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Assignment Description for the Argument Analysis essay:

Your first essay in this course will be a 2-3 page (formatted according to MLA or AA protocol!
analysis (including brief summary! of the rhetorical strategies of a particular argument"
#emember that this essay is your own$it has your own %oice& your own organi'ation and your
own thesis statement" Do not mista(e the fact that a summary is re)uired for simply borrowing
the original author*s rhetorical decisions" +owe%er& there is no place for your response to the
topic in an essay of this sort" You are analy'ing the rhetorical strategies of the author& not arguing
for or against his,her point"
-he first step in an essay of this sort is to read and re-read and re-read the te.t you ha%e been
as(ed to analy'e" /e sure to read acti%ely"
Summary
Your essay should begin with a 0+1#- summary of the te.t you ha%e chosen to analy'e" -his
should be concise and direct and no longer than 234 words" -his re)uirement forces you to focus
only on the main points and not include any of the rele%ant supporting details" -his summary
should ma(e clear the author*s purpose or thesis"
5Do not allow personal opinion to shadow your ob6ecti%e 6udgment" 0ummaries need to be fair
and impartial" Also& ma(e use of attributi%e tags& clearly attributing the ideas to the author (good
practice for your final research paper!"
Examining the Authors Methods
-his section might begin with your own thesis statement" -he organi'ation of your analysis may
or may not follow the organi'ation of the piece you are analy'ing" 7se whate%er organi'ational
strategy seems most appropriate and useful for the purposes of your thesis" You will spend the
ma6ority of this essay analyzing the authors rhetorical strategies and illustrating how these
choices contribute to the overall effectiveness of the argument.
8uestions to answer:
1nce you ha%e summari'ed and e.posed the thesis& does he,she state that thesis e.plicitly or
implicitly9 :hat effect does this choice ha%e on the o%erall argument9
55Did he,she support that thesis ade)uately and through what means9 Did they use statistics and
were they interpreted fairly9 Did they )uote authorities and were those chosen carefully9 1r did
they use analogy or e.amples to pro%e themsel%es9 Are the grounds and warrants acceptable9
Are the writer*s assumptions acceptable9
Does the writer consider all rele%ant factors9 +as he or she omitted some points that you thin(
should be discussed9 0hould the author recogni'e certain opposing positions9 +ow so9
:hat audience does your author seem to target9 :hat strategies does he,she use to gain the trust
and readership of that particular audience9
:hat tone has the author set and how did they establish that tone9 Does this tone help or hinder
their argument9 :hat can you infer about the author*s persona based on the wor( you ha%e read9
+as the author established ethos- ha%e they made their authority clear through demonstrating
ob%ious good character9