Due October 12



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Charlie Lemmink – lemminkc@siu.edu Due October 12

Course Website – http://mypage.siu.edu/lemminkc/engl101 Rough Draft Due October 7




Summary and Rhetorical Analysis Essay
For this minimum five-page essay that will be due on October 12th, you will summarize an article and analyze how it uses rhetorical strategies to support its overall argument. This means that you will be studying an essay to determine how it makes that argument. The form of your final thesis will then be something along the lines of: The article, “(article title),” by (author name), works to convince readers of (a brief summary of the author’s conclusion) by (a summary of the rhetorical techniques the article employs).

Notice that this example thesis structure does not say if the article is successful or not. This is an important distinction, because this essay does not ask you to determine whether or not the article convinces you of its thesis. Your opinion of the article’s overall conclusion is irrelevant. What is important in this essay is that you understand what the essay is doing to be convincing: what the article is doing to try to convince readers.



Your analysis might focus on the following strategies that articles use to be successful, but you do not need to be limited to this list (that is, creative ideas are welcome): appeals to logos (appealing to logic or reason/writing focused on the subject of analysis), appeals to pathos (appealing to the audience, typically by trying to sway their emotions or using their value system/writing focused on convincing the audience), appeals to ethos (appealing to the reader’s sense of who the writer is, typically by showing that the writer is trustworthy/writing focused on establishing something about the writer), utilizing a non-standard form, using figurative language or an unusual vocabulary, and so on.
Your essay must analyze one of the following articles from the Mercury Reader:

  • Susan Estrich, “Separate is Better” (159-163)

  • Ann Hulbert, “Boy Problems” (166-169)

  • Brian Doherty, “Those Who Can’t, Test” (171-177)

  • Bill Nave, Edward Miech and Frederick Mosteller, “A Lapse in Standards: Linking Standards-Based Reform With Student Achievement” (179-192)

  • Nancy E. Cantor, “Civic Engagement: The University as a Public Good” (194-205)

  • William Zinsser, “College Pressures” (207-215)

  • James Barszcz, “Can You Be Educated From a Distance?” (218-221)

  • Caroline Bird, “The Case Against College” (223-226)


Essay Checklist

  • Summary of your chosen article’s argument.

  • Analysis of how your chosen article presents its argument.

  • A starting thesis and a conclusion about how your chosen article presents its argument.

  • Proper use of MLA citation for all sources/throughout.

  • Your last name and the page number must be on every page after the first.

  • On the first page: your name and a title centered at the top. The title must not be something like “Second Paper” or “Rhetorical Analysis”; it must be something related to your essay.


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