Formatting Requirements: Please compose your draft using a word processor using 12-pitch Times New Roman font, double-spaced with 1” margins. The essay should be from 5-7 pages long. I will only accept a printed copy of your essay.
Purpose and Overview: Thus far in the semester we have discussed the Rhetorical Appeals (Ethos, Pathos, and Logos) and writing as a means of entering a conversation. The purpose of this essay is for you to exercise the skills you have learned thus far of identifying the rhetorical appeals and how two authors use them in two selected essays. Essentially, I am asking you complete a rhetorical analysis of two authors’ essays and compare and contrast them to determine which of the two is more effective and why. This assignment will satisfy Student Learning Outcomes 1-5 listed on the first page of your course syllabus. By the completion of this assignment, you will have spent a great deal of time toward mastering these outcomes, which will in turn prepare you for the final major writing assignment.
Steps to Completion: Choose two essays that address a specific issue from any of the Readings sections in They Say I Say: “Is Higher Education Worth the Price?”; “Is Pop Culture Actually Good for You?”; “Is Fast Food the New Tobacco?”; or “Why Does It Matter Who Wins the Big Game?”; or “What’s Up with the American Dream?”. Remember that I am asking you to write 5-7 pages, so choose two essays that have enough material for you to analyze, compare, and contrast to meet the length requirement of this essay assignment. It is much easier to focus your analysis by choosing two essays that discuss similar topics and themes than to write on two essays that are only tangentially related. Once you have selected two essays, read those essays at least four times, making sure you take notes that focus on identifying the authors’ arguments/theses, their use of rhetorical appeals and canons as well as their arrangement, and the examples the authors uses to make his or her essay more persuasive. Finally, compose an essay of 5-7 pages in which you analyze, compare, and contrast the authors’ uses of the rhetorical appeals.
Tips: Below are some questions that will help you to generate ideas for your essay. These questions are merely prompts to get you started, and should not be used as a formula to complete this assignment.
Ethos: What is the author’s perspective and what biases does he or she bring to the essay? How does the author use his or her authority in the text? How does the author establish credibility with his or her audience?
Pathos: Who is the audience for this essay? What is the audience’s attitude about this subject? How does the author appeal to the emotions, values, and experiences of this audience?
Logos: What basic claim(s) is the author making? What evidence does he or she provide to support these claims? How effective is the author in his or her reasoning and use of supporting evidence?
Although I am asking you to identify two authors’ uses of the appeals, you should not organize your paper by their use of the appeals. Instead, identify how the authors construct and support their arguments through examples and arrangement. Organize your paper logically to follow the use of these supporting examples by comparing and contrasting each author’s respective use of examples, then analyze how those examples appeal to the reader through the rhetorical appeals.
Thesis: Be sure you have a clear and focused thesis statement that addresses the effectiveness of the authors’ uses of the rhetorical appeals, argumentation, and writing overall.
Title: Be sure to come up with an interesting title that gives some indication of the ideas you are dealing with in the essay. Remember, a good title should be enticing to your reader that will motivate them to read the essay with enthusiasm.
Evidence: Do not simply list examples of the authors’ uses of the rhetorical appeals. Use examples from the essay to support your thesis. Everything in your essay should tie in with your thesis.
Analysis: This is a comparative analysis essay, which means that you are analyzing how effective two authors are in making their arguments through the use of rhetorical appeals and supporting evidence. Avoid including your own opinion on the subject matter of the essay other than stating which of the essays you believe to be more effective; however, you can also find both essays equally effective or equally ineffective. And do not simply enumerate the rhetorical appeals used in the essay. Always strive to indentify the uses of rhetorical appeals, how they are being used, and what effect they have on the reader!
Formatting: Your essay must adhere to the guidelines of MLA (we will talk about this more in class). When you quote, paraphrase, and summarize, you must give credit to your sources. The Works Cited page does not count towards your 5-7 page length requirement.
Start this assignment immediately!