A rhetorical analysis essay includes some very specific sections, each of which must meet specific criteria.
Section I: Summary
The essay will begin with a one-paragraph summary of the article about which you are writing. This summary should be no more than one paragraph. You may consider the summary your introduction.
The final sentence of your summary should be a two-prong thesis statement reflecting your understanding of the author’s main point as well as your evaluation of the effectiveness of his or her argument and rhetoric.
Your summary must conform to the guidelines set out in class and can be no longer than 150 words.
Section II: Rhetorical Analysis
Your job in this section of the paper is to analyze whether the author made a convincing argument.
Your essay must evaluate all of these elements:
The author’s thesis—what argument does the article seek to prove?
The author’s purpose—what is he or she trying to accomplish? This is NOT the same thing as what he or she argues; instead, it is the reason he or she argues.
The author’s methods—what strategies does the author use to support the thesis? Here you will want to also look back to Chapters 2 & 3; the suggestions regarding critical reading there can be really helpful.
The author’s persona—how does the author present himself or herself on the page?
The audience—to whom was the author writing? Here, consider the article’s content and its original venue of publication.
Taken together, all of these should help you to form a judgment: Is the article convincing?
The essay should use standard English grammar and sentence structure and be formatted according to MLA specifications.
The paper must include proper in-text citations and a Works Cited per MLA specifications.
The paper must be submitted online via the Essay 2 assignment link on MyCourses by midnight Sunday, October 11. Remember that late papers suffer 10-point deduction for each full day late, including weekend days. Papers submitted more than a week after the due date will earn a maximum of 50.
The paper must be your own original work, as confirmed by Turnitin.com—the paper should submit to Turnitin automatically when you turn it in.
Submit your paper in either .doc or .docx You can download a free copy of Microsoft Word from the UMHB website to use in writing your papers. Do not submit your paper in either .txt or .pages format; also, do not save the paper in .pages format first and then try to convert it.
Before submitting your official first draft, check that each of these elements is correct:
Paper format conforms to MLA specs.
Internal citations and Works Cited conform to MLA specs.
Thesis statement includes your understanding of the author’s thesis as well as your evaluation of the rhetorical effectiveness of the original article or essay.
Every paragraph begins with a clear topic sentence.
Your paper has no internal inconsistencies and accurately reflects the author’s opinions.
Your paper contains no fragments, comma splices, or run-ons.
Once you are confident that you have met all the demands, please submit your official first draft.