YOU COULD CHOOSE ANY TOPIC YOU WANT
15 Page Analytical Essay (50%) (due at the end of the semester)
Throughout the semester, you will work on a paper that will be a minimum of 15 pages, not counting the Works Cited page. You will choose a public figure and thoroughly analyze his or her rhetoric in context. Your paper should contain the following:
1. A thesis statement that identifies your figure’s main argument and supporting claims that will be the focus of your paper;
2. Relevant historical or political context that readers need to know in order to understand your analysis;
3. A thorough analysis of your figure’s rhetorical strategies (that is, how s/he is attempting to persuade their audience, and for what purpose). Use quotes and examples from your figure’s speeches, writings, or interviews to support your analysis;
4. A thorough evaluation of the persuasive value of his or her rhetoric–is it persuasive? Is it truthful? Deceitful? Explain why you find it persuasive or unpersuasive and truthful or deceitful (or a combination).
5. A substantive discussion of the significance of this figure and why understanding this person’s rhetoric is important.
Your paper should have the following additional features:
1. It must contain at least one primary source of rhetoric from your chosen figure, but it can also combine multiple (for example, you may analyze one speech or a pastiche of speeches).
2. It must contain at least 2 additional resources, not from your figure, to support your analysis.
3. It must adhere to MLA citation format.
4. It must use language and style conventions appropriate for an academic audience.
5. It must be thoroughly edited.
I realize that writing a 15 page paper may seem daunting to you, but I have found that students really improve their writing more quickly (and learn more) when they craft, edit, and perfect one solid writing example. However, it is essential that you work on it throughout the semester; it is very easy to tell when papers are thrown together in a last-minute panic. I strongly encourage you to make appointments with me to go over ideas and drafts throughout the semester; again, I cannot stress enough, do not wait until the last minute. If you want quality, substantive feedback from me, you must make sure you proactively seek it throughout the semester. I will not be able to sit down with you at an hour and the end and tell you how to “fix” your paper.