Write a rhetorical analysis of two environmental campaigns (No Impact Man and one
from China) that both address the same specific element of humanís impact on the
environment. Issues you might focus on include the local food movement, shopping
secondhand, plastics, pollution, going car-free, zero-waste, offsetting your carbon
Do not attempt to write a broad essay about the environment or climate change.
Instead, find a focus (like one chapter of Beavanís book compared to a focused political
speech or poster in your home country) to analyze the persuasiveness of each
campaign. Itís ok to teach your reader about a specific environmental issue in your
home country, as long as you can find a way to compare this to either Beavanís book .
The goal of the essay is to analyze the way the parts of the campaign work to deliver
the authorís message, not to persuade your reader to agree with your stance on the
Hereís an example : You might focus on plastic waste by looking at the way Beavan
attempts to persuade his readers to adopt his zero-waste lifestyle in his book No Impact
Man , and then compare his work to an anti-plastics campaign poster you find in your
own home country. Your paper would analyze the rhetoric of each campaign, defining
rhetorical situation, by citing Bitzer, and analyzing the writerís chosen audience,
purpose, persuasiveness, Kairos, logos, pathos, genre, and context.
What is a Rhetorical Analysis?
A rhetorical analysis examines how a text persuades us of its point of view. The paper
identifies and investigates the rhetorical situation through audience, framing an issue,
establishing its stakes, making a particular claim, supporting it, and then persuading the
audience to accept the claim. It is not an analysis of what a text says but of what
strategies it uses to communicate effectively. You must, of course, begin your analysis
with what the text saysóits argumentóbut the work of the essay is to show how the
text persuades us of its position. You might think of the piece you choose to analyze as
a particular kind of engine whose machinations produce particular results. An analysis
of the engine examines all the parts, how they work in isolation, together, etc. to see
how the engine does what it does, or makes what it makes.
Texts and Citations:
No Impact Man
A specific environmental campaign in China, including posters, flyers, websites, political
This Changes Everything
Questions to consider to analyze the efficacy of these campaigns:
? What modes of persuasion are they using? Are these working?
? How is this campaign being done in your home country? How can you offer a
cross cultural perspective on both campaigns?
? How can you teach the reader something new?
? How is each writer trying to persuade the reader to do something new? How
effective is this? Use the text to show us why.
? How can you use reason to analyze each example? Find a way to think more
deeply about the texts.
? How can you use logic to prove your point?
? What is the general meaning/message of this piece?
? How does the work signal audience, purpose, or context?
? Why did the author choose this genre?
? What strategies does the author use to produce the meaning/message?
? Look at visual arguments (colors, font, where your eye goes on the page), as
well as any patterns developed by the work.
? What are the most important elements of the work for you? What stands out?
? Why does this piece work the way it does?
? Describe the effect of the piece, and what strategies produce that meaning,
add some textual evidence to support that, and then consider why and how
this delivers this effect.
Key elements to include:
? A snappy title
? A strong catchy introduction.
? Persuasive writing that addresses your specific audience
? Build a strong case, support it with examples.