English1302 Essay #1

Essay 1: Rhetorical Analysis & Response

Instructions for Essay 1:  Rhetorical Analysis / Reader Response

You have already written two brief rhetorical analyses in this unit.  For your major essay, you will write another rhetorical analysis, this time combined with a response or rebuttal.

Format:  MLA paper format and documentation.

Sources:  at least one source (the essay you are analyzing).  Use of additional sources is encouraged but not required.

Length: Three pages,  approx 800 1000 words

Due Date: Refer to the assignment calendar for this course.

First,  read/view the texts that I have provided for you in the folder Texts for Essay #1 located just below these instructions.  Choose one of these texts to be the subject of your analysis and response. You will notice that there are a variety of texts to choose from, including videos and hybrid written/spoken multimedia texts.

Approach your rhetorical analysis much like you have with the previous assignments in this unit.  Identify elements such as audience, purpose and context as a means of understanding how the text communicates its main idea (also known as a thesis).  Also identify and provide examples of the types of appeals used by the author, pathos, logos, ethos, etc.

The new element for this assignment is that you will be responding to the main idea or thesis of the text that you are analyzing.  In other words, once you have established what the texts thesis is and how it communicates that thesis, you will then need to add your own voice, ideas and opinions to the mix.  Think of it as joining a conversation.  Do you think the author of the original text is mistaken?  Has he/she failed to consider some important point?  Or do you agree with the author?  Perhaps you can provide additional reasons, examples and evidence to support the thesis.  Sometimes you can both agree and disagree with the author, but if you do so, be sure to clearly identify which portions you agree with and which you disagree with. 

An outline of your essay might look like this:


            Identify the text, the author and the subject matter. Make sure your reader knows what you will be talking about in your analysis.

Rhetorical analysis

            Analyze the rhetorical situation (audience, purpose, context, visual or spatial elements, auditory elements, etc.)   Explain how these elements, along with the author’s use of logos, pathos, and ethos are used to persuade or convince the audience and evaluate the effectiveness of these elements.  This section might be several paragraphs long.


            Respond to the authors thesis by agreeing/disagreeing.  Add your own ideas opinions and examples.


            Wrap up the essay by restating your conclusions and position on the topic. 

There are three individual due dates associated with this essay.  Look at the assignment calendar and you will see them listed as:  

Essay 1 – Post Working Draft

Essay 1 – Compete Peer Review

Essay 1- Submit Final Drafts

For the due date associated with “Post Working Draft”  you will post a complete draft of your essay to the appropriate forum in the Peer Review Board.  How and where to do this are explained in the Guidelines for Peer Review, located near the end of Unit 2.  By the second due date, Complete Peer Review, you will need to complete two reviews of drafts submitted by your classmates.  Again, instructions for how to do this are located in the guidelines.  After the peer review process is complete, you will submit your final draft on the date indicated as “Submit Final Draft.”  

The final draft of your essay will be submitted via the link provided at the end of Unit 2. 


Choose from the articles in this folder for essay #1.

No Way to Elect a President

by Frank Bruni,  The New York Times.  April 19, 2016



Paul Bloom, psychologist and Yale professor, argues that empathy is a bad thingthat it makes the world worse. While we’ve been taught that putting yourself in another’s shoes cultivates compassion, it actually blinds you to the long-term consequences of your actions. In this animated interview from The Atlantic, we hear Blooms case for why the world needs to ditch empathy.


Should Apple be Forced to Unlock an iPhone?

Forcing Apple to Hack That   iPhone Sets a Dangerous Precedent

by Congressman Darrell   Issa.  Published in Wired Magazine, Feb 27, 2016


The Real Victims of Victimhood

The Real Victims of Victimhood by Arthur C. Brooks, The New York Times, Dec 26, 2015


“Don’t Ban Photos of Skinny Models”

Friedman, Vanessa.  “Don’t Ban Photos of Skinny Models.”  The New York Times. 6.25.2016


“Can Reading Make You Happier?”

Dovey, Ceridwen.  “Can REading Make You Happier?” The New Yorker.  June 9, 2016


“Under Attack”

Curbs on free speech are growing tighter.  It is time to speak out.

From The Economist, June 4 2016.


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