1. RHE 306
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Research Summary 4

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Assignment Overview

For essay 2, you will be asked to analyze the persuasive strategies of a single text that takes a position on your controversy. For this assignment, your task is to write a 350-450 word paper in which you analyze how the author of your chosen text establishes his or her authority and uses it as a persuasive device.

Note that 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.


This research summary must include three sections:

In the first paragraph of your summary, briefly introduce your controversy and chosen source. Explain where the source was published. Introduce the author.

In the second paragraph of the essay, explain the context of the source. Where and when was it published? What event or text is it responding to? What is its purpose?

In the third part of your summary (1-3 paragraphs), chose two or three specific examples of ethical appeals: places in the text where the author establishes his or her authority over the text. These might be images, texts, citations, descriptions of the author’s family or achievements, etc. For each example, make sure that you introduce the example, describe the example, and then analyze by explaining: how that example establishes authority, what kind of authority is being established, and who that authority might appeal to.

In your conclusion, sum up your analysis by evaluating the examples. Does the author effectively estabish authority? Is the authority appropriate for the audience? Is it appropriate for the debate?


Research Content



Note: research summaries that do not meet these parameters will not be accepted.