Unit 2: Essay #1: Rhetorical Analysis
- Due Sunday by 11:59pm
- Points 50
- Submitting a file upload
- File Types doc, docx, and pdf
- Available Jan 20 at 12am – Feb 9 at 11:59pm 21 days
Essay #1: Rhetorical Analysis
For Essay #1, please write a summary and analysis of any of the articles from Chapter 14 assigned by your instructor. Your audience is educated peers who have read the article and who are wondering what you think about it.
Your rhetorical analysis must include a summary of what the article argues, and also an analysis and evaluation of how well the article makes its points.
Your essay should include the following elements of summary that Greene and Lidinsky recommend:
- the context of the article
- a clear statement of what you feel to be “the gist” of the article
- a description of the key claims of the article
- 1-2 relevant examples (direct quotations or paraphrases) from the article
As no summary is neutral, you must weave an analytical thread throughout your summary that suggests to the reader your judgment of the value of the article. You might consider including the following:
- examine how well the article appeals to its intended audience
- evaluate the author’s use of evidence
- identify the author’s purpose or motivation for writing
- point out the gaps and flaws in the article’s argument
Do not attempt to summarize every last detail of the article. Instead, focus on the gist of the article and your analysis of the how well the article supports its points.
Remember to avoid using first-person pronouns/perspective in this essay. Use third-person perspective only.
Guidelines for Essay #1
Length/Due Date: A minimum of 600 words, due Sunday by 11:59 p.m. CT.
Style/Format: This, as all essays in EN106, should be formatted according to MLA guidelines. As a reminder, the following document formatting guidelines are required:
- Use 12 point, Times New Roman font, double-spaced.
- Use 1-inch margins top, bottom, and sides.
References: Essay #1 should either quote or paraphrase the article you are analyzing at least three times. In each instance, include in-text citations that follow MLA style.
File format: Please submit your essay as a .doc, .docx, or .rtf file. These formats are available in most word processors, including Google Docs and Open Office, and will ensure that your instructor is able to comment on your work.
Works Cited: Create an appropriate works cited page with one entry for the article you are analyzing. Use Easy Writer to learn how to format a works cited citation for a work in an anthology or selection in a book with an editor.
Titles: Include a descriptive title at the beginning of your essay that tips your readers off to your central message. Do not format your title with quotation marks, boldface, underlining or italics. Quotation marks or underlining are only appropriate if the title borrows words from another source.
Deadline: Submit your final draft essay no later than Sunday by 11:59 p.m. CT at the end of this unit.
Use of essays for future courses: Please understand that your essay may be used— anonymously—as a sample for future EN106 students and instructors unless you expressly request that it not be used. Your work, of course, will only be used for educational purposes.
Assessment: See the Grading and Assessment content item under Course Home to see the criteria and rubric I will use to grade your essay.
Why Is This Assignment Important?
A very common type of writing you will produce in your academic career is a source analysis. The ability to engage in close reading of a text, identify salient arguments and evidence, present the text’s ideas in your own words, and evaluate that source’s effectiveness is foundational to entering academic conversations. Summaries also serve an important role in helping other readers make sense of a difficult text. You might think of analysis as the job of a tour guide: you are offering your readers a brief glimpse into another world.
As you learned from Greene and Lidinsky’s chapter, writing a rhetorical analysis involves a great deal of critical thinking and evaluation on the part of the writer. You must identify the author’s thesis (what Greene and Lidinsky call “the gist”), uncover how the key claims of that thesis are supported and developed, evaluate the conversational contexts of the author’s work, and, at all points, consider how your perspective affects your interpretation of the text.
A Word about Plagiarism
Rhetorical analysis is a common type of writing assignments in first-year writing courses. Because of this, you can find countless Internet sites, free and proprietary summaries, and term papers that respond to assignments similar to this one. Any undocumented use of another writer’s words or ideas constitutes plagiarism and is a violation of Park’s Student Conduct CodeLinks to an external site.. Plagiarism may result in failure of the assignment. Multiple instances of plagiarism may result in automatic failure of the course or other penalties outside of this course.