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Due: Sunday, June 21st by midnight
Length: 1,000 words (3-4 pages)
Outcomes we are working on in this essay:
1. support and develop a thesis-driven paper more than three pages in length;
2. engage in a dialogue with a text, integrating their own ideas with those of others;
3. construct a logical, well-supported argument;
4. understand academic writing conventions and make appropriate decisions about grammar, usage, punctuation, word choice, and style;
5. quote, paraphrase, and summarize a text;
6. use parenthetical references to cite sources according to an established documentation system.
For this essay, choose one essay that you will analyze at length. You may write on the essays by Joseph Epstein or Barbara Ehrenreich, OR you may choose an essay from a website called The Electric Typewriter, specifically from the page called “150 Great Articles and Essays.”
We will be doing something called a rhetorical analysis, which means to analyze the effectiveness of the essay and its appeal to the reader. Your analysis should address the following questions:
What is the argument of the essay?
How does the author make that argument? (What points and subpoints are used? Does the author appeal to any emotions from the reader? Does the author present him or herself in any particular way?)
How effectively does the author reach the audience? (were certain parts of the essay stronger than others? Where does the essay succeed and where does it fail? Who is a part of the audience and how does the author reach out to them?)
Your thesis will answer the questions: Is the essay effective? Why or why not? To make your case, you will need to look at specific passages from the essay in depth. Separate out the different parts of your chosen essay and discuss them in detail.
Important: this essay is meant to be formal. That means no “I” is allowed and you should leave out all personal examples. It will be your opinion, but you shouldn’t discuss yourself directly. Also, I’m not looking for your view on the subject of the essay you are analyzing. For example, don’t write about your views on adolescence and adulthood if you are writing about Epstein. Instead, give your view on the essay itself. The question is “Did Epstein write an effective essay?” not “Is Epstein correct in his views?”
For more help with this essay, see the “Introduction to Essay #2” available in “Instructions and Readings” from Week 3.
Use quotations from the essay you choose and cite it properly using MLA format.
I will grade your essay based on the following:
Meeting the required word count (1,000+ words);
Using a thesis statement in the introduction that sums up the main point of the essay;
Using well-organized, developed, coherent paragraphs;
Focusing on the assignment questions (does your assignment analyze HOW the author’s argument was made, rather than focusing on the subject the author is writing on?);
Quality of the analysis (does your assignment make valid, convincing points about your chosen essay?);
Grammar/punctuation/spelling (does your assignment use mostly correct grammar, etc., so that your ideas come through clearly?)
MLA Format (do you have mostly correct in-text citations and a works cited page with no more than one or two minor errors?).
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