After watching the stand-up bit above, write an essay according to the directions below.


Write a brief essay in which you examine the clip of Josie Longs stand-up routine in terms of its rhetorical approach.  Most broadly, you want to explain this comedic discourse in terms of the rhetorical triangle.  What authorial persona is Long presenting here?  Who does she want her audience to see when she is performing this bit?  Who does she think her audience is?  What are their preexisting beliefs, biases, and values in her estimation?  And how is she playing off of those?  What is she trying to accomplish in this routine (other than to get a laugh, of course)?  Is there some way that she wants to change or challenge her audience?

Simultaneously, you also want to deal explicitly with how this routine works as comedy.  Why does her audience laugh?  What makes this funny?  What rhetorical techniques is she employing to control or manipulate her audiences reactions?  In other words, how do the jokes work?  And how does the joker work?

Rather than writing simply about the meaning of this routine, you are analyzing and explaining how this routine is constructed, contextualized, and delivered and how all of that affects the meaning.  In other words, examine how rhetoric determines meaning.

This essay will allow me to assess your ability to analyze a text, engage in critical thinking, and communicate through academic writing.  Therefore, your writing will need to be persuasive and your evidence well-organized, defensible, and logical.  Provide evidence for all of your assertions.

As much as possible, use the language and tools of rhetorical analysis to make your argument (genre, exigence, constraints, framing, ethos, logos, pathos, rhetorical triangle, rhetorical situation, etc.).  If these terms are not familiar to you, use what you do have to accomplish the above purposes.

This is a timed piece of writing, which isn’t the same thing as a less-constrained piece of writing where you have time to sit with your thoughts, draft and revise, and so forth.  To the extent that the time constraints allow, produce a formal academic essay.  Take a little time to gather your evidence before you start drafting.  Take notes.  As you do draft, make sure your essay is well-organized and has an appropriately formal tone.  Give yourself a few minutes when you are finished to proofread and correct any errors.