Writing in Digital Environments

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Blog Analysis

due

Thursday, Sept. 15

deliverables

a 1000-word analysis submitted in your Canvas Discussion research journal.

overview

Your task is to conduct a rhetorical analysis of a blog  and present your analysis electronically. Your analysis must include screen shots from the blog and/or links to specific parts of the blog as examples to support your analysis. You will choose a blog based on your personal writing topic for the semester. For example, if you plan to promote yourself as a cultural critic and will blog about indie films, you will choose to analyze the blog of another cultural critic, preferably one who covers film. Search Technorati or the list of blogs in Alex Reid‘s article for possibilities.

guidelines

You must analyze your chosen blog based on the Design Plan approach to production and analysis. You must address all of the following categories in your analysis plus a final synthesis question:

  1. Statement of Purpose (similar to the canon of Invention): purpose, audience, and context
  2. Production Strategies/Rhetorical Appeals: ethos, logos, and pathos
  3. Mediums and Modes of Delivery
  4. Arrangement: you must discuss an example of written and visual arrangement explaining how the arrangement is part of a particular Rhetorical Appeal that relates back to the blog’s purpose, audience, and context.
  5. Final question: How do all of the above contribute to the overall Style of the blog and how do you define that style?

We will discuss this at length in class and conduct a practice rhetorical analysis of The Pioneer Woman blog. In addition to your notes, the following are also resources:

grading (100 points total, approximately 10% of final grade)

  • 10 points: inclusion of all analysis categories
  • 30 points: clarity and organization of the analysis including the use of images and/or links
  • 60 points: depth and complexity of analysis. This includes but is not limited to:

use of examples to support claims about the blog. Each claim that you make must be supported by an example from the blog.

avoiding commonplace assumptions about purpose, context, and audience (and how to appeal to that audience). For example, to say that a blog’s color palette is shades of pink because the intended audience is women and women like pink is shallow and circular. What are our cultural assumptions about women who like pink? What female demographic does pink appeal to and why? How does the use of pink help the blog author(s) meet their purpose as you have defined it? If the blog is a wedding planning blog, you might argue that the use of pink signals an emotional appeal to some American women’s childhood fantasies of being a princess on their wedding day, and that is a a much more sophisticated analysis than “the blog is pink because women like pink.”

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