In this assignment, which is a variation of a rhetorical analysis you will be developing a research question on a significant current issue, finding evidence which guides you to an answer to said question, then writing an essay that both summarizes and analyzes the data and various arguments presented around the issue. While this type of writing might feel disembodied from standard the real world, it nevertheless emphasizes analysis skills useful in outside contexts: Whether it’s being able to break down the strengths or flaws in an argument (debunking why a conspiracy makes no sense), convincing a good friend why their well-intentioned argument is irrational, or in a professional context, being able to perform a needs assessment or marketing analysis.
You may opt to continue with your same topic from Essay #2 or choose an entirely new topic. Similarly, you may focus on your previously chosen audience/context (peer group; lived community; workplace context). Regardless of the option chosen, your essay will need to address the following:
- Describe and briefly summarize the key arguments presented in your evidence.
- Identify the assumptions and premises (e.g. warrants) of the evidence or arguments.
- Analyze the quality of said premises and assumptions (i.e. provide a rationale for why these are valid or weak premises). This means highlighting fallacies or other flaws that weaken the overall argument, and/or highlighting the strengths of the argument.
- Identify the most prominent rhetorical appeals in the argument and their strength.
Similar to Essay #2, I will still be assessing the following technical areas:
- Word Count: The essay should be a minimum of 1750 words (references and title page are not included in this count). That said, don’t stress if you go slightly under or over
- APA References: A minimum of 5 in text-citations which follow APA formatting. A separate APA reference page must also be included.
- General Formatting: This means including a title page, utilizing double spacing throughout, and including page numbers.
As always, I am expecting a well-organized essay that adheres to college standards of writing. Your thesis for this essay should be framed as an answer to your research question from one of your writing exercises. Please note that if your complete draft exceeds 10 grammatical, spelling, or typographical errors, then you will be required to revise before receiving a grade.
Finally, remember that your goal is not to agree or disagree with the arguments, nor is it to propose a specific course of action or solution (i.e. a proposition of policy): You’re evaluating the effectiveness of the arguments and evidence (in other words “is this a good or a bad argument” and explaining why it is/isn’t, in simplest terms). In other words, your personal feelings about the topic are largely irrelevant for this assignment.
I have provided a video below which should add some context to the written text (or if you just like listening instead of reading).