Your purpose in this 4-6 page (1200-1800 words) essay is to closely analyze one position in your controversy. You’ll do this through the careful (textual and contextual) analysis of a single text advocating a position. For our purposes, a “text” can be loosely defined as any persuasive effort that can be interpreted. A “text” may be a print article (such as an opinion column in a newspaper). It may also be a blog entry, a video, a commercial, an image, or a web-page. You should select a text that makes a clear argument–a text that very clearly asks the audience to believe, feel, or do something.
Note: you can earn three extra credit points on this assignment by bringing your essay draft to the writing center
Your essay should answer the questions:
- What strategies does the text use to persuade its audience?
- Why does author use these strategies, and to what end?
- Are these strategies effective and appropriate given the context?
Your essay must begin with a strong introduction and thesis.
You must contextualize the text by introducing the controversy, explaining the text’s position in the controversy, summarizing its content, describing its publication context (author, site of publication), and explaining its audience.
You should then look closely at three or more rhetorical aspects of the text. You might focus, for example, on: style, emotional language, anecdotes, rhetorical figures (like metaphors, etc.), pathos or logos, appeals to credibility, etc. For each aspect that you choose to analyze, first describe how it is used in the text. Then, analyze the effect of this use. Finally, offer a hypothesis about how this strategy plays into the overall argument the author is making.
In your conclusion, you should summarize your analysis to explain how the text tries to persuade its audience and why it uses those strategies. In this section, you may offer an evaluation: do you consider these strategies effective? Why or why not?
Your essay will be evaluated on:
- Overall structure & clarity
- Sentence and paragraph clarity
- Effectiveness of introduction & thesis
- Appropriate summaries and contextualization
- Choice of analytic examples
- Effectiveness & depth of analysis
- Effectiveness & depth of conclusions
To earn a C or above, your essay must meet these requirements:
- 1200-1800 words
- Two or more sources
- Analysis of rhetorical appeals
- Written effectively and coherently, with few errors in grammar or mechanics
- Written in an appropriate academic style
- Free of authorial position or explicit bias with regard to the controversy.
To be accepted your essay must meet these parameters.
- Times New Roman or Garamond, 12pt font
- MSWord Compatible (.doc, .docx, .rtf, .otd)
- Upper left corner: Name, date, RHE306
- Title in center
- Works Cited page at the end of the essay, with proper MLA citations in alphabetical order.
- Essay must have been peer-reviewed.