ESSAY 2 ASSIGNMENT: Textual Analysis
In this essay we are going to look at how people attempt to influence others through language. We will be reading critically and studying carefully the persuasive tactics used in a specific text in order to argue what the author was trying to accomplish in the text and how he or she accomplished it. We will look at how ideas are shaped and presented to an audience to accomplish a specific purpose. For this essay, you will demonstrate your ability to develop a clear argument of a text based on evidence from the text itself. Choose one of the readings from Literature for Composition in the Poem section in Part III: Chapters 18-26. Or you can look at Contents by Genre on p. xxiii-xxv and select a text under Poems. If you’re stuck, try some of these: o “On the Amtrak from Boston to New York City” by Sherman Alexie p.671 o “To Live on the Borderlands Means You” by Gloria Anzaldua p.1109 o “The Unknown Citizen” by W. H. Auden p.1237
o “So Mexicans are Taking Jobs from Americans” by Jimmy Santiago Baca p. 1110 o “The Names” by Billy Collins p.1243
o “Bully” by Martin Espada p.181
o “Barbie Doll” by Marge Piercy p.791
o “Facing It” by Yusef Komunyakaa p. 1241
o “Child of the Americas” by Aurora Morales p. 1107 Consider what the author is trying to accomplish in your chosen text. What statement is the author making? What is his or her purpose? What understanding does the author want you to walk away with when you’re done reading the text? Why did the author write the text? How did the author accomplish his/her purpose? Write an essay that argues the author’s purpose in writing the text and how he or she accomplished his or her purpose in the text. In this essay, you will do a close read of a text and argue your point by using evidence from the text and explanation from you to support your argument. You will only look “inside” the text by...
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