WRT 105 @5| Rough Visual Rhetorical Analysis of a Key Sequence from Your Doc Film

Read Rosenwasser & Stephen on “Making_a_Thesis_Evolve

Then proceed below.

WRT 105| Rough Visual Rhetorical Analysis of a Key Sequence from Your Doc Film


For our next writing project, build upon your sense of your documentary and your thinking from your film review.

Select what you feel to be a compelling representative sequence from your film. Choose a sequence whose content models—thematically, contextually, and visually— what you feel to be the core argumentative claim for your film.

** Remember – like your thesis statement—that this claim should be specific, complex, and convey a sense of consequence. Like thesis statements, documentary film arguments contain an assertion + rationale (reasoning accompanied by supporting evidence) that support the film’s larger claims: each sequence helps to construct that larger argument.

Also remember that your draft should provide a critical framework for your analysis, a way for readers to contextualize your argument, so you may consider using our “Common_Rhetorical_Strategies_Frameworks Used in Visual Arguments” handout to shape your analysis.

  • Consider assessing your sequence’s type of appeal: does the sequence mount an ethical (establish its credibility as a fair and ethical source) appeal to audiences? Does the sequence choose instead to make an appeal to pathos (an emotional appeal to sympathy / empathy) to audiences? Or does the sequence forego both ethos and pathos in favor of logos (an appeal based on the logic and rationality of the claim it makes)?
  • Also recognize that the sequence constructs at least part of that appeal through its visuals—the how we see of what we see.

As you begin to compose your argument, pay particular attention to your thesis argument. Note that the thesis statement for your analysis need not be a single sentence. Rather, your thesis argument may in fact be a thesis cluster in which you present your thesis assertion in one sentence followed by the rationale (reasoning accompanied by supporting evidence) in a second sentence.

Writing Analytically tells us that strong thesis statements develop through revision, through a process where we as composers add to and revise our initial claims as we account for layers of confirming and complicating evidence. That is, strong thesis statements become stronger as they continue to identify and answer the “So what?” questions they evoke.

Writing Analytically offers this heuristic for thinking about a developing thesis statement:

Working Thesis à Confirming Evidence #1 > Confirming Evidence #2 >

Complicating Evidence #1 >Complicating Evidence #2 > Revised Working Thesis > REPEAT

 For this assignment, then,

  • Draft a rough visual rhetorical analysis of a key sequence from your doc film. Shoot for two pages (~500-550 words).
  • As with your unit 1 assignment, remember that it’s a draft; be rigorous and thorough, but allow the draft be as crappy and unsatisfying as it needs to be at this early stage in the composing process.
  • Post your draft to both your blog and the class blog, and print two (2) hard copies for use in your film group.
  • Read your groupmates’ drafts prior to class, and be prepared to offer substantive constructive feedback.




48 thoughts on “WRT 105 @5| Rough Visual Rhetorical Analysis of a Key Sequence from Your Doc Film

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