A Rhetorical Analysis of a Daily Editorial: ‘Wishing Iraq Well’

Hassan Fartousi


The present study is an attempt to identify the rhetorical pattern and rhetorical devices that exist in an English editorial titled Wishing Iraq well. This editorial was published on December 19, 20011 in the New Straits Times (NST) –the oldest English daily tabloid newspaper- in Malaysia. The theoretical framework of this analysis is based on the Systemic Functional (SF) theory of language and genre (Halliday & Hasan, 1989) which proposes a generic pattern namely generic structural potential ( GSP) of text development for editorials. The data of the study were culled from the website of the newspaper: http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/editorial/wishing-iraq. The aim of the study is to identify the elements of generic structural potential (GSP), their sequence, and some rhetorical figures used throughout the editorial text. The findings revealed eight rhetorically structural elements which include Run-on Headline (RH), Addressing an Issue (AI), Providing Background Information (BI), Initiation of Argumentation (IA), Argumentation (A), Concluding Remarks (CR), Articulating a position (AP), and Articulating a Solution (AS). A number of rhetorical organizational devices/figures such as zeugma, altercasting, metonymy, alliteration, personality, parataxis, antithesis, etc. were discovered as devices of influencing and persuading readers. Sequence wise, the following GSP was explored and formulated


rhetorical figures, rhetorical structure, Generic Structural potential (GSP), daily editorial, zeugma, metonymy

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