Related Reading:

Article a: “We Have No Right to Happiness” by C.S. Lewis (pg 227-231)

Article b: “Remember Death” by Jennifer Michael Hecht (pg 233-245)

Article c: “Aversion to Happiness across Cultures: A Review of Where and Why People Are Averse to Happiness” by Mohsen Joshanloo and Dan Weijers (pg 267-279)

PROMPT: Write an analysis (minimum of at least 4 full pages) in which you carefully critique the rhetorical tactics the writer uses in their argument. For this assignment please analyze the elements in an argument (claim, support, warrant, logical fallacy, inductive or deductive logic, etc.) and rhetorical strategies (the author’s use of ethos, pathos, logos, metaphor, irony, definition, biased diction, etc.) from the assigned article. The assignment is based on the premise that all writing is aimed at a specific audience for a specific purpose. Your task with this assignment is to determine the exact goal of the piece of writing and to explore, on paper, the strategies and rhetorical devices used by the writer.

General Directions: Your essay should be thesis-centered, and follow the format of evaluation that ultimately makes an argument:

“X author _____________________ (successfully / somewhat successfully / unsuccessfully / effectively / somewhat effectively / ineffectively) convinces his/her audience of X argument using ___________________________ (these specific rhetorical tactics).


“Jonathan Rauch is successful in using a variety of rhetorical tactics to inform the unknowledgeable public and persuade them to support biotechnology. He uses various sources with background knowledge therefore appealing to logic, while also using a narrative style to appeal emotionally to a less scientifically inclined audience. The writer establishes credibility and discusses counterarguments to effectively pander to this audience because he puts a scientifically complex subject into simple terms for the reader.”

You’ll want to summarize the author’s ideas in the introduction and immediately identify the core audience the author is trying to convince. Your essay should then analyze specific rhetorical strategies that the author employs in his or her argument and explain how each has helped to convince or not convince the author’s intended audience.

Getting Started: Before you being your analysis, identify the target audience. Who is the author trying to convince? Are you part of that group? Are you convinced? Why or why not?

Format: Essays should be typed and saved as a Microsoft Word Document (.doc) file, and they will be graded according to three general criteria: adherence to the assignment, quality of content, and skill of English usage. Every essay should be in MLA format: double-spaced—including the title and your setup information (name, course, instructor, date)—and have 1-inch margins all around.

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