Rhetorical Analysis of Merchants of Doubt (Essay Sample)
Write a 3-4 page double-spaced essay (minimum two outside sources) rhetorical analysis of Merchants of Doubt in which you identify its claims, discuss the types of evidence used to support those claims, and determine whether the film’s argument is persuasive or not.
It is not enough to restate the film's argument. You must break the argument apart and evaluate the methods of persuasion employed by the filmmakers. Discuss the validity of the facts, statistics, and personal stories employed in the film.
This paper must be formally documented in MLA-style. It requires a Works Cited or Reference page with a minimum of two outside sources. Sources should be from reputable media…no Wikipedia or encyclopedic sources should be part of the Works Cited page. (You may consult Wikipedia/IMDB for context, but do not cite them in your essay.) As always, your work will be run through turnitin-software, so be sure that no incidences of plagiarism occur—either intentional or unintentional.
The paper must be logically organized, must maintain a consistent position, and must be free of grammatical error. The essay will be graded on the strength of your argument, on your prose style and on the quality of your content.
You may choose either the Toulmin model (claims, support, warrant) or the Aristotelian model (ethos, logos, pathos) to evaluate the film.
March 11, 2023
Merchant of Doubt Full Analysis
Robert Kenner filmed a documentary titled Merchants of Doubt, which was made available in 2015. The documentary examines the strategies and tactics used by those who disagree with the scientific consensus on climate change, genetically modified organisms, and other environmental concerns. The movie is based on the 2013 release of the same-titled book by Naomi Oreske and Erik Conway. This essay will examine the claims made in the film, the various types of evidence used to substantiate these claims and assess the persuasiveness of the case made in the movie in this essay.
The book analyzes the strategies organizations and people have used to cast doubt on the scientific basis for some environmental issues in the eyes of the general public. The movie's central claim is that the organizations and individuals it depicts are "merchants of doubt" who further their objectives by using dishonest techniques, including cherry-picking information, exaggeration, and false equivalency to delay the adoption of essential industry laws (Assouline and Lyon 25).
The film's main argument is that so-called "merchants of doubt" use
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