Language & Composition

Mr. Eure | Brewster High School

Rhetorical Analysis: King’s “Horror”

On 11/13/12, you wrote a timed rhetorical analysis essay. Here is the free-writing guide to this kind of prompt, which was distributed in class on Friday, and here is the prompt itself:

Complete this response after reading and annotating “Why We Crave Horror Movies,” a 1982 article by horror writer Stephen King. Read King’s argument carefully. Then write an essay in which you analyze the rhetorical strategies King uses to develop his position about why we crave horror movies.


  • You may use any notes and handouts you like while writing this response.
  • You must obviously use your copy of the text.
  • Refer as much as possible to specific paragraphs; number them quickly before beginning your response.
  • Outline your response first.
  • Remember to use quotations and specific details as necessary and efficacious.
  • Try to include sentences that utilizes a version of the subject-verb-object construction given to you in your free response preparatory materials. As you write these sentences, underline them in your response.
  • Include an explicit thesis statement in your introductory paragraph.

 Q1 note: The content grade for this response may be held in abeyance until the start of second quarter. That depends on whether or not I can find enough time to score these during the week. You may also receive a separate content score on your approach, specifically the thesis and introduction of your response.

You read King’s essay on Wednesday the 7th; then you had two days to consider his strategies and the essential questions answered by his essay. Over the weekend, you had time to focus more on those essential questions and review a guide to writing rhetorical analysis essays. Your performance on this essay reflects your understanding of King, your ability to control an essay analyzing his rhetorical strategies, and—most importantly—your investment in a process that spanned most of a week.

This should ring familiar as you read the many other pieces of feedback here, in class, through your email, and through Google Drive; we are interested, as we turn the corner into Q2, in your level of investment and the fruit it bears.


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