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University of Missouri Kansas City Apologia Descriptive Analysis Paper

University of Missouri Kansas City Apologia Descriptive Analysis Paper

Question Description

Paper Two: Apologia

Technical Requirements

5-6 pages

Font: 12-point, Times New Roman

Spacing: Double Spaced

Margins: one-inch

Rhetoric must be approved one week before the due date.

At least four sources in addition to the rhetorical artifact.

Due dates are listed in your syllabus.

Selecting a Topic

In this paper you will be analyzing the apologia of an individual or organization. Apologia is how a rhetor responds to accusations of wrongdoing. Some potential topics have been posted on BlackBoard. You may analyze a single statement of apologia, such as a press conference or press release. Or, you may analyze a series of apologia texts.

Before you Write

The first step is to identify the apologia strategies within the rhetoric. To accomplish this, you should complete an apologia descriptive analysis outline. This can be found on BlackBoard, under outlines. After completing this outline, you should begin your contextual research. Some questions to consider while conducting contextual research include:

What was the act of wrongdoing?

What were the key issues surrounding the wrongdoing?

Who made the accusations?

What was the public’s opinion on the key issues?

Who were the important target audiences, and what were their opinions on the key issues?

oWhat segments of the public would have been offended by the wrongdoing?

Was the wrongdoing consistent with the rhetor’s biography, or did it violate her/his existing narrative?

Did the wrongdoing conflict with longstanding societal values?

Anything else that would have helped or hurt the rhetor.

After completing the contextual research, determine what were the rhetor’s barriers and advantages. Then consider how the apologia strategies addressed the barriers and/or maximized the advantages.

Overview of the Paper

Introduction (about one page): Here you should explain the context in which the apologia emerged. Some of the issues you should address in this section include:

Who is the rhetor?

What was the perceived wrongdoing?

Was this her/his first response to the perceived wrongdoing?

oIf not, you might briefly explain her/his previous attempts at apologia.

Who were the target audiences? That is, who did the rhetor need to convince (e.g., consumers, voters, moviegoers, television viewers, etc.)?

What contextual barriers did the rhetor face?

oWhat were the audience’s opinions about the key issues?

oDid the wrongdoing violate the audience’s values?

oBe sure to substantiate these with credible sources.

Did the rhetor have any advantages?

oBe sure to substantiate these with credible sources.

Before beginning the analysis you should lay out an argument about the rhetoric, and preview the rhetorical strategies you will be discussing. Here is an example of how this might look:

In his apologia, Bill smith never actually apologized. Instead, he shifted the blame, attacked his accusers and promised corrective action.

Analysis (three pages): In this section you will be explaining the apologia and other rhetorical strategies that were used by the rhetor. In this section you should provide textual and contextual evidence to support your assertions. Here’s how that might work:

Bill Smith relied on bolstering throughout his press release. He stated that, “I hope this incident does not prevent me from continuing my charitable work.” Smith then offers a list of organizations to which he has contributed. This bolstering strategy allowed Smith to contrast negative media portrayals with his philanthropic work.

Conclusion (about one page):

In this section you should summarize the paper, before evaluating the effectiveness of the rhetoric. You will be assessing whether the rhetor was able to address barriers and/or maximize advantages. If not, what other strategies could she/he have used? You could also use contextual evidence here to establish whether the rhetor was ever able to rehabilitate her/his image. In some cases an image is not rehabilitated, but reinvented.


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