Mini-Documentary Essay

Barkley 100 by Brendan Young

“In this essay, you will analyze the rhetoric of a documentary film, specifically its purpose, audience, persuasive appeals, and its effectiveness.  Essentially, you are analyzing the argument that the filmmaker makes, how he or she develops it, and the extent to which he or she is successful in achieving the purpose. A major part of your grade on this essay (content and development) will be your understanding of how the filmmaker presents his or her case: e.g., through statistics, expert testimony, personal experience, humor, archival footage, soundtrack.”

“Introducing Rhetorical Analysis Through Documentary Film” - Renee H. Shea (AP  Curriculum Model)



To practice what you’ve begun with your analysis of An Inconvenient Truth and prepare you for your first major paper of this course, you will write a short essay on the following prompt:

Analyze the rhetorical techniques utilized in the mini-documentary “Barkley 100.”

While/after you watch the short film (you can rewatch it on youtube using the above link), note the rhetorical appeals utilized to try to persuade an intended audience.  You may want to use a graphic organizer like this to focus your thinking and guide the construction of your response.  Use the rhetorical appeals we have learned in class; consider the ethos, logos, pathos, exigence, and kairos of the exchange.  Do not merely make a list of rhetorical techniques though. Instead focus on a few that seem to be the most important or persuasive.

Remember to address (answer) the following questions:
- What is the purpose of this piece of rhetoric (what argument is it making and to whom)? - How is this argument made (what techniques are used)? - How effective is it in persuading the intended audience?

You will have class time tomorrow and Friday to write your paper, but not rewatch the movie.  This essay will be graded as a homework assignment.

Due: by the end of class Friday (1/10), submitted through Turnitin.

Length: 500-600 words, double spaced, no headers