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"Shitty First Drafts" Rhetorical Analysis   

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"Shitty First Drafts" Rhetorical Analysis    essay
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Author Anne Lamott uses anecdote to have an influential effect on general writers and students. The article is appealing as she is both sarcastic and humorous. Her main purpose is to bring into sharp focus that it is perfectly ok to write horrendous sentences and “shitty first drafts”(176). Lamott is very straightforward in making it clear that everyone makes mistakes. She included her own beliefs and thoughts as well as stories from her personal life. She also made sure to explain that even professional writers are unable to write a masterpiece promptly and efficiently. Lamott is proficient in producing her purpose through the use of rhetorical devices to allure readers and keep them persistent. Anne uses several rhetorical devices to achieve her purpose. She tells an anecdote about her encounter with writing food reviews for the California magazine. She states how “even after I’d been doing this for years, panic would set in. I’d try to write a lead, but instead I’d write a couple of dreadful sentences, XX them out, try again, XX everything out, and then feel despair and worry settle on my chest like an x-ray apron” (178). This adds credibility to her argument so her audience can gain trust on her reliability.

By presenting her experiences in writing, she can embellish how it takes a great amount of time to write a first draft even through all of her hardships. In writing, Anne Lamott did have concern about her work being weak, but she then recognizes that she can start somewhere with a rough first draft. No matter what she goes through she concludes that her final piece usually ends up being unique and gives her a laugh. Ideas are ok to be completely unorganized as long as they are structured to be interesting in their own way. Anne Lamott uses humor to keep her audience engaged and absorbed. For example, she states “All right, one of them does, but we do not like her very much. We do not think that she has a rich inner life or that God likes her or can even stand her. (Although when I mentioned this to my priest friend Tom, he said you can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do)” (177). This is humorous because she was previously talking about how she knows very good writers who are successful but, none of them write beautiful first drafts. Humor is a good idea to include in her piece because it not only keeps a reader hooked, but it also makes their writing memorable. Including this goes a long way in making a short phrase memorable. With humor comes sarcasm that Anne didn’t forget to include.

The use of sarcasm involves constructing or exposing denial between deliberate meanings. For example, Lamott begins her first paragraph with, “now, particularly even better news than that of short assignments is the idea of shitty first drafts” (177). This immediately draws a reader into the article to continue reading on what will be discussed next. Most can relate to the feeling of being stressed out. Not only because of the thought of the assignment but, how to make their piece as flawless as possible.

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“Shitty First Drafts” Rhetorical Analysis   . (2020, February 26). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 3, 2021, from
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