Paper 1 – Rhetorical Analysis – Draft and Final Submission
ENC 1102 – Spring 2016
For your first paper, you will be writing a rhetorical analysis. A rhetorical analysis examines how an argument is created and the strength of the methods used to create this argument. In particular, you’ll be examining how well the author uses proofs (pathos, ethos, and logos) and definitions to persuade the reader. Remember, you can argue that the writer does not use these techniques well!
We will practice this type of analysis over the next two weeks. Here are some questions you may want to consider when writing your paper:
1. How does the text play to our emotions? How strongly does the text make its argument by appealing to our emotions? How does the text appeal to our logic? How strongly does it make its argument through that appeal? What underlying assumptions may be found in the argument? Why do we trust the author? How does he or she build credibility? Who is the audience for the article, and how strongly does the writer succeed at appealing to that audience?
Keep in mind that this a paper – you will not be answering these questions one by one, but instead, you will be writing an argumentative analytical paper. After going through these questions, you should come up with a thesis that essentially argues that the author made a strong argument through the use of X techniques, or the author did not make a strong argument because of how he or she used X techniques. For this paper, focus on just one side or the other to argue. Imagine that you have a scale; the strengths of the argument are on one side, and the weaknesses of the argument are on the other side. Which side is “heavier”? That’s the side you should argue. It’s fine to acknowledge the opposite side in your paper, but the majority of your analysis should focus on just one issue.
You have two options. Choose only one:
1. Use one of the articles that I introduced in class. You could analyze any of the following:
? “Honk if You’re an Aggressive Driver”
? “The Undercover Parent”
? “Why NCAA Athletes Should Not be Paid”
? “Little Girls or Little Women – The Disney Princess Effect”
2. Pick your own article related to your potential topic for Paper 4. Your article must come from a professional source and be at least 800 words (otherwise, you will not have much content to work with). You could also use any articles from our textbook. If you’re using an article not found in our textbook, be sure to attach a copy of the article to your submission.
You will want to begin your paper with an introductory paragraph that introduces the topic that you have chosen. In this first paragraph, you should note the title of the article and the author’s name. Your last sentence in your introductory paragraph should be your thesis. It is VERY important that your paper focuses on analysis – answering “why” we should see the rhetorical techniques used in this article as strong or weak. Otherwise, your paper will just be a summary.
Each topic sentence should be completely in your own words (no quotations, paraphrases, or summaries) and should present an argument that develops some aspect of your thesis. Then, you will want to give one or two examples. You will want to paraphrase or quote these examples, following the methods that we will discuss in class. Remember that you need to frame (introduce) each quote. Then, you will want to provide an analysis of each quote. The majority of each paper should be your analysis. Do not let quotes take over your paper!
Note: I’m asking you to provide specific examples from the text to support your analysis of the article’s argument. Please note that you may completely agree with what the text says, but think the way the argument is made is lousy or vice-versa. This assignment is not asking for what you think about the topic; it’s asking for you to analyze the methods the author used to develop his or her position.
Your paper should end with a conclusion. In your conclusion, you might want to address one of these questions:
1. Ultimately, what does your rhetorical analysis reveal about the text you analyzed?
2. Why is your explanation of the text or the rhetorical concepts important to your readers?
Remember not to introduce any new data into this section.
You are not required to do any outside research for this paper. If you do, please upload a copy of the source material with the particular information you used highlighted. Using outside sources is never a problem. Not citing those sources, however, is. For any ideas, words, or phrases that come from an outside source, you must cite them – include the author’s last name and page number in parenthesis after EACH SENTENCE that comes from an outside source. For any words or phrases that come directly from the source, you will need to use quotation marks around those words or phrases. Also, please be sure to include a Works Cited page if you use any outside sources. If you have any questions about using or documenting a source, please see me before you submit your paper.
Please send me an e-mail with any questions or concerns: [email protected]
1. Required Draft due by 11:59 pm on THUR., Jan. 28 – For this draft, at a minimum, include your intro paragraph and first body paragraph. You are welcomed, of course, to submit more! Your submission should be a minimum of 300 words. The stronger this draft is, the easier it will be to complete the final version. If you are using an article you found, be sure to upload a copy of that material as well. This draft submission is worth 5% of your final grade.
2. Paper 1 due by 11:59 pm on Sat., Feb. 6 – Please upload your paper to the Paper 1 Dropbox. If you are using an article you found, be sure to upload a copy of that material as well. You do not need to upload a copy of the readings that we looked at in class (“The Undercover Parent” etc.). This final version should be a minimum of 750 words. It is worth 10% of your final grade.
Completing this paper will address the following learning objectives:
• Read critically to identify and analyze an author’s position, purpose, voice, audience, and writing style
• Recognize fallacious and/or misleading arguments
• Use an accepted academic format and documentation style
• Identify, gather, and evaluate information from a variety of primary and secondary sources, including electronic sources
While you will not be required to use secondary sources for this paper, you will be working closely with your primary source
• Summarize, analyze, and incorporate information and ideas from sources
• Write at a level of advanced complexity of thought, diction, and style
• Use audience-appropriate rhetorical strategies to organize and develop academic writing
• Present conclusions and judgments that are consistent with the preceding arguments and evidence