In Essay #1 you focused on WHATtexts were saying and how you connected to those ideas; in this new essay #2, you will now focus on HOWan essay communicates its information and message. You will all work with Brent Staples’s “Just Walk On By” for this essay.
Remember, in order for texts to truly move us, they must say what they have to say, and they must say it well. When we discuss howa text works, we are talking about the rhetoric of the text—howit makes its argumentfor a specific audience. As you plan for this essay, I’d like you to follow these preliminary steps:
Using your SOAPAppeal handout, map out as much information as you can about the text’s speaker, occasion, audience, and purpose.
Keeping the intended audience in mind, locate the strongest examples of appeals to ethos,pathos, and logosin the text. Make a note of these examples on your handout, on the text, or in your notebook.
Make a note of the different typesof evidence provided in this text.
Also consider if the speaker’s diction—or specific word choice or vocabulary—would be particularly impactful to this intended audience.
Consider if the tone (the speaker’s attitude toward the subject matter) changes at any point in the essay, or if the tone of a specific passage is especially important.
Finally, make a note of potential weaknesses to the author’s argument. You might consider:
Did the author’s argument rely too heavily on one appeal strategy over another?
Are the amount and types of evidence appropriate for the audience, or would it have been more effective if additional evidence had been included?
Did the author adequately consider the audience’s values, experiences, or possible counter arguments?
Did the author make unfair assumptions or big generalizations about the audience?
This essay should include 5 or 6 well-developed paragraphs; it should be typed and double-spacedin 12-point, Times New Roman font; it should include in-text citationsand a Works Cited pagefollowing MLA format; and the essay should follow my MLA Format for Written Work(see next page).
In each body paragraph, I will expect you to INTRODUCE,CITE from, and ENGAGEwith the textin paraphrases and quotations. When quoting, only use the passages that are necessary for your analysis (avoid over-quoting!). Whenever you put the text in your own words in a paraphrase, remember to also provide an in-text citation as well! And remember that we tend to avoid “you” and “your” in academic writing, and we avoid statements like, “I believe,” “I feel,” and “I think” in academic writing.
Your Last Name 1
Your First and Last Name
29 October 2019 (or other due date)
EN 101.Section # / Gaffey
Project #2 (or other assignment name)
Title that is Unique and Engaging
Your introduction should begin by providing the appropriate context for the text you will discuss. Include the text’s publication information—thewho, what, when, where. Follow this sentence with a description of the text’s “SOAP”: describe the speaker, the occasionthat prompted him to write the essay, and the audience. Don’t forget to also include a statement of the author’s purposeand overall message. You should then logically transition to your thesis, which will clarify how the text works and doesn’t work given its intended audience. This thesis will clearly state your claim(s) and how you arrived at your claim(s). Sample thesis: Salais establishes her credibilitythrough her anecdotal evidence, honest and reflective tone, and appeals to her audience’s values. However, the faulty logic of her argument toward the end of her essayultimately weakens her credibility, as she still seems to be embarrassed by her home language.
The italicized passages above are my claims; the underlined passages are how I arrived at my claim.
The HOW portions of my thesis statement will guide my section topics. See below:
Body Section 1: Analysis of how Salais’s Anecdotal Evidence establishes her credibility
Body Section 2: Analysis of how Salais’s Honest and Reflective Tone establish her credibility
Body Section 3: Analysis of how Salais’s Appeals to Her Audience’s Values establish her credibility
Body Section 4: Analysis of how Salais’s Faulty Logic weakens her credibility
Conclusion: Moving Beyond My Thesis
I could develop my conclusion in the following ways:
I could begin by reminding my reader of my main points.
I could reflect upon the importance of the main topic or message in my chosen text.
I will end with a memorable comment about my topic or about the importance of rhetoric.
Brainstorming Your Thesis for Project #2
Below are common templates writers use to craft thesis statements for rhetorical analysis essays.
I encourage you to use one of these formats, though just like with your first essay,
you might need to modify these templates slightly to suit the needs of your own argument.
Staples uses __________________________________, __________________________________, and __________________________________ to make his readers believe in his credibility.
Through his use of __________________________________, __________________________________, and __________________________________, Staples effectively convinces his readers that __________________________________________________________.
Although Staples effectively does __________________________________ and __________________________________, his readers may not fully appreciate his argument because of __________________________________.
Staples establishes his credibility through his __________________________________ and __________________________________. However, his __________________________________ ultimately weakens his credibility (or claims) because __________________________________.
Staples’s attempt to convince the audience that __________________________________ is ultimately unsuccessful because of his __________________________________, __________________________________, and __________________________________.
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