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How can Rhetorical Analysis Benefit You as a Researcher?


Rhetoric is concerned with interpretation as well as production. In other words, it can benefit you as both a reader and as a writer1. In both cases, a person who masters rhetoric analysis focuses on the message that is delivered as well as on the way it is delivered. Again, this is not intended to diminish the importance of the message itself, but to draw attention to the way it is communicated. Being able to evaluate how the argument is made gives us a basis to evaluate the claim itself.

Applying rhetorical analysis as a reader means nothing more than being a critical reader, who is capable of understanding discussions, even if the content falls outside of their field of expertise1. This is also the approach you are asked to take when reading and reviewing your peers’ work in the writing groups. Even though you are not (and cannot be!) an expert in all of the topics that your group members write about, you can (and have to!) provide feedback on the way they use rhetorical moves to deliver their message. As a writer, mastering rhetorical analysis makes you more aware of the rhetorical structure of the text. It also enables you to adopt the various rhetorical moves and adapt them to better serve your purpose1. This gives you more powerful tools to produce effective texts, i.e. to become a better story-teller and “seller”



1Selzer, J. (2004). Rhetorical analysis: Understanding how texts persuade readers. What writing does and how it does it (pp. 279-308). Routledge.