Based on our visual analysis of E.B. White’s “Once More to the Lake”, here are the three questions and the four moves to answer any rhetorical analysis task:
- What is the author doing with language?
- Where in the arrangement of the essay is he/she doing it (text evidence)?
- How does the authors arrangement & language accomplish a central purpose/meaning/effect?
- Break the author’s/text’s arrangement into 2-4 major parts.
- Determine what type of language is used in each major part.
- Determine how the language in each part is related. Use these relationships to write topic sentences and transitions in your analysis.
- Explain how the parts of the arrangement and the language therein work in unison to accomplish an overarching purpose/meaning/effect.
Thinking through a piece of text using these 3 questions and 4 moves will increase your chances of earning a 7-8-9 on an open response question or any other explanatory essay you will be asked to write in your other classes.