For your next major writing assignment in this class, you will write a rhetorical analysis of an essay of your choosing. While we have been practicing doing rhetorical analysis with a range of media, for this assignment, I’ll ask you to focus on a written text. You may choose any essay-length piece of writing that makes an argument about education, schools, students, or something related.
Your rhetorical analysis should be just that: an analysis, not a summary, of the text you choose. You should consider how the author of the text deploys logos, ethos, and pathos, particular style choices they made, and any other elements you see as important to understanding how the argument works. Note that this essay asks you to write an analysis of the argument’s strategies, and not necessarily your own perspective on this argument. In other words, you may agree or disagree with this argument; either way, this essay isn’t really about that, but is about your ability to break down how the argument works.
Your grade will be determined based on both the quality of your analysis and the care you take with your own writing.
consider all of the elements of a rhetorical analysis, including assessing the rhetorical situation (context, audience, and purpose) and the use of the rhetorical triangle (logos, ethos, pathos)
be driven by analysis that works towards an argument about how the author uses rhetorical strategies to achieve their goals
contain an arguable thesis statement that guides your essay
use topic sentences and focused paragraphs to emphasize main ideas
begin with an introduction that effectively leads in to your essay’s argument
end with a conclusion that does more than summarize your argument
follow MLA citation guidelines for incorporating summary, paraphrase, and quotations from the essay you analyze
be between 750-900 words and use straightforward formatting (12-point font, double-spaced, one-inch margins, page numbers, your name)
To earn an A, your essay will meet the above criteria and exceed some of them, perhaps with especially deep or sophisticated analysis or a particularly solid organizational strategy.
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