The Da

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RHETORICAL SAMPLE ANALYSIS ESSAY
NOTE: The following essay was composed to serve as an example only and is not meant to be a format or framework to follow. It serves as representation of effective analysis with accompanying explanatory notes.
Original Prompt: Read the article “The Death of Benny Paret” by Norman Mailer. Then write an essay that explains and analyzes the effect of the passage on the reader. Pay particular attention to how the writer uses diction, detail, syntax, imagery, and tone to produce that effect.
I. INTRODUCTION (Establish background/context and your position. What is it that you are going to prove? How are you going to prove it? Why is it significant?) Two men face off in a contest of strength and tenacity. It is an archetypal clash between hero and villain—or at least Norman Mailer would have the reader believe so. The match between Benny Paret and his rival Griffith reads more like an epic turned upside down—the hero falls, the villain triumphs—than a boxing match between two sportsmen.
Thesis Statement: Mailer’s descriptive account of the devastating event makes readers witness to the tragic death of Benny Paret. Mailer’s rhetorical choices create the image of a majestic fighter who loses his life to an uncontrolled animal; the reader shares the author’s admiration of the victim and the condemnation of his killer. It is the powerful control of language that leaves the reader disturbed and saddened as if experiencing the decades-past loss first-hand.
II. Body Paragraph (DICTION FOCUS)

T.S. In spite of the essay’s title, from the beginning the reader roots for Paret as a result of Mailer’s influence through strategic diction.
C.D. : Explanation and evidence that supports thesis. (Incorporate specific text examples.) The article opens with laudatory description of Paret deeming him a “proud club fighter” admired by…...

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