Two Spam Emails Project

Exhibits: Two Spam Emails: David Dixon and Robert S Mueller, distributed in class

These two email messages patently don't succeed in persuading. But we're not interested in why they don't persuade - that's pretty obvious. Your task is to address this question:

What rhetorical strategies do these rhetors use in their attempts to persuade?

In class, we'll discuss some of the complexities in these two exhibits. For instance, we have to clarify what readers are being persuaded to do - and it isn't all that straightforward. We'll need to talk about this.

How to Proceed

Describe both messages, including the context of the message, and rhetorical situation set up in each message. 300 - 500 words or so for each - and concluding with a characterization of each message. Get in close enough to see the rhetorical situation is being defined: what position the rhetor is placing the reader in. You get a glimmer of being through when you can start to define possible rhetorical differences in the two - when you start to move towards analysis.

Analyze by applying the classical rhetorical search model (chap 9). There are a number of starting points to consider. Systematically search through the two emails to discover specific rhetorical moves used by the rhetoric. Choose a way in that your observations of the two email messages suggest might produce interesting results. Then choose a second approach to see if that gains you anything else.

Analysis is naming the parts, looking at their relationship to one another, and discovering the rhetorical patterns in the message. You're looking for patterns, so refer to the Stoner and Perkins, chap 5, for some of the possible sets of patterns. Both exhibits use multiple strategies and appeals. 500 - 750 words, or a little more

No need to come to any conclusions in the analysis.

Interpret by composing your own spam email. Your goal in your email is to either

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