Instructions How to Write

Rhetorical Analysis

Rhetorical Analysis

Students should…
1. Utilizing the Toulmin model, and logical fallacies, analyze a current political debate.
2. Research the debate using reliable, and current news sources (2019-2020 sources only), locating the following elements on both sides of the debate:
a. Primary claim, and rebuttal (make sure the rebuttal directly addresses the claim
b. Grounds & backing (for both the claim, and the rebuttal)
c. Warrants on both sides (if unstated, fill in the warrant)
d. One logical fallacy on each side of the debate
3. Clarifications:
a. Because the claim and its rebuttal constitute the two sides of the debate, you are essentially analyzing two arguments.
b. Use as many sources as you need to complete the assignment; the number of sources will vary based on the sources and the nature of the debate.

Style
1. Avoid introductory comments one would typically find in a full-length essay, for instance: “Our textbook outlines the different parts of an argument” or “argumentation is a key element in civic society.” Simply begin with the first argument, for instance: “In the debate over ____, _______ claims ______________.”
2. For each side, provide direct quotations, keeping quotations to 1-2 sentences maximum. It’s better to follow each brief quotation with strong explanations in your own words than to simply string together a series of block quotations. The goal is to show your analytical skills.

Please refer to the following website for additional support: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/academic_writing/essay_writing/argumentative_essays.html

Please remember that the Toulmin Model requires an introduction with a CLAIM. This is followed by the presentation of data to support the claim (GROUNDS). Then, you need the reasons to support the claim, also known as the bridge (WARRANT). You should also include backing and rebuttals.


EXAMPLE provided below of paper
The debate surrounding genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the right to know what is in the food we purchase and consume, has increased in popularity since 2012 when California became the first state to have its residents vote on a proposition that would require food manufactures to label whether any of the ingredients contained GMOs (Robin, 2012). The proponents of labeling GMOs argue that GMOs have a negative impact on human health and the environment (Robin, 2012). They also point out that it is vital for consumers to exercise their right to choose what they purchase and what they put into their bodies. Therefore, the claim made by proponents of labeling GMO foods is that in order for consumers to truly have the right to make their own choices, labeling must be federally mandated and not on a voluntary state-by-state basis (Weiss, 2014). The grounds that support the claim include Shiva (2013) evidencing how farmers need to be supported which translates to the protection of the rights of consumers. Similarly, Pollin (2012) points out the results from scientific studies conducted, and “…the market for GMO seed crops totals about $13.3 billion per year…the fight is about keeping GMOs in farm fields and on supermarket shelves nationwide.”
Experts within the field of environmental science provide backing or support for the argument put forth by proponents of labeling initiatives (Pelletier, 2005; Drucker, 2015). The argument’s implied warrant presumes that labeling is a vital means of communication between the producer and the consumer, allowing consumers to identify the products they would like to purchase consistent with their individual values (Pelletier, 2005).
Some common rebuttals provided by the opponents of labeling of GMO foods, specifically Monsanto and the biotechnology industry, focus on GMO foods decrease crop diseases thereby increasing food production promoting global food security. Furthermore, opponents of GMO labeling further argue that there is no significant difference between the two types of food. If that is the case, then why are there movements against GMO foods? Why do the industries vigorously oppose the simple request of labeling them as it does not affect their sales but only gives the consumers the option to choose? This is clearly a red herring attempting to diver consumer attention to a different issue separate from the labeling issue. Those opposing the labeling of GMO foods may be doing so in the fear of losing financial performance in the market. They are not interested in the right of consumers to make an informed decision. The grounds for these rebuttal arguments are not based on scientific evidence. As such, the backing remains purely speculative, and at best, the evidence comes from individuals and think-tanks that are paid by Monsanto and the biotech industry, “…food companies, fearing that some consumers would shun products labeled genetically, would insist reformulating their products to avoid such ingredients” (Hoffman, 2013). The warrant remains weak, as Monsanto and others have heavily funded advertisements and public relations campaigns against the labeling of GMO foods.
Federally mandated labeling requires only non-misleading information to be provided by the food industry, nothing about the identification or disclosure of any potential risks associated with GMO food (Weiss, 2014). In addition, a majority of the countries around the world already have mandatory labeling, so the United States will be consistent with the global trend. The basic hypothesis is that consumers have the right to decide what food they want to eat. Pollin (2012) reiterated the following, “Labeling of food should be mandatory.” On the contrary, opponents are sheltering under an umbrella that they are feeding the hungry of the world (Robin, 2012). Studies have been conducted that contradict the claim made by opponents of labeling measures, that GMO crops are actually having the opposite effect on crops, thus reducing the biodiversity of key stapes such as corn, rice and soy (Shiva, 2013). This argument has raised further questions about who is saying the truth, but consumers speak volumes with how they spend their dollars, and this translates to whom consumers believe are telling the truth.
Clearly, the debate regarding federally mandatory labeling of GMO crops remains ongoing. Labeling enables consumers make the choice about what to purchase, making an informed decision based on their values. The argument put forth by opponents, led by Monsanto, that GMOs protect food security and have no impact on human health and the environment are flawed. The best way out of this debate is to protect consumers and allow for a simple label that GMOs are present in that food item. The best analogy is that the GMO label is similar to the list of ingredients on a box of crackers – we list the ingredients, calories, fat and peanut allergens. If those items are acceptable to label, then why oppose labeling GMOs?

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