The rhetorical analysis project was my first true attempt at using persuasion in my writing. To complete the project, I first selected an artifact that was effective in persuading me. I first listed the ways in which the artifact persuaded me. I then made a list of all the rhetorical tools we had covered so far in the course. I went through the list to determine which of those tools were included in the artifact. This was a helpful exercise for me. It was the first time that I had taken an artifact and evaluated how it was effective in persuading the audience. I was also able to identify some other rhetorical tools that could also have been utilized to make the artifact even more effective. For example, in my rhetorical analysis of a Mothers Against Drunk Driving public service announcement, I stated “I believe that the rhetorical approaches used in this artifact are more likely to appeal to parents, a population that may not be at the highest risk for drunk driving. To add appeal for teenagers, imagery could be added to this PSA to illustrate teenagers being taken from their friends and from participation in extracurricular activities.” This project helped me to better understand the use of imagery and language to appeal to the audience’s pathos. For example, in my rhetorical analysis I described how the artifact “uses imagery to raise awareness for the social change that is needed and to persuade the audience to follow the call to action. The artifact uses red colored stick figures of family members doing typical family activities such as a mother walking her child to school.” The project helped me to learn how to appeal to the audience’s sense of responsibility and to persuade them to participate in active citizenship. As a future social worker, I believe that I will be using many of the same rhetorical tools analyzed during this project in my advocacy efforts. This project fulfilled the course learning outcomes of “engage in the process of citizen leadership by investigating multiple perspectives on important public issues” and “understand how the knowledge, skills, and values learned in general education are interwoven and interrelated, and how they can contribute to the process of citizen leadership.”


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