The general approach to the paper:

Once you?ve chosen your comedic text/artifact, rhetorically analyze it, utilizing these criteria:

Length: Paper must be at least 1200 words in length.

Format: 1? margins, normal 12-point font, MLA citation style and MLA-style page numbers (NO cover page required), and an MLA-format Works Cited page listing all sources you use.

Source material: You MUST cite at least FOUR credible outside sources (books, journals, pieces from the library database, credible/respected material from the web or other alternative places). You MAY use material I?ve provided in class, too.

Works Cited page: You MUST have a works cited page in MLA format listing all sources used; this list must demonstrate a working knowledge of MLA citation (meaning it doesn?t have to be absolutely perfect, but it must demonstrate at least minimum competency

  • What is the performer?s or the piece?s overall point (thesis) and purpose (to persuade, to shock, to criticize, while also probably inspiring laughter)? How do you know?
  • Who is the intended audience? How do you know? How would you describe that audience?
  • What kind of emotion or tone does the text create and how do you respond to it on an emotional level?
  • What kind of language is used, and how are sentences or dialog structured? How does this affect the text?s effectiveness?
  • Are there any significant shifts in pattern and structure or in tone and language? Especially, perhaps, with comedy, consider the ?tone? (how the performer, speaker, etc., comes across).
  • MAKE SURE you back up the things you say with evidence from the piece itself; that is, use quotations and paraphrases (with proper citations) to support what you say about these texts.

In your conclusion, analyze the overall effectiveness of the piece, in your opinion, with the target audience and with yourself



The author/creator of the piece being analyzed is identified and assessed

The publication/host site of the piece is identified and described

The student writer makes clear claims about the structure and purpose of the piece

The student writer evaluates appeals (logos/pathos/ethos) to the audience.

The student writer provides sufficient evidence from the piece (concrete examples) to support his/her analysis

The student writer evaluates the piece and its relative quality fairly.


The student writer provides enough detail that someone who did not read/view the piece can understand the creator?s points and purpose

The student writer does not provide so much detail that someone who did read/view the piece will find it repetitious or boring

A reader would easily find the places in the piece that the student writer refers to (proper citation)

The paper focuses on rhetorical analysis of the piece and is not just a summary of the piece or simple ?thumbs up/thumbs down? opinion


The introduction establishes a sense of purpose and audience

The text is structured to emphasize important points

The essay exhibits a clear pattern of organization

Paragraphs focus on one coherent topic

Sentences, paragraphs and sections are coherently related with good transitions

The conclusion is adequate in wrapping up the analysis; ending of paper is not abrupt.


A reader can easily distinguish the student’s ideas from those of the piece’s creator

Sentences are constructed to emphasize the most important ideas

Word choice is appropriate for an audience of classmates

? is relatively clean and free of errors (at the word and sentence level).The paper has clearly been carefully proofread.

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