Essay #2: Argument Analysis
Choose one of the memoirs that we have read in class: Cofer’s “The Myth of the Latina Woman,” Tan’s “Mother Tongue,” or Barrientos’ “Se Habla Espanol.” While each of these narratives discusses a personal, meaningful experience in the author’s life, the texts also present a position on an issue. Write an essay that analyzes the argument presented by the author in the text; do NOT use any outside material for this essay. We are understanding the text’s argument solely by its own merit. In order to accomplish this analysis, students must analyze the author’s stance by discussing the logos, pathos, and ethos supporting his/her stance. Therefore, the author’s stance MUST be stated in YOUR THESIS and an analysis of logos, pathos, and ethos will comprise the body paragraphs. Remember, to support each of these three features of rhetorical appeals, the student should reference the text to prove his/her claim. For instance, Amy Tan argues in “Mother Tongue” that intelligence cannot be judged by one’s ability to speak a language. The issue arises as a result of Ms. Tan’s inability to speak proper English, resulting in a mixed form of English and Chinese, or Chinglish, also considered by some linguists as “broken English.” However, inability to speak a language does not reflect the complexity of one’s mind, cognitive awareness, comprehension, and therefore, intelligence. Last Name 2 In order to demonstrate her point, which relies on a definition of intelligence, Tan discusses her mother’s ability to read Shirley MacLaine novels as well as the Wall Street Journal. This is a logical appeal that relies on contextual clues; the audience must understand the meaning of the reference to Shirley McLaine and the the Wall Street Journal, which speaks something of Ms. Tan’s intelligence. For instance, the magazine comes with a certain prestige, particularly as the journal is economic and finance related. Since numbers, economy, and their...
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