In addition to weekly and daily writing assignments, the major writing assignments (or papers) for this class are as follows:
- The Close Reading (Rhetorical Analysis Essay)
- The Argumentative Essay
- Historical Analysis Essay
Remember, the goal of this class is to write stronger drafts. (Not to write perfect papers.) And because writing is a process, the way to write stronger (more effective, more complete, more rhetorical, more engaging pieces of writing) is to draft. There are two drafts due of every essay. Your grade for the each of these assignments is the average grade you receive on both drafts.
The Close Reading (Rhetorical Analysis) Essay
This essay showcases how you read. That is, what you pick up on, what you focus on, what stands out to you, and asks that you explain why that's the case. Part of evolving into a stronger writer is understanding the kind of writer you are currently. This starts with this essay.
What is a close reading?
The close reading is a tried and tested writing assignment. Click here to read more about what a close reading should look like. The key to this assignment is focusing on one or two passages and developing a way of thinking about and interrogating that passage or two.
What is a rhetorical analysis?
A rhetorical analysis is an in-depth exploration of an author's (or rhetor's) text. Through an analysis of tone, word choice, imagery, and so on, a rhetorical analysis breaks down a writer's text and attempts to point to how and where it works. (Of course, the rhetorical analysis is more complicated than this--but this is what we will attempt in our class.) If you're curious about what a complete rhetorical analysis might look like, click on this link.
So how do I bring these two together?
Well, if I were you, I'd do the following:
- Find a paragraph that really stands out to you
- Freewrite everything that comes to mind about that paragraph. (Fill up at least two pages.)
- Take a nap. I'm serious. Naps help!
- Start organizing your ideas. Look for emergent themes and/or things that you are repeating over and over again.
- Put that aside. (That's your close reading.)
- Freewrite about the actual language being used by the writer in this passage. What is the language seeking out to do? How does this writer do what she/he does? And so on. Stay on the text.
- Pay attention to your terministic screen (see Burke 1966).
- Put the two together!
- And prepare yourself for the second draft.
Thesis-driven Argumentative Essay (First draft due 10/18)
The next essay you will begin to work on is the argumentative essay. Or, as I like to call it, the thesis-driven argumentative essay. In this essay, you will argue an original idea that you extra from Matthew Desmond's Evicted. See the button below for more details. Also, see the Google Drive folder for this class for handouts on incorporating Ethos, Pathos, Logos and/or the Toulmin Method as your argumentative frameworks in developing your argument.
- However, you must, have an argument.
- You must have evidence.
- And, you must demonstrate "unique ways of thinking." (In other words, I want to see some warrants!)
Final Historical Analysis Research Paper
DUE: December 18th by 5:00PM
***If you do not receive an email receipt of, your paper did not arrive.***
****Late papers will not be accepted.****
*****Hand in your paper early if you need to!*****
The final research paper is a historical analysis paper. You will use Halbwachs' notions of memory as a lens (or theory) to reveal a deeper meaning and/or idea you've identified in Desmond's Evicted.