English 1010: Essay Three–Analyzing Written Texts
PURPOSE: To write an essay in which you analyze a persuasive article (see below for details). Your goal is to explain how the article’s purpose is shaped and supported through its author’s use of rhetorical devices. As you analyze the article, take care to remain unbiased and not to express your own opinion/position on the argumentative topic.
LENGTH: 4 to 5 double-spaced, typed pages (Times New Roman, 12-point font, 1” margins)
SOURCES: You must cite from your chosen article (below) + 2 other outside sources. This means this essay requires proper MLA formatted intext citations AND a Works Cited page.
Select ONE of these three texts: “A Delicious Revolution” by Alice Walters OR Wendell Berry’s “The Pleasures of Eating” OR “But I Am a Child Who Does” by Sandra Steingraber.
· Wendell Berry’s essay, The Pleasures of Eating
· Alice Waters’ article, A Delicious Revolution
· Sandra Steingraber’s essay, But I Am A Child Who Does
I. Introduction (1 paragraph)–Briefly introduce the issue being debated in your chosen article (i.e., the specific question the article is answering), noting why the issue is controversial and of interest. To do this, you will reference one or more secondary sources, as you want to ensure your readers have a clear understanding of the issue and/or any technical terms under debate. Also, be sure to include the full name of your article’s author the first time you reference him or her in your introduction (thereafter, you will use only the author’s last names); you also will need to note the full title of the article either in your introduction or summary paragraph (thereafter, you will use a shortened version of the title). Conclude your introduction paragraph with a well-defined thesis indicative of the article’s specific purpose and the five rhetorical devices he or she uses to shape and support his or her purpose.
II. Summary (1 paragraph)–Provide a brief summary of the persuasive article; this paragraph should be written in an objective, unbiased manner. In this paragraph, you should use your own words as much as possible (rather than rely upon quotations) and include signal phrases and in-text citations throughout your paragraph (these should be a given in all of your paragraphs—remember that you must intext cite even when you summarize a text).
III. Rhetorical Devices (5 paragraphs)–In each paragraph, you will discuss a rhetorical device used by the article’s author to shape and support his or her purpose (in alignment with your thesis statement). Possible rhetorical devices are as follows: appeal to pathos, appeal to logos, appeal to ethos, style, paragraph and/or sentence structure, figurative language, use of dialogue, humor, tone, repetition, challenges to cultural beliefs.
While each paragraph will include textual evidence from your chosen article to demonstrate the author’s use of the particular rhetorical device, you ultimately should use this evidence to explain how the rhetorical device helps to shape and/or support the author’s specific purpose in writing his or her article. Do not leave it up to you readers to figure out the connection between the rhetorical device and the article’s purpose; you need to clearly and fully explain this connection to them. Please remember to keep each paragraph in this section of roughly equal length.
IV. Conclusion (1 paragraph)–Reiterate your thesis and speak to . . .
To begin the writing process, you first should read through the three articles hyperlinked above.
Also, you will need to include at least two other current, secondary sources in your essay’s introduction paragraph; this source should be a scholarly article from a database (full-text), an e-book (from RPCC’s e-book collection via EBSCOhost), or a physical book, all published within the past ten years. You are welcome to cite information from the main article you’re analyzing, but this will not count as your third secondary source. You are not to use anything from the general Internet, unless you have received specific approval from me; if any unapproved source appears in your essay, one letter grade will be deducted per source.
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Please remember that your purpose is NOT to persuade your readers to accept a particular point of view. Instead, you are helping them to become more informed on the issue through your unbiased presentation of the positions and their common connections.