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Rhetorical Analysis: Thesis Statements

Published on Sep 30, 2016

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Rhetorical Analysis Essays


Today's Scripture

  • Joshua 1:9 "…Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
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  • Groups share results for Media/Image's Purpose and Audience
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One way we recognize arguments

  • Is through their reliance on the thesis
  • It is a strong, concise statement of the main point and argument
  • It appears at the end of the introductory paragraph
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Sets up your argumentative claim...while the work of persuading the reader is done in the rest of the essay

Think of a thesis in terms of a promise of your complete argument

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The RhetoricAl Analysis Thesis

  • Should include whether the webpage’s argument is effective based on rhetorical devices: ethos, pathos, and logos.
  • The appeals should be addressed in your thesis statement
  • Should be assessing how effectively they are used in the essay versus just listing instance.
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For example

  • The webpage effectively uses ethos, pathos, and logos to make a compelling argument that encourages the audience to take action on ________.


  • it is an evaluation and not an investigative report of every instance of ethos, pathos, and/or logos.
  • you need know what you need to defend, or you will not be able to make your thesis arguable for this essay.
  • you should make it clear that you have taken a position on a topic that is debatable.
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For example

  • “Indiana is east of Illinois” would not be a good thesis statement because it is a fact.
  • On the other hand, “Indiana is not as fun as Illinois” would be a better thesis because people can disagree on the topic.
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Examples Specific To Our Essay

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Missing Argument/Opinion

  • “The CDC webpage uses the appeals ethos, pathos, and logos to reach the audience” would not be a good thesis because it is true and factual that this webpage uses all three appeals at some point. It also does not tell “how” the audience is reached and “what?”

Thesis With An Argument

  • “ The CDC webpage effectively uses ethos, pathos, and logos to convince parents and adults that their information on ADHD is credible and trustworthy”
  • “The CDC webpage uses ethos and logos much more effectively than pathos because…(your reason).
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  • You have an arguable thesis...
  • -Can a reasonable person disagree with my thesis statement? -Can I find evidence to support my thesis? -Is my thesis specific? -Is my thesis NOT a fact, an opinion, or a question?

Here is a formula you can use to help you write a thesis statement that will also help you organize your essays:

Create an "X is Y because of A, B, C" thesis statement.


  • The CDC webpage(X) is helpful for families (Y) because it effectively uses pathos to make them feel understood (A), uses logos to explain the disorder (B), and uses ethos to make families feel confident about the information(C).

Also, you can say...

  • The CDC webpage effectively used ethos, pathos, and logos to (what? how?Audience? or Purpose?)
  • This is the most popular.
  • Example, "The FBI, "Cyber Crime" webpage effectively utilizes logos, pathos, and ethos to convince the public that cybercrime is a serious threat.
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Group activity

  • Create and write a thesis statement for the media/image your group analyzed
  • Share what you came up with the class

Homework instructions

  • Conduct Pre-Analysis
  • Create Thesis and Topic Sentences
  • Gather Evidence
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