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EN101 Theme 1: Assignment Sheet

For homework, write a rhetorical analysis of one of the following articles:

1. William Deresiewicz, “Don’t Send Your Kid to the Ivy League.”
2. David Leonhardt, Is College Worth It? Clearly New Data Say

Remember the following things:

  • Your essay must be at least five paragraphs long
  • Your essay must be typed
  • Your essay must be double spaced
  • Your essay must follow MLA style, including a works cited page.

If you do not that the have the above do not come to class. If you do come, I will ask you to leave when we begin the peer editing, and you will be marked absent.

Helpful hints:

  • DO NOT argue the issue. You are not concerned with taking a side on the issue discussed in the article. Your job is to analyze the effectiveness of the rhetorical techniques that the writer uses. That means your thesis will be centered on whether the article succeeds or fails, on the grounds of good argumentation.
  • Your paragraphs should be centered on authority, semantics, and logic.
  • Make sure that you review in-text citation for MLA, including the full context of each of the quotes that you use.
  • Make sure that you remember what the stages of full paragraph development are (avoid ending in support).
  • Let your argument dictate the length of your paper. If you need six paragraphs to prove your point, then use them.
  • Use the language of argument, especially in your thesis and topic sentences. Look back to remind yourself just what bias is, for example. Then prove that it exists in the article based on the definition we used in class.
  • Contact me with questions. Come with a completed draft, not a reason why you were confused about the assignment. The drafts and editing are a significant portion of your overall grade. Don’t blow them off.
  • If you cannot make it for the peer editing session, you can still receive credit for your draft (not the editing). However, it must be sent to me by the end of class via email. No exceptions. Don’t send me an email explaining why you could not make it and then check your email the next day to see my reply about sending your draft. I won’t allow you to send the draft the next day.

For reference, you can find the sample essay and the analysis of it if you follow the links below:

Sample essay: “Condoms: The New Diploma”
Rhetorical analysis: Sample Student Essay

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