Sep 262012

I decided I wanted to do a topic that would really interest me and be very different also. I narrowed all my topics down and here are the three that made the cut.

Thank You for Smoking

This movie offers a very interesting take on rhetoric as it is used in a way very unconventional to us.  Nick Naylor is a spokesman for a big tobacco business and tries to convince people that smoking isn’t bad. It would very cool to analyze this movie and see if Naylor’s tactics are actually successful.


Joe Paterno Billboard

A recent billboard was unveiled that supported Joe Paterno and stated,”you can’t cover up 50 years of success with honor.” I would analyze how effective this billboard is, does it get its message across, and the history surrounding this controversy.


Please God I’m only Seventeen!

This is a poem I first heard during my driver’s ed class. It is an emotional poem written about a kid who dies in a car crash due to his own reckless driving. It is used to make new driver’s understand just how awful the consequences are for reckless and careless driver. I thought it did a very good job in illustrating its point when I first heard it. It would be an interesting topic to rhetorically analyze.

  3 Responses to “Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics”

  1. I am interested in your first idea. I have never seen the move, but it looks really interesting! I think that you would have room for creativity here, by analyzing the effectiveness, the purpose, and whether or not he really believes his argument. You could also bring in outside context from politicians, and business professionals who also push messages of which that they don’t necessarily believe.

  2. I think analyzing “Thank You for Smoking” would be interesting, but it might be difficult to do since it is a full length movie. If you’re up for the challenge, I definitely think you should go for it. If you’re not, I think analyzing “Please God I’m Only Seventeen” would be just as interesting. You could analyze how it’s civic and how it establishes ethos/pathos, etc. There’s a lot of different places you could take the essay if you chose the poem as the topic, and it’s not terribly long etiher so it wouldn’t be a huge pain.

    I wouldn’t choose the Joe Paterno billboard only because there’s so few words to rhetorically analyze. I mean, you could stretch if it you were set on doing that topic but I don’t reccomend it.

  3. The smoking video seemed to be extremely interesting to me. I would suggest this one because it is not an argument that is often heard. The Joe Paterno billboard hits home for a lot of people, however, it is a heard of topic. As well as the texting and driving poem. Not many people are arguing for smoking and it may be interesting to talk about how his ethos and logos are not true because modern science proves that smoking is not healthy. So you could try to work in how the video is misleading.

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