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ENGL102- Essay 1 - Topic, Essay Guidelines & tips for success

by: Christina Oliva

ENGL102- Essay 1 - Topic, Essay Guidelines & tips for success ENGL 102 050

Marketplace > University of South Carolina > ENGLISH (ENG) > ENGL 102 050 > ENGL102 Essay 1 Topic Essay Guidelines tips for success
Christina Oliva
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For essay 1 draft due 9/26 with revisions from peer review and FINAL DUE DATE of 10/01/2016 includes topic, additional source information, guidelines and tips for success on the assignment
Rhetoric and Composition
Claire Niedzwiedzki
Study Guide
Rhetoric and Writing, Essay, rhetoric, Rhetorical Devices, Rhetorical Situation
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This 5 page Study Guide was uploaded by Christina Oliva on Sunday September 25, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to ENGL 102 050 at University of South Carolina taught by Claire Niedzwiedzki in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see Rhetoric and Composition in ENGLISH (ENG) at University of South Carolina.


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Date Created: 09/25/16
1. Read: G. W. Bush, “Address to the Nation on the Terrorist Attacks”, and here is the text: 2. Research the context and the rhetorical situation. 3. Write a rhetorical analysis of the text. 3 FULL pages. Writing Assignment: Rhetorical Analysis Description: For this assignment, analyze G. W. Bush's address to the nation after 9/11. Using the strategies discussed in class and your readings, you will analyze the artifact and write a 3-4 page paper describing how the author employs the rhetorical techniques discussed in the course, contextual or situational factors that are relevant to the work and whether or not the author successfully accomplished his or her purpose, based upon the elements of the rhetorical situation and use of rhetorical appeals. You should, at a minimum address the following:  Author: (Who is the author?)  Purpose: (What is the author trying to accomplish? – Why did the author feel the need to write the text?)  Audience/Relationship to the Reader: (To whom is the text addressed?)  Context: (What are influencing factors surrounding the event of the text?  Where/When was the text written?)  Voice: (What is the overall tone of the text?)  Genre: (What type of writing is the text?)  Strategies: (How did the author write the text? Does the author follow prescribed methodologies? Does the author deviate from the norm?)  Effectiveness? (Is the author rhetorically effective? Does the text ‘move’ you? Does the text convincingly get you to think critically/differently about the topic/subject matter?) Your rhetorical analysis should also demonstrate how the author addresses or relies on one or more of the three elements of the rhetorical appeals:  Ethos: Appeals to the character and expertise of the writer or speaker  Logos: Appeals based on logic, reasoning, and evidence concerning the subject  Pathos: Appeals to the beliefs and values of the audience If your artifact employs visual elements (keep in mind this is not merely limited to pictures or graphics), you will want to consider the ways in which the author uses visual elements to enhance the document’s effectiveness. In considering the overall design of the document, you may want to address how the author uses the basic principles of design. The five basic principles of design are: o Balance: The distribution of elements from top to bottom or left to right o Alignment: Patterns of visual elements within the document in relation to the borders or background o Grouping: The arrangement of like or complimentary items within the text o Consistency: The extent to which patterns are established or repeated throughout a Document  Contrast: Distinguishing items visually by juxtaposing them against different items (see “visual elements” bellow) In addition to elements of design, you may also wish to analyze some basic visual elements utilizes in your artifact. Some common visual elements (amongst many others) you may wish to analyze are the author’s use of:  Text or Typeface  Color  Size  Visual Effects  Images  Placement Audience: Remember, the writing you do in this class is considered public writing. Therefore, the audience for your rhetorical analysis paper is a knowledgeable stakeholder or educated member of your discourse community (e.g. your instructor, fellow scholars, and/or your classmates). You will be conducting a peer-review after each stage of your writing process (draft, revision, and final). Purpose: The purpose of this assignment is to:  Analyze the rhetorical situation and how the author makes an appeal to one or more of the rhetorical appeals.  Analyze the use of visual elements (if applicable) to enhance the effectiveness of a given artifact.  Articulate and develop a critical and analytical perspective in writing  Develop strategies for critically engaging information and develop it in writing as evidence for arguments  Study writing in relation to articulating human values, cultural perspectives, or interdisciplinary understanding Process: 1. Find Your Artifact: Select either a textual or visual artifact from the readings section of your textbook (note: what you select will depend on many various factors -- it is not always "easiest" to choose the obvious or an article you “like” the most). You may choose an artifact that is entirely text based, entirely visual based, or some combination thereof. In choosing an artifact, students often have an propensity to want to choose short works or pieces that, at first glance, appear “easy.” Keep in mind, however, that a rhetorical/visual analysis is asking you to do something very different that what you would be asked to do when reading for content or conducting a Literary Analysis. In choosing your artifact, you should choose an item that lends itself to the type of analysis you are being asked to do [Hint: you are being asked to analyze the rhetorical nature of the artifact]. 2. Consider The Rhetorical Situation: Read/view the artifact several times over the course of different times/days, paying special attention to not only what the author is saying, but perhaps more importantly, how he/she presents his/her ideas. A good way to begin is to write out on a separate piece of paper what you think the text's purpose is, including: the thesis, the audience, the context in which the text was written, the tone, and the genre of the text. Think about the rhetorical situation (issues of purpose, audience, context, voice, strategies, genre, etc.) in terms of the author’s choices. [Hint: you will want to at least touch on all of the element mentioned above (in the Rhetorical Situation and Rhetorical Appeals sections, respectively), as each of these elements (inter)act upon the others]. A word of caution; however, don't try to write in-depth about all of the elements of appeal and rhetorical situations, or your paper may quickly become unmanageable. Likewise, beware of not going into enough detail or not covering the relevant elements. There is a delicate balance you have to find between these two strategies – one for which there is, unfortunately, no hard fast set of rules for how to accomplish this. While you will need to address all elements, you may wish to focus on those elements most relevant to the text you choose (going into greater depth for those), and go into less depth for those which are not as relevant. 3. Consider The Rhetorical Appeals: You should address all three elements of rhetorical appeals (Ethos, Logos, and Pathos). How does (or does not) the author utilize one (or all) of these three approaches? Note: texts rarely utilize only one of the appeals, but rather typically utilize elements of all three. 4. Consider The Visual Elements: While some artifacts are more obviously visual than others, all texts utilize some elements of visual design. A common method for analyzing a texts visual design is to step back and simply look at the artifact. How does the artifact present itself to you? Are there features of the artifact that seem to “jump out” at you? Are there features that seems to recede into the background? Look at the use of color (if applicable). Does the author use images or other visual elements to enhance the artifacts effectiveness? Take note of how/why the author uses these elements to make the document more effective. 5. DevelopA Clear Thesis Statement: This is perhaps the most critical step in the writing process. You must ask yourself, “What is my purpose for writing this analysis?” Based upon your answer, you should be able to come up with a strong (unique) thesis statement. A thesis statement should reflect what you do in your analysis (i.e. a thesis statement is a roadmapfor the rest of your analysis). Do not simply restate the author’s original thesis (remember the elements of the rhetorical situation -- your purpose is different than the original author’s). In addition to stating your stance, your thesis should provide the reader with a clear direction of where you’re heading (e.g. what’s your topic/issue?, what are your units of analysis?, what conclusion do your come to?, and/or what is the significance of your work?). 6. Support Your Thesis Statement: The body of your analysis should be devoted to supporting evidence for your thesis statement (i.e. it should follow your roadmap). This will entail techniques of direct quotation, paraphrasing, and your own assessment. Donot simply summarize what the author has already stated (this is your analysis). There is an important, but subtle, shift in focus from your thesis to your supporting evidence (viz. your thesis states what you will do, but your supporting evidence reflects what (or why) the original author is doing (it)). This can be tricky, and causes some students difficulty, but we will cover this in class. Additionally, your paragraphs should each, subsequently, address the various rhetorical elements and the aspects of the rhetorical situation of the original essay (hint: you should limit yourself to one particular element/aspect per paragraph). Be sure each paragraph directly addresses your thesis statement. Note: for several of the rhetorical elements, you may have to go outside of the original artifact, to find the appropriate information (e.g. you may need to do a little research to find the author’s birth date and/or professional experience, what was happening, in the world, at the time the essay was written, etc.), if these things are relevant. For each point you want to make in your analysis, you will want to give examples to support your claims. Using examples to support your claims will help your reader understand why you are making the claim you are making. For example, if you find a place in the text where the author is using pathos to appeal to the readers emotions, you should quotethe place in the text where this appeal takes place. Likewise, if you are discussing how the author uses images to enhance a text, you should describe this image (or better yet, include a copy of the image within your analysis) to back up your claims. 7. State Your Conclusion: The purpose of your conclusion is to clearly, but briefly, reiterate whatyou were hoping to accomplish in your essay. In other words, it should reflect (mirror) your thesis. Note: It should not simply be a restatement of your thesis. It is designed to have the reader (re)contemplate on the thesis, in light of the evidence you provided in the body of the text. Cautions:  Avoid lengthy, verbatim quotations and/or paraphrases of the original text. While sometimes helpful/necessary, you should limit your use (and/or the length) of these. The majority of your paper should consist of your own analysis.  Avoid a chronological summary of the artifact (where you move from paragraph to paragraph in the original essay), where you explain each of the author’s successive steps. Rather, organize your essay around the point mentioned in the "Process" section (ensuring that you address the relevant areas of the rhetorical situation and appeal. If an element in not applicable, you don’t necessarily have to address it in detail – use caution however that you don’t omit something important. Additionally, you may want to include something not mentionedby the author, if its omission is significant).  Avoid attributing your own opinions/beliefs to those of the author. In other words, avoid putting words into the author’s mouth. If the author presents an opinion you agree/disagree with, clearly differentiate whose opinion you are addressing. A rhetorical analysis is much less about your emotional response to an issue addressed by the author, and more about your reaction to the process by which the author achieves (or not) his/her intention. This essayis not about whether or not you ultimately “like” or “dislike” what the author has stated. It is about whether the author was successful in persuading you to his/her own opinion(there is a subtle, but critical difference). Final Words of Advice (applies to ALL assignments): ASK QUESTIONS!!!: Unfortunately, there is no simple, formulaic, one size fits all, answer to this conundrum. However, this does not mean there is no hope. The answer, often, lies in simply asking the instructor or your fellow classmates (i.e. if you are unclear about any aspect of the assignment, please askyour instructor or fellow classmates). This is important to keep in mind during each stageof the writing process (starting from before you even begin the actual writing, to the moment you turn in your final-draft). Note: it is not uncommon for students to feel like they have no idea how to begin a paper. One of the best places to start is reviewing the assignment-sheet; this often provides clues as to how to proceed. If, however, after reviewing the assignment-sheet and you are still having questions/difficulties, by all means ask for clarification – instructors, in general, are much less intimidating and are more willing to help than it often appears. Likewise, it is not uncommon for students to start a paper one way, and discover during the peer-review process other students are doing things completely differently – this is an example of a situation where discussing this with your peers and/or the instructor will clarify things for everyoneinvolved. Finally, although a cliché, it is often the case that if you are struggling with something or have questions, your peers will often have these same questions or struggle with the same thing(s); however, it seems, students are often intimidated or have a fear of “being wrong,” that prevents them from asking questions. In my experience, this unfortunate psychological phenomenon needlessly causes no end of confusion and disappointment for all involved (students are frustrated because they don’t do well on the assignment, and instructors are distraught over not clearly indicating their requirements). Ultimately, this entire situation can be avoided, but only if there is an active and ongoing dialogue amongst students and instructors – this really is a “win win” situation for everyone (if, everyone involvedasks questions, when things are unclear). Speaking from personal experience (as both a student and an instructor), asking for clarification is never a bad idea; chances are your many of your peers havethe same questions, and instructors are constantly revising and (re)adjusting their teaching materials and teaching methods, to better their suit their student’s needs. So, by asking for clarification, you serve to enlighten both yourself and everyone involved – this has the result of everyone performing better, in the long run. Thus, I highly encourage you to engage in an active dialogue with your fellow students and your instructor, whenever anything is unclear.


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