Assignment Sheet for Paper 2
For this assignment, you will write a rhetorical analysis of one of these three essays: “There’s a Reason They Choose Schools” by Timothy Wheeler (pages 660-662), “Public Universities Should be Free” by Aaron Bady (pages 575-578) or “On Patriotism” by Donald Kagan (pages 697-703).
A rhetorical analysis does three main jobs: 1) it offers a brief paraphrase of a piece of writing; 2) it discusses the way the writer uses rhetorical appeals to influence the reader through intellect, emotion, or credibility; 3) it evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of the piece of rhetoric, including its overall ability to persuade the reader.
Body Section One: Paraphrase.
State the writer’s main point in one or two sentences. Then, look at each paragraph and record the main idea each contains. Include any important details. Your summary does not need to be exhaustive, but you need to assume that your reader has not read the essay you are talking about, and you should give a good overview of the entire essay. Be sure to include ONLY the points the writer makes. DO NOT make any commentary or assessment of your own on these points.
Body Section Two: Analysis of Rhetorical Elements.
Body Section Three: Your Evaluation.
Talk about the overall persuasiveness of the piece of writing. You can evaluate persuasiveness by examining your personal reaction to the piece of writing. Did it move your emotions? If so, how and why? If not, then what was it lacking, or what could have been better emphasized in order to evoke emotions from you? Did the piece of writing contain sound reasoning, or was the reasoning illogical? Did you find the speaker believeable? Were you convinced by the evidence offered? Was the evidence of good quality? As you conclude, you may offer your personal reaction to the writer’s ideas, if you wish.
Thesis/Focus (20 points)
The paper contains a strong thesis that clearly states the student’s evaluation of the essay chosen.
Audience and Purpose (10 points)
The paper is shaped by the needs and perspective of the audience as well as the writer’s
Organization and Coherence (20 points)
The paper follows a clear organization, using topic sentences and effective transitional devices.
Development (20 points)
The paper provides specific, detailed analysis of the essay, including all three rhetorical appeals and direct reference to the text (quotations).
Correctness (20 points)
The paper shows correct usage of grammar, punctuation, spelling, and both proper paper format and MLA documentation format.
Style (10 points)
The paper exhibits a clear sense of personal writing style that is appropriate to the subject.
|Element of composition||Half points||Partial points||Full points|
|Thesis/Focus||Thesis is present but weak||Thesis is strong but not consistently followed throughout||Consistent attempt made to follow strong thesis throughout|
|Audience/Purpose||Gestures towards awareness of audience||Shows awareness of audience inconsistently||Shows basic awareness of audience throughout|
|Organization/Coherence||Most paragraphs are focused, some transitions are used||Focused paragraphs with transitions||Consistent organization, with smooth, logical transitions|
|Development||Supporting details provided but may be too few or vague||One or two well-developed supporting details||Several well-developed supporting details,|
|Correctness||Student repeats only a few errors repeatedly but they may interfere with comprehension||Some errors present but they do not interfere with comprehension.||Few errors|
|Style||Words and sentences are mostly appropriate and effective||Competent but repetitive sentences and word choice||Some sentence and word variety|
Please note that failure to follow MLA format or the requirements listed on the syllabus will also result in either a point deduction or a failing grade (0), depending on the severity of the infraction.