Here are some responses to rhetorical analysis paragraphs sent to me for feedback. I put all my edits and comments in [brackets]. Read through them and apply any lessons to your own paper to make sure it’s as good as you want it to be.


What is this modern day epidemic that is being talk[ed] about? Well it is the raging obesity that our young children are facing. The intended audience for this particular article are Nutrition specialists and those studying [] this subject in college[. T]hey most defin[i]tely have a problem to look forward to[] solving.

[That’s a good introduction. You introduce your topic and make the important claim for this assignment – who the audience is. Now the rest of your paper should support your claim. Note that if you claim two audiences (specialists and students), then you must defend both claims. Consider simplifying your claim to the most likely audience and focus your support on that one.]

If health were not such a major issue in the world today, would childhood obesity be playing such a big role in the lives of friends and family surrounding us?

[This sentence does not really contribute to the purpose of your paper – which is simply to make a rhetorical claim and then defend it. No need to discuss the overall topic here. Remember – if any words don’t support your paper’s purpose, either remove them, or revise or relocate them in a way that they *will* contribute and maintain the paper’s focus.]

This electronic world has begun to cause severe problems in the young pre-school aged children today. Does it seem right that a four-year-old child asks to play on their parents I-phone and knows how to operate it? Problems all around our lives are leading up to what the World Health Organization calls “the modern day epidemic.”

[These sentences also seem unnecessary, and even tangential – in other words, why discuss electronics? Yes, they play one part among many in the childhood obesity issue, but mentioning it, especially in the intro, is a clue to readers that you’ll discuss it in more depth later.

On the other hand, if this is a main point that the authors make in the article you’re reviewing, then clarify that that is the case. Then again, if your main claim is about who the article’s audience is, then don’t make another claim about purpose or whichever rhetorical aspect a discussion of electronics supports.]


In William B. Hurlbut’s article on  “Ethics and Embryonic Stem Cell Research” he claims there is a solution to ethically obtaining and studying stem cells [A fine-tuning note: a smoother way to state that sentence would be “In the article ‘Ethics and Embryonic…’, William B. Hurlbut claims there is…”]. He provides a compelling and strong argument on creating stem cells that by definition would not be embryonic. He also claims there are current animal studies religious leaders support as well as natural precedence that would ethically validate these techniques.

[This paragraph introduces the topic of the article, but doesn’t make a rhetorical claim about it, which is the main thing you want to start this paper with.]

He states the controversy with stem cell research arises because obtaining viable cell lines to research leads to the destruction of the human embryo. His main suggested technique is Altered Nuclear Transfer. This process alters a specific gene prior to fertilization.  This alteration would make the cell only pluripotent, meaning it would only be able to form specified cell types, as apposed to being totipotent, where it could give rise to a complete organism.  This change would remove the cells organization and developmental ability, which removes the defining characteristic of an embryonic organism.  This way of obtaining stem cells would replace the use of left over in vitro fertilized cells, as well as cells fertilized in the normal fashion for research purposes, all of which are capable of developing into a complete organism.

[This paragraph continues to summarize the information in the article. Instead, once you begin with a rhetorical claim about the article’s purpose, audience, strategy, etc., use each paragraph to present an argument about one piece of evidence supporting your overarching claim.]



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