We can learn a lot about rhetorical strategies from Frederick Douglass. First, his rhetorical situation must have been extremely difficult as a writer, in that any analysis of his purpose for writing must be juxtaposed to an evaluation of his white audience, which may have been unsympathetic, even at times hostile. Certainly Douglass had to think a great deal about how best to write this narrative. In other words, simply put, how is he going to “tell” his readers his story, while simultaneously “telling them off”? What rhetorical strategies does Douglass’s use as he constructs his narrative for a mostly white audience? How does he establish “common ground” with his readers? (Here for example is a writer who practices Rogerian Argument before the concept existed). How does he utilize “rhetorical strategies” to get his readers to support the Abolitionist Movement? In this writing assignment, write a four page essay (minimum) that evaluates one (or two at the most if logically connected) of Douglass’s rhetorical strategies at play in his slave narrative. As you write within the context of the assignment, you will engage with some interesting and complex issues that prompt you to think about all the things you have read and thought about during this course so far. Your essay, then, will tend to reflect the extent to which you may apply the readings in this course to your rhetorical situaiton. Be sure to edit and proofread your essay carefully before submission.
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