english comp 1101 introductions and thesis statements

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Task:

  • First, choose one of the essays you analyzed in Discussion 3.1 on which to write your Rhetorical Analysis Essay.
  • First, write your thesis statement (see effective and ineffective rhetorical analysis theses here) in which you evaluate the effectiveness of the author’s argument overall. Your thesis should address the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the author’s techniques that you identified in Discussion 3.1. Make sure to mention the author’s name and the title of the essay. DO NOT use the 1st person point-of view (“I” or “I think” or “I believe”) OR the 2nd person point-of-view (“You”) in formal academic writing. Instead, use 3rd person objective case (“Individuals can always…”, “Consumers believe,” or “College students think that…”).
  • In your thesis, you must identify 3 specific strategies and/or appeals (You must have at least 1 strategy and 1 appeal. You can use the ones you identified in Discussion 3.1 or improve upon them using the feedback from that discussion).

Sample Thesis: In his narrative essay, “Just Walk on By: A Black Man Considers His Power to Alter Public Space,” author Brent Staples effectively uses analogy, irony and ethos to convey his message that racial profiling is wrong.

  • Now that you have a thesis, your next task will involve identifying/finding one specific textual example for each of the strategies/appeals you identified in your thesis. Because a rhetorical analysis necessarily examines an author’s use of language, your textual evidence should be lead into, quoted, and cited correctly (see “411 of Citations” handout for short quote and long quote formats). For this assignment, you are finding one example of each strategy/appeal, but later, when you are crafting your essay, you will be asked to find additional examples.
  • Once you have found your 3 textual examples, it’s time to craft topic sentences that support your thesis.
  • Your initial post must be at least 200 words and look like the following:

Thesis: In his narrative essay, “Just Walk on By: A Black Man Considers His Power to Alter Public Space,” author Brent Staples effectively uses analogy, irony and ethos to convey his message that racial profiling is wrong.

Topic Sentence 1: To start, Staples’s use of analogy is quite effective in helping audience recognize the hyper-vigilant state of mind that African-Americans in particular have to face each and every day. For example, the author mentions his whistling of classical tunes while walking late at night and says it is his ” equivalent of the cowbell that hikers wear when they know they are in bear country” (Staples 2).

Topic Sentence 2: In addition, the author uses irony to effectively satirize mainstream America for its ignorance and biases. As an example, Staples remarks:

To her, the youngish black man – a broad six feet two inches with a beard and billowing hair, both hands shoved into the pockets of a bulky military jacket – seemed menacingly close. After a few more quick glimpses, she picked up her pace and was soon running in earnest. Within seconds she disappeared into a cross street. That was more than a decade ago, I was twenty-two years old, a graduate student newly arrived at the University of Chicago. (1)

Topic Sentence 3: Lastly, Staples maximizes on ethos by providing examples of racial profiling by law enforcement, illustrating the irrational and negative impact this has on African-American citizens. Indeed, the author relates the story of how easily a fellow black reporter became a victim of racial profiling. Indeed, Staples states, “Mistaking the reporter for the killer, police officers hauled him from his car at gunpoint and but for his press credentials would probably have tried to book him” (2).

After posting, substantially reply to at least 2 of your classmates’ posts.

Criteria on which you will be graded:

  • Well-considered thesis statement, including author’s name and title of essay. Thesis should evaluate the essay and its strategies and demonstrate that the student read and understood the Writing Your Rhetorical Analysis Thesis page.
  • Three identified strategies and appeals (1 strategy, 2 appeals) or (2 strategies, 1 appeal)
  • Give at least one example for each strategy/appeal.
  • At least three well-developed thesis-supporting statements crafted from the strategies/appeals and examples identified with textual evidence (see sample above).
  • Check your writing for grammar and spelling mistakes: incorrect subject-verb agreement and/or verb tenses will be penalized.

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