Rhetorical Analysis

ENG 121 Essay #4 Rhetorical Analysis Prof. Sutter

This is the keystone assignment for ENG 121: the Rhetorical Analysis. In this assignment you will use all the skills developed in this class, demonstrate your ability to read critically and evaluate another writer’s writing, and finally to craft a well-written essay about what you have read.

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Assignment: You will analyze the argument made by a professional writer. Pay attention to how the author relies on first order logic, claims of fact, value, and reason; pay special attention to the author’s use of rhetorical devices. Consider the author’s tone and the purpose of the different parts of his essay.

Audience: You’re writing this analysis for college-educated person who has read the essay but may not agree that the author makes a strong (or weak) argument, or why. Therefore, you’ll need to use evidence from the reading to explain your main idea. Keep in mind that you will need to write a thesis around which you will organize the material.

Resources: Readings assigned in D2L, class discussions, notes and sample writing.

Strategies for completing the analysis:

1. Undergo a critical investigation of the chosen article taking careful notes.

2. An analysis essay should develop a thesis statement. In order to define and narrow your particular subject, review your material until you take a position. Your position will be about how well the author argues, not your personal stand on the issues or whether you agree.

3. Formulate your thesis in a sentence. Ask yourself: what exactly is the point I want the reader to understand?

4. Organize your analysis in the light of this thesis. Have two or three main reasons that your thesis is true. These are your topic sentences. Each paragraph must have a topic sentence that connects to the thesis.

5. Gather all material that supports your argument. This material will come mainly from the article in the form of summary, paraphrase or quote. Do not simply summarize. Make sure you have a topic sentence and offer explanation of the material you are using to support your ideas.

6. Introduction: Work on arousing the reader’s interest and focusing his attention on your topic. Mention the title of the article and author’s name. Include your thesis in the introduction.

7. Conclusion: Don’t simply repeat yourself. Use new vocabulary and a new supporting detail. Give them something to remember!

Formatting: MLA, 5-7 pages. (I will stop grading after seven pages.)

Grading criteria: Purpose: How effectively do you respond to the assignment, accomplish the purpose and follow the directions? Are you clear and convincing? Audience: How effectively do you take into account audience needs? Do you use enough concrete detail from the text? Is your tone appropriate? Organization: Do you include the author’s name, title of the text, and main thesis in the first paragraph? Do you use transitions? Development: Does your analysis include sufficient detail and examples to support the thesis? Does each paragraph have a topic sentence? Do all the sentences in the paragraph support the topic sentence? Style and Mechanics: Is your paper free from punctuation and grammatical errors?

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