• April 11th, 2016

Rhetorical Analysis Paper

Paper, Order, or Assignment Requirements

Thesis: State the working thesis that you will assert in the final argument, and explain in about a paragraph why this will be the thesis you want to argue. The thesis should surprise readers with something new or challenging and should be interesting, specific, and manageable. Resources for the Thesis: A&B pages 37-42 & 454-456, EW pages 63-69 & 163-164

What criteria would define an “A” thesis section?

State the main point of the essay. State the claim without summarizing your supporting argument or forecasting your structure. For the thesis section as a whole, one should summarize their argument, describe the structure of your essay by providing each point and its purpose,


What are some things that would result in a lower score?

Staying off topic, having an unclear purpose or topic, or having no thesis included, not keeping the thesis interesting throughout the thesis section, being repetitive throughout the section,

What advice can you provide for students to earn a high score in this category?

Ensure that your thesis statement is debatable and doesn’t have a clear yes/no answer. This will draw your reader in more than one that is simple, not complex, and has no depth. Also make sure that the questions being posed are unique or new. Newer questions that haven’t been posed yet are also more likely to fully capture the attention of your audience as opposed to those that have already debated before.

(A&B page 38-39 gives great advice about creating a surprising thesis -CG)

Thesis should have tension to present surprising information

Audience: Since this a persuasive essay, you are addressing a specific audience that disagrees with your point of view about this issue. The essay should be written to change this audience’s view or perception. Articulate who this audience is. What background knowledge do they have about the topic? What are their values and beliefs? What will you do to appeal to pathos, so that the audience is motivated by your argument? Resources for the Audience: EW 53-54, A&B pages 19-21, 355-358 & 363-364

What criteria would define an “A” audience section?

•Clearly defines who the paper is addressed to and what the background and subject is

•It explains the audience’s belief and attitudes and what kind of knowledge they have on the topic.

•Explains how the writer will appeal to ethos, pathos, and logos using examples. (note from CG, I ask specifically about pathos, since this is the audience-based appeal)

•How effectively the writer appeals to the audience’s emotional side using narrative examples and testimonies

What are some things that would result in a lower score?

•Not clearly defining who the paper is addressed to.

•Not using background knowledge of the audience

•Not effectively using examples to provide credibility

•Having multiple and disparate audiences -CG

What advice can you provide for students to earn a high score in this category?

•Have a clear insight on the information that you want to address

•Include examples on how you intend to portray your appeals.

•Make your claim, reasons, and underlying assumptions interesting enough to change the audience’s view or have the audience consider your stance on the subject.

•Consider your reader’s motive, values and beliefs for reading

Counterarguments: What opposing views and unstated assumptions will you have to address in your paper? Articulate those counterarguments, and explain how you can respond to them. Resources for Counterarguments: A&B pages 351-355

What criteria would define an “A” counterarguments section?

Elaborate upon your ideas

Makes sure to summarize to counterargument fairly (good! -cg)

Strong Reasoning.

Refute counterarguments by providing a strong reubuttal

Sometimes concedes to opposing views.

Acknowledges that there will be alternating and opposing views to your claim or reasoning

What are some things that would result in a lower score?

Failure to link paragraphs in an organized manner

Improper citations

Poor reasoning for claims

No response at all to a counterargument

What advice can you provide for students to earn a high score in this category?

Appeal to logos by elaborating on sources

Appeal to pathos through connotations, emotional experiences, etc.

Appeal to Ethos through reliable sources


Listing facts in logical order to avoid bouncing ideas

Works Cited: Use MLA style formatting to include a bibliographical list of the sources cited in the proposal. Resources for the Works Cited, A&B pages 565-575k

What criteria would define an “A” Works Cited?

-Using MLA System

-Includes all sources mentioned in the paper

– Does not include works that you read but did not use (good! -CG)

-Entries are arranged alphabetically by author, or title if there is no author

-Entries include medium of publication of the source consulted

-If there is more than one entry per author, the works are arranged alphabetically by title. For the second and all additional entries, type three hyphens and a period in place of the author’s name.

What are some things that would result in a lower score?

-Not using the proper format to develop the work cited

-Not including all works used to develop the paper

-Including works that were not used in the paper

What advice can you provide for students to earn a high score in this category?

-Follow MLA guidelines and be sure to reread your work cited to make sure there are no errors before submitting

-Make sure you used all of the works that appeared on the paper and not does that you did not use

-Use a website such as “RefWorks” to develop citations. Revise them afterwards.

-look at a model, like on page A&B 583

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