Using the text Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
Claudia Rankine has a way, as a writer, of recording a scene and leaving it there for us to examine, leaving its details there to resonate with us after she has finished the story of that particular moment.
Choose one of Rankine’s narratives to reread several times, paying attention to what you find particularly noteworthy about the story she is telling and about her approach to how she tells the story.
Write an essay in which you describe Rankine’s approach to storytelling. Move carefully through the example you chose to reread and examine. What are the moves you see Rankine making? How is she deploying ethos, pathos, logos, or kairos? Why? What makes her telling of the story effective? How does her writing seem to work on a reader? How can you tell those were her goals? And finally, what for you is the relationship between the form (the way Rankine writes the story) and its content (what the story is about)? And how can that relationship help you articulate more broadly the connection between what is written and how it is written?
Use these questions to help guide your thinking, but do not attempt to answer all of them in your essay. Instead, you should use these to find something specific to say, express it in a thesis, and then support your thesis with careful rhetorical analysis and interpretation of the text. In the end, this assignment is about you producing an interpretation of Rankine, asking your reader to see your interpretation as legitimate, and helping us to see why your interpretation is meaningful.
The sandwich quote method must be used with examples from the narrative to support the ideas in the paper.
I will include a PDF of the Rankine’s Citizen text and the narrative that I chose from the text.
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