summarizing from readings in They Say/I Say.

 

 

Building Blocks for Support Paragraphs:  You need basically three items in each support paragraph.

 

1. A transition that opens the paragraphAn easy way to segue into your new paragraph is to introduce the technique under review in relation the previous one. For instance, you might write:

  • (If the previous paragaph was on technique X, and the new one you are starting is on technique Y): "In addition to X, A spends considerable time relating Y."
  • Or you might write something that 'weighs' the technique under review in comparisont to others: "However, A's strongest examples come by way of Y." For instance, Team 2 might write something like "Chapter two of Fame Junkies, "Mobs of Fame-Starved Children," includes Halpern's most effective uses of X." (that one's now taken)
  • Here's one from the "Making Ends Meet" example: "Her own personal experience, which serves as an appeal to her ethos, is another major rhetorical technique the author uses in her book."

Criteria for evaluation: 

  • How effectively does the first ("topic") sentence of the paragraph set up the rest of the paragraph? 
  • Consider whether you need to effectively summarize the authors argument in your chapter? 
  • Consider whether you've identified a worthwhile technique (or in rare cases, related techniques) used to support the author's argument

 

 Value: 5 points

 

 

2. You need sentences that provide examples of the technique under review in the paragraph. Effective use of quotations from, or paraphrases of, the text being analyzed will be valuable in this section. Here's the "examples" section of a paragraph from "Making Ends Meet" on the author's use of personal experience as a rhetorical technique:

  • Over the course of her experiences, she takes on various jobs in three different cities across the United States. Each of these is uniquely different from the others, and provides her with a greater understanding as she goes through jobs as a waitress, hotel maid, cleaning woman, nursing home aide and sales clerk at Wal-mart. Additionally, as she continues the project, Ehrenreich occasionally goes into a description of her feelings towards the end of each endeavor: the strain on her motivation and her perspective. In the first chapter which describes her first job as a waitress and hotel maid, she ends her ordeal by writing, “I had gone into this venture in the spirit of science, to test a mathematical proposition, but somewhere along the line…it became a test of myself, and clearly I failed…I don’t cry, but I am in a position to realize…that the tear ducts are still there and still capable of doing their job” (Ehrenreich 48). Already we see that some of her spirit has been broken, just after the waitressing part of her research. By the end of another venture – maid service – she is provoked out of frustration and has an outburst of rage at one of her coworkers. This leads to her feeling hated by those who she was to report to and that, “the only thing I know for sure is that this is as low as I can get in my life as a maid, and probably in most other lives as well” (Ehrenreich 114).

Criteria for evaluation:

  • Are appropriate/effective examples drawn from the text? Do these examples fit into one of the categories/techniques identifed in the topic sentence?
  • Make strong use of They Say/I Say strategies (italicize these in your paragraph) from: Chapters 2 ("Her Point Is"), 3 ("As He Himself Puts it"), and 5 ("And Yet") in They Say/I Say (64-73)  
  • Quotes are properly cited in MLA or APA style 
  Value: 5 points

 

 

3. Finally, you need to relate the examples back to the thesis of the text being analyzed. Doing so reminds the reader of the central argument of the text and how the technique you're covering in this paragraph is, as you have stated, important to the forwarding of this argument. Here's the last two sentences of the same paragraph (on the use of personal experience as a rhetorical technique) quoted above, followed by similar "relating" sentences from the text:

  • This leads to her feeling hated by those who she was to report to and that, “the only thing I know for sure is that this is as low as I can get in my life as a maid, and probably in most other lives as well” (Ehrenreich 114). The readers will recognize through Ehrenreich’s feelings, that low-wage work causes the feeling of desperation and low self-esteem and self-worth.
  • This technique is effective because it forces her to keep circumstances similar to the real workers who do this on a daily basis.
  • Ehrenreich does not merely come up with ideas arbitrarily, and the use of statistics proves to the reader that what she expresses has genuine evidence.

  • This proves the effectiveness of the pathos created in Ehrenreich’s technique, because it stirs emotion in the reader as they place themselves in the scenarios faced by the characters of the book.

All of these concluding sentences either explain why the technique described in the sentence that preceded it were effective and/or how it forwards the central argument of the book being analyzed.

Criteria for evaluation:

  • Does the paragraph as a whole fit together cohesively? Does the paragraph reference the central argument of Fame Junkies and how the examples provided support this argument and/or comment on how they are generally effective or not?

 

Value: 5 points  

 

Assignment for Tuesday:

Due: Fifth Response due before 9 AM, Tuesday

Reading Assignment:

  • Read the entirety of Shooting War
  • Read approximately two chapters of your book

 

 

Comments (7)

Hannah Livernois said

at 12:54 pm on Sep 29, 2011

Furthermore, Jake Halpern, in chapter 7 of “Fame Junkies” uses case studies as an effective rhetorical strategy. Halpern argues that Americans are feeling “increasingly lonely and latch on to celebrities as a coping method” (145). All addicts have coping methods, i.e. whether it is getting a fix or finding a safe place, but all addictions cause some affect on the brain. Halpern states through a popular case study that: “Platt discovered that the monkeys were willing to pay (give up Juicy Juice) to stare at the female hindquarters or at dominant males. But they had to be paid (get extra Juicy Juice) to stare at frontal photos of females or subordinate males” (153-154). This study relates to the addiction because it shows the animal instinct of the fame world, you always want what you can’t have. After all, it is easier to talk about celebrities than our own lives. College students “[with] the ‘future-alone’ subgroup who wrote about celebrities like family members, offer us a means of warding off feelings of loneliness and aggression” (146).

Hannah Livernois said

at 1:00 pm on Sep 29, 2011

perrinatisha said

at 12:54 pm on Sep 29, 2011

Team 1:

In chapter one of Fame Junkies, Jake Halpern uses personal reporting incorporated with individual case studies to explore the full effects of the addiction of fame. He specifically mentions an instance where he was asked to refer a good SAT review by one of the students. Halpern, “recommended the Princeton Review, which costs about $900” (14). This was rejected by the parents as “too costly”, where as the parents were spending around $7000 to attend the IMTA convention. This shows us that the parents and students prioritized fame over education.

perrinatisha said

at 1:11 pm on Sep 29, 2011

Final:

In chapter one of Fame Junkies, Jake Halpern uses personal reporting incorporated with individual case studies to explore the full effects of the addiction of fame. He specifically mentions an instance where he was asked to refer a good SAT review by one of the students. Halpern, “recommended the Princeton Review, which costs about $900” (14). This was rejected by the parents as “too costly”, where as the parents were spending around $7000 to attend the IMTA convention. This shows us that the parents and students prioritized fame over education. Halpern explains how Makai introduced to the students that Jessica White was very successful but the chance of this fame is rare “You are rolling the dice” (13). However, as Halpern reports this he explains that the students still believe they have a 50% chance of being discovered and becoming famous like Jessica White (Halpern 13). This is a clear depiction that these students did not bring “reality” into their stardom. These examples illustrate the extent people will go to reach fame and how fame will affect their personal beliefs and daily lives.

Hannah Livernois said

at 1:05 pm on Sep 29, 2011

Team 4 (a.k.a the inglorious basterds)
Hannah, Mike, Adam, Travis, John, and Dari

Furthermore, Jake Halpern, in chapter 7 of “Fame Junkies” uses case studies as an effective rhetorical strategy. Halpern advicates that Americans are feeling “increasingly lonely and latch on to celebrities as a coping method” (145). All addicts have coping methods, i.e. whether it is getting a fix or finding a safe place, but all addictions cause some affect on the brain. Halpern states through a popular case study that: “Platt discovered that the monkeys were willing to pay (give up Juicy Juice) to stare at the female hindquarters or at dominant males. But they had to be paid (get extra Juicy Juice) to stare at frontal photos of females or subordinate males” (153-154). This study relates to the addiction because it shows the animal instinct of the fame world, you always want what you can’t have. After all, it is easier to talk about celebrities than our own lives. College students “[with] the ‘future-alone’ subgroup who wrote about celebrities like family members, offer us a means of warding off feelings of loneliness and aggression” (146). With the examples of college students to monkeys, Jake Halpern feels that these case studies correlate rhetorically to the idea of fame as an addiction.

Colton Michael Dale said

at 1:18 pm on Sep 29, 2011

Team 2 - Colton Dale and his henchmen

Another reoccurring rhetorical technique that is used by Jake Halpern is logos through the use of many statistics and studies on how youth is especially influenced by this growing fame addiction, because children’s minds are so much more impressionable than adults. Halpern states that narcissism is said to directly effect a person’s view of fame. The more narcissistic a child is, the more likely it is that they might have an obsession with fame. In many case studies in this book, it is proven that narcissism is on the rise throughout the nation. Harrison Gough, a psychologist, found that “college students in the 1990s were far more likely than those in the 1960s to support narcissistic statements like [...] ‘If I ruled the world it would be a better place’” (38). One main reason people seek fame is to be well-known and idolized, thus if one has more narcissistic tendencies, they are more likely to work towards fame. Now a days, children have a much stronger sense of self importance then they did before, which is not necessarily as good of a thing as it sounds. With kids constantly being viewed as the center of attention, narcissistic tendencies are likely to appear in these kids. For example, in the 1950’s only 12% of teenagers endorsed the statement “I am an important person.” Compared to the 1980s, where 80% of teenagers endorsed this statement, this is a very dramatic increase (35). Obviously, a dramatic change of children’s personalities is taking place.

Ahmed Alshaibani said

at 1:22 pm on Sep 29, 2011

Team 3; Chapter 5: Ahmed, Nour, Samey, Toma', Derek

Although Jake Halpern effectively uses logos by referring to statistical studies, he also strongly presents his case by establishing a sense of ethos by referring to his personal feelings and personal accounts from celebrities. Throughout his interview with Russel Turiek, it is explained how celebrities are not aware of the burdens that come along with the fame. Turiek states that “When they (celebrities) go into show business, they enter a deal with the devil” (Halpern 106). Turiek explains that the celebrates don’t realize that their publicity is not controlled by them, but rather the media and goes on to call himself “the devils helper” (Halpern 106). Halpern also emphasizes his point by relating to his phone interview with Edge from U2, during which they discuss how the fame causes the celebrity to worry more about the public’s opinion rather than make their own choices. Edge explains to him how, rather than giving the band a “high”, it made them experience a low which caused them to question themselves. After his phone conversation, Halpern explains the effects that his phone call with a celebrity of such magnitude had on him. This “para-social relationship” caused him to, as he referred to it, as “falling into the very trap I was meant to be objectively observing” (Halpern 111). Through these accounts, Halpern provides ethos by establishing a sense of legitimacy due to the status of the celebrities he interviewed.

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