What sources/what kinds of sources (and a source can be a person) does the piece rely on for its information, ideas, or assertions?

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Sep 22, 2022


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In order to begin publishing a rhetorical analysis, you first need to break your chosen sources down such that you can discern and understand the rhetorical situations they exist within—as well as the rhetorical strategies your source employs in order to at least attempt to be convincing in its presentation of its argument. Consequently, you need to analyze your sources for answers to the following questions—and/or do research in order to answer these questions.
Remember that every claim you make in an argumentative paper needs to be backed up with evidence. For every answer to every one of the following questions, you should attempt to locate multiple examples from your chosen texts with which you could prove that your answer to the question is correct. You can feel free to respond to these questions using bullet notes—but for each of these questions, you should compile two things: (1) an answer to the question and (2) multiple, highly specific examples from your sources that you could use to prove that your answer to the question is correct.
Thus, if you do this assignment effectively, you will end up collecting all—or at least almost all—of the supporting evidence you will ultimately need to publish your paper. This will make the publishing process infinitely easier.
1. Who created this piece? Who funded/sponsored/published this piece? What do you need to know about the people who made/funded/sponsored/published this piece (their job, their educational background, organizations or special interests they might be a part of, etc.)? Why might they have had reason/motive to make this piece?
2. What central questions is the piece trying to answer about its topic? What is the piece`s thesis? What kinds of action does this piece want you to take?
3. Who is the target audience for this piece—and how do you know this to be the case? What kind of audience does this piece assume it has—and how do you know? (In other words, what kinds of beliefs/value systems does the piece seem to assume you have if you`re going to be seeking out and then reading/seeing/viewing it?)
4. Who might benefit from this piece`s messaging/thesis? Who might be harmed or disadvantaged as a result of what this piece says/how it says it?
1. When was this piece released? Was it in response to a specific event (the release of a movie, an election, a speech, etc.)?
2. What about this piece is overt versus implied? Is this piece open about its values, its biases, its sources for its information? What does it not tell you about its values, its biases, its sources for its information?
3. Who are the voices of authority in this piece? (Who does a news source quote? Who does a documentary interview?) Are there voices left out that would add important perspectives?
4. What sorts of techniques (audio/visual effects, descriptive language, repetition, clips of something, etc.) does the piece use in order to communicate its main ideas? How do those techniques help the piece to communicate its messages?  
1. How might others see/read/experience this piece in a way that differs from the way I see it/read/experience it? How and why might different people interpret/experience this piece in different ways?
2. How and when was this piece shared with the public? How was it distributed—and how widely? (If it is a video, for example, what platform is it on—and can you see how many views it received?)
3. Which of the piece`s assertions are facts—and which are opinions?
4. How does this piece establish its own credibility? What sources/what kinds of sources (and a source can be a person) does the piece rely on for its information, ideas, or assertions? Are these sources credible? How do you know?


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