Essay 1: Descriptive Analysis
Due date: October 17th
Summary: A 7-to-10 page essay describing three rhetorical artifacts and their relation to your chosen social issue. This essay must have a thesis statement at the end of the introduction and do a six-part analysis of three rhetorical artifacts. Before you begin (NOTE: This should have been completed for your Artifact Introduction Assignment so this is review): 1. First, choose a social issue. This could be one of national and international significance, but don’t hesitate to choose a local issue either, if you wish. You could select something that is pertinent to just Evangel University, for instance. Examples: Depictions of femininity. Christianity and America. Gun control. Racial quotas/preferences in higher education. Sexism. Free will. Education. Unpaid athletes in the NCAA. More evening classes for EU.
Disclaimer: Let’s avoid abortion, the death penalty, gun rights, and gay marriage for this assignment unless you can convince me you have a fresh spin or take on it. These topics have been heavily used in previous semesters, so I want to encourage you to expand to less traveled territory.
2. Then, choose three interesting rhetorical artifacts that deal with or illustrate this social issue. This could be such things as advertising, films, books, songs, albums, YouTube/online videos, speeches, websites, etc. Limit yourself to only two samples per genre—that is, don’t pick three films, or three songs, or three books, but have some variety. It is possible to pick something very simple—like a single magazine page ad—but remember that you need to be able to pull a lot out of it to discuss. So find something that will be fruitful for many pages’ worth of discussion.
1. In your introduction (5-8 sentences), first describe the social issue and why you’ve picked it. Then, briefly describe the three rhetorical artifacts and how they pertain to the social issue. 2. Finish your introduction with a thesis statement. Remember, a thesis statement is an argument and not a declarative sentence, a question, or an announcement. Two sample thesis statements:
A descriptive analysis of six parts of [artifact A], [artifact B], and [artifact C] reveal how each of these pieces work to illuminate [Social Issue].
[Social issue] can be better understood by a six-part descriptive analysis of [artifact A], [artifact B], and [artifact C].
3. Do the six-part descriptive analysis, which will be explained in the next section. Generally speaking, you will be doing six analyses of each of your artifacts, so a total of at least 18 separate examinations. Each analysis should be roughly one or two paragraphs.
4. Be sure to include a Works Cited/Bibliography page with for three rhetorical artifacts.
5. Your paper should total 7-10 pages, not counting the Works Cited/Bibliography page.
The Six-Part Descriptive Analysis:
In your essay, you’ll need to do each of the following six analyses. For each analysis, you’ll need to follow the Claim+Proof+Analysis structure that the book calls the critical equation (see page 30-34, especially 32). So for each analysis, you would 1) claim that such-and-such descriptive element is present. Then 2) give me proof of that—why can you make this claim? Then 3) tell me how well your artifact puts this descriptive element to use.
1. The six rhetorical purposes (pages. 8-13)
a. Creating virtual experience
b. Altering perception
d. Formulating belief
e. Initiating action
f. Maintaining action
Examine each of your three rhetorical selections in the light of these six rhetorical purposes. Which of the six is the best fit for each of your selections? There may be more than one purpose, but discussing just one of them is fine. So for each artifact, you would 1) claim that X type of rhetorical purpose was used. Then 2) give me proof of that—why can you make this claim? Then 3) tell me...
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