Selecting from the theories provided in Chapters 20 – 21, analyze a set of texts
Selecting from the theories provided in Chapters 20 - 21, analyze a set of texts, an example, or a mediated artifact in terms of the concepts outlined in your selected theory. These chapters outline two very productive theoretical traditions for critiquing public life, communication, and culture. In your overall approach, begin with a 'rhetorical lens' (we'll discuss this further as a class) and conduct a critical/rhetorical analysis of the texts you have selected. For example, if you analyze some form of public communication (speech, news report, statement, debate, campaign...), outline the critical components of your theory in terms of the example. A political campaign would have points of critique in structure, audience, content, context, and argument. A popular media example (i.e. broadcast show, Youtube clip), could be analyzed in terms of rhetoric, or dramatism. These theories are 1. The Rhetorical Tradition of Communication Theory 2. Dramatism Communication Theory As the goal of this essay is critical, you might engage in description (of the necessary components of your artifact), interpretation of ambiguous or variable aspects, analysis of the artifact, and to a greater extent, criticism. Your goal then is to include description, analysis and interpretation in support of your argument about the content. The attendant theories for this assignment lend themselves to such critical work. In the first section of your essay, name the artifact you will be analyzing (media example, personal example) and then name the theory you will be using for your analysis. Also in that first section, briefly define, outline and explain how that theory is structured. In the second section, provide details of the artifact (setting, scene, speakers), then provide the necessary parts of the text (interaction, "actual" words spoken, use transcript format if necessary (e.g. "Speaker A: blah blah. Speaker B: BLAH BLAHHH!"). In the third section, explore how the theory you have described helps (or doesn't really help) explain the interaction. Note, you should select a theory that you think will fit, in order to have a productive discussion. These theories deal with the relationship between rhetor and audience, agent and purpose (Pentad), stories and "good reasons." In the fourth section, summarize your critique by revisiting the main points you've made, and drawing some conclusion for future work. For example, the theory does adequately explain some aspects (reiterate), but doesn't explain all of them (reiterate). Your critique revealed the purpose of the text, or the effects on the audience, and the "good reasons" and their function in discourse. This is a 2-3 page single spaced essay. Follow all normal conventions of APA Style, and ensure that all submitted work is free from mechanical error. Use the guidelines discussed above in "Method" to structure your essay. When you are explaining the theory, or your artifact (textual material, transcript, interaction, etc.), you should provide enough detail to make it clear to your reader, but you should not include excess material that artificially extends the length of your paper. If you are using a scene from a movie, for example, you do not need to discuss the entire plot, or all the characters, or provide a synopsis of its critical reception. Focus on the interaction, what was said, taking care to include those aspects of the interaction that will map onto your theory's concepts. If you are discussing a personal interaction, include only those parts of the life-story that are pertinent, not the "whole life-story" The goal of this essay is to illustrate the selected theory via an example: how does the theory function? What can be learned from using this theory to explain human action? Does this theory map human inter/action, or are there shortcomings?

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