Homework and Class Work for ENG 100A Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Homework and Class Work for ENG 100A
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
4th Period: Jamie Hall, Jacob Perry
1. Review the powerpoint on the teacher page entitled “How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis.”
2. See your instructor for a packet of handouts related to this material.
3. Analyze your text for style as shown in the above instructional tools.
English 100 Assignment
Rhetorical Analysis
Aristotle argued that rhetoric was useful for two reasons: (1) so good people could speak well to others in
matters of ethical persuasion; and (2) so that good people would not be duped by rhetorical strategies used by
unethical agents. With that in mind, you are to practice the art of rhetorical analysis, the explication of
rhetorical texts and contexts as a means of (1) evaluating the rhetoric of others and (2) understanding how to
appeal to others yourself.
Following the steps on pages 124-129, write a rhetorical analysis paper. For this assignment, you are to write an
academic essay, using conventions of Standard American English and MLA style; your audience for this essay
is this class and, notably, your professor, a representative of academia. In this 1000-2000 word (4-8 pages,
double-spaced) essay, you are to offer a focused rhetorical analysis of how a particular issue is argued. You
will need to examine at least one argument in relation to an issue, but you might also examine more than one
argument to analyze how people are arguing differently over the same issue. (Sometimes, through comparison,
we can demonstrate strategies more effectively.)
Your analysis should be focused, with a thesis that holds your observations together and creates
an argument. Your analysis should demonstrate dominant rhetorical strategies that work in relation to a specific
audience and purpose.
Because this is an academic essay, you must follow certain academic conventions. For example, you must have
a thesis, one that is explicitly stated early on in the paper, and one that is analytic in nature. Your thesis, or your
argument, should help the reader better understand the kinds of rhetorical appeals that are being used given the
target audience(s). In order to develop such a thesis, you will need to offer defining descriptions of the
audience and of the purpose(s) you see at work within the rhetorical artifacts (the argumentative texts) you are
analyzing. In order to support and sustain your thesis, you will need to explicate textual details; in other words,
you will need to provide evidence for your claims by excerpting and commenting on features of the texts. Some
things to keep in mind:
Rhetorical appeals divorced from audience and purpose are meaningless; define who the audience is by
articulating their values, attitudes, assumptions, etc--at least insofar as they are embedded in the
discourse you are analyzing.
Have a tight, narrow focus; you can't analyze everything. While you may see variations of ethos, pathos,
and logos at work, if you try to cover them all without some specific focus, you will not have the time or
space to develop any kind of complex or mature argument.
Focus on how the texts say, rather than on what they say. Do not slide into arguing about an issue.
Instead keep your focus on how writers around this issue persuade and how they are persuaded. Any
descriptions of content you offer should be subordinate to and subject of analysis. In other words, do not
focus on the subject matter or topic, but instead focus on how the author presents it and the rhetoric
associated with the topic.
Evaluation Criteria
I will assess your essay according to its rhetorical effectiveness. Specifically, I will look at the following:
Assignment Criteria. Have you met the assignment's necessary fundamentals: is your essay clearly an
academic essay, reliant on Standard American English and utilizing MLA style? Do you analyze the
rhetorical strategies present in the course readings and models, explicating them and showing how they
are persuasive and are tied to a specific audience? Have you met the required length of 1000-2000
Expectations/Standards. Does your essay conform to standard expectations within the academic
community regarding content, style, and form? Is your grammar immaculate?
See the rubric for more details regarding the assessment of your paper.
Due Dates
Your rough draft of this assignment will be due in HARDCOPY form in class on a date TBA. Please
bring five copies (one for you, one for me, and three for peers) to class. You will write feedback on peers'
papers for homework following the class, and we will then workshop the essays face-to-face on the next day in
class; please see the peer review questions. We will then move into editing workshops, spending a couple of
class sessions examining primary grammar issues at work in the drafts you present.
Your final paper (one copy) will be due as a hardcopy in class and as a submission on BlackBoard on
date TBA.
page last updated Sept. 2012
English 100 Assignments
Rhetorical Analysis Feedback
Peer review
Please answer each of the questions below as you respond to your peers’ rough drafts. Be as
specific and detailed as you can in your response: avoid vague and general feedback that
doesn’t say much, such as “I liked your essay; it was good.” Or “I think your thesis needs
more work.” Say instead things like, “Your thesis is very broad right now; it covers X, Y,
and Z. If you refocus it just on X, then I think you could develop the paper further; for
example, you could talk more about…., and about….”
1. State, in your own words, the writer’s thesis. What is his or her specific argument
about the rhetoric surrounding a particular issue? In other words, what is his or her
main claim, and what is the evidence he or she is using to support that claim? If you
have difficulty paraphrasing the thesis, then say so and explain why. Also attempt to
explain what might make it better.
2. Point out those places in the draft where you think the writer is providing convincing
evidence for his or her thesis. These should be passages of text that the writer is
rhetorically analyzing—pulling apart and commenting on in order to show
persuasion at work.
3. Point out those places in the draft where you think the writer needs to provide more
evidence—claims that are not supported with examples or analysis. Suggest
possible ways to develop that evidence.
4. List those places in the draft that you think might not belong, that might be “offfocus” or “off-thesis.” Explain why you think they might not belong and how they
might be revised to belong if possible. (Or perhaps they should simply be cut.)
5. In very general terms, do you think this paper should be re-organized? (That is, are
there any sections that need to be moved elsewhere, and if so, explain how and why.)
6. What do you think is working well in this draft? In what ways is the draft meeting
the assignment?
7. Is there any way in which this draft is NOT meeting the assignment? How could that
be resolved?
8. Other comments?
Note: You will receive another Peer Review Document in class to use in addition to
or in conjunction to this feedback.