Rhetorical Analysis

Response to Text Essay: For this assignment, you will select an article of your choice and compose a response between 1,125-1,250 words (4.5-5 pages). In this essay you should display an ability to recognize the key points an article is making, briefly summarize them, discuss how these arguments are being supported, and be able to draw connections to how this relates to the subject as a whole. Students should use this essay to begin to think about how to develop a thesis statement that would be worthy to research. This project is worth 20% of your final grade. (Due November 2nd)

General idea for page breakdown

Introduction-.5 page

Summary-1-1.5 pages

Analysis of arguments-2 pages

Revision suggestions/reflection-1-1.5 pages

Conclusion-.5 page


In your introduction you first want to begin by introducing your readers to your prompt. Let your readers know what you are writing about specifically. From there, you will want to compose a focus statement that specifically tells your readers why you are writing and what you will be writing about. A good introduction should let your readers know what the essay will deal with, and why. It would also be wise to introduce the article you are analyzing as well.


With this essay, I want you to focus on breaking down and evaluating scholarly writing. Here, I’m looking for you to initially break down your piece into a short summary (around 1-1.5 pages). I want you to practice breaking down larger essays into more manageable portions for personal reference. In this section I want you to specifically comment on the most important features of this essay. What arguments were of the utmost importance? If you had to tell a friend briefly what this article was about, which sections would you want to highlight? Here, you should think about the rhetorical situation as well. Break down the audience, exigence, and rhetor, and discuss how each of these factors contribute to this piece. In this portion you should cite specific examples from the text. Quote the essay directly, and, as always, use proper MLA style for citations.

Analysis of Arguments

In this section of your essay, I want you to take your summary a step further, and analyze the arguments that your author is making. You could begin by discussing the author’s biography, if available. You can also discuss if you feel the author is qualified to write on this subject? Additionally, you should look at how the paper is structured. What is the main claim, and how is it being supported? Look at what kind of evidence they are using; is it colloquial, statistical, observational, or something else? Is the evidence/research appropriate? In this section you should dissect the arguments created and discuss if they are effective in supporting the goal of the essay.

In addition to that, I would also like you to use this section to comment on her use of multimodality. Is there any present? Could the author have used more images to strengthen their essay? Could they have used other media (weblinks, youtube videos, charts, etc.…) to create a more effective piece?

Revision suggestions/Reflection

In this section, I want you to think about the arguments you discussed in the analysis section, and provide some revision suggestions for this article. What types of changes would you suggest to make this essay more effective? Are there specific sections you would want your author to elaborate on, or are there sections you felt were unnecessary and distracting? Provide direct textual support for your claims here, and cite the text directly when needed.

You can also use a portion of this section to reflect on your own writing. What have you learned from reading this essay? Do you have any new ideas for how you would go about composing? Do you feel you now understand how to compose argumentative work more effectively? Do you feel you have learned anything from this piece? How do you feel about the argument Partanen makes?


Much like your introduction, I want your conclusion to inform your readers of the purpose of your paper. In this section you should reintroduce your reason for writing, restate your focus statement, and let your readers know why you composed this essay. In your conclusion, you should also elaborate briefly on what you learned in this assignment. Do you feel your author constructed an effective argument?

General Guidelines

While composing, I also want you to think specifically about the type of voice you need to use while writing this paper. In the first two essays, the prompts were very less stringent, and allowed for a more creative style of writing. With this essay, your audience is more academic, as you will be breaking down a piece of scholarly writing. Think about how this specifically changed how you go about composing. What types of writing will be acceptable in this style? Can you use a lot of humor, or sarcasm and still win over your audience? After a focus statement, understanding your audience is among the most important parts of writing. Think about your audience, and what type of writing they are going to expect for this type of assignment.

Important Dates:

Library visit-October 16th

Computer lab dates-October 21st & 23rd

Peer review sessions-October 30th

Final Drafts Due November 2nd

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