Purpose: To think critically about how your chosen author has used rhetorical strategies in their argument, and to construct your own argument, supported by analysis of textual evidence from the autho

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Purpose: To think critically about how your chosen author has used rhetorical strategies in their argument, and to construct your own argument, supported by analysis of textual evidence from the author’s work, regarding whether the author’s use of rhetorical strategies was successful.

Task:  Craft your rhetorical analysis essay, using your work from your Unit 3 discussions, your instructor’s feedback on your discussions, and the instructions and guidance in our Writing the Rhetorical Analysis Essay resource.

Assignment Checklist

  • Your essay should begin with an introductory paragraph that introduces and contextualizes the work you will be analyzing in your essay.
  • Your introductory paragraph should conclude with a rhetorical analysis thesis, one to two sentences in length, that argues whether the author(s) succeed in creating a persuasive argument and which names the rhetorical strategies that they use (or fail to use) in doing so. (Be sure to revise your thesis based on your feedback from Discussion 3.2!)
  • Then, your essay should contain three or four body paragraphs, including the paragraph you developed in Discussion 3.2, if you wish, revised using the feedback received on our discussion.
  • Your body paragraphs should each begin with a topic sentence that refers to the point in your thesis you will be discussing in that paragraph.
  • Your body paragraphs must also include textual evidence from the work you are analyzing. This textual evidence should be specific and must be analyzed to show how it supports your argument. All quoted, paraphrased, or summarized textual evidence must be cited according to MLA guidelines.
  • Your paragraphs should then conclude with transition sentences that guide the reader gracefully from the topic you have just analyzed to the topic in your next paragraph, showing how those topics connect. (Please refer to Chapter 6.2: Effective Means of Writing a Paragraph for effective paragraph writing tactics!)
  • Any quotes used as textual evidence must be no more than lines in length, and no more than eight quotes may be used.
  • Your essay must conclude with an MLA formatted work cited page, providing an MLA 9 formatted citation for the work you have analyzed. This work cited page does NOT count towards your required three full pages.


  • Your analysis must be focused on how the author used rhetoric, not about their topic.
  • Your paper should not include any use of the first or second person.
  • This paper does NOT allow the use of any materials outside of those provided in this class. Do not fall into the trap of looking online for sample essays. Any academic dishonesty will result in significant consequences.

Criteria on which you will be graded:  A good grade on this assignment (the Rough Draft) reflects that you have completed this assignment to specification. It does not mean that your final paper will earn the same grade. Your instructor may highlight instances of editorial errors; and, while points will not be deducted for grammar and spelling mistakes here, incomprehensible writing will not earn a “passing grade.”

  • Rough drafts will graded on your thesis’s specificity and development (25%)
  • Rough drafts will be graded on how you develop and support your argument (your supporting claims, your logic and organization) (25%)
  • Rough drafts will be graded on paragraph development and organization, to include topic sentences, conclusions, transitions (logic, flow) (20%)
  • Rough drafts will be graded on engagement with the text (how you explain and analyze your examples, your choice of supporting quotations) (20%)
  • Rough drafts will be graded on proper MLA citation and a correctly formatted Works Cited page, although on a lesser scale than the rest of the criteria. (10%)

Pre-Submission Checks:

  • Read through your essay and refer back to the Writing the Rhetorical Analysis Essay page to make sure your essay meets the requirements for the assignment.
  • Use Ctrl-F (Windows) or Command-F (Mac) to search your document for any use of the first or second person (I, me, my, we, us, our, ours, you, your, yours), and if found, remove and rewrite those sentences.
  • Leave time to submit your draft to Tutor.com for review. Your tutor can help with thesis and content development, organization, grammar, and mechanics. Use this free service to write the best draft possible on this major assignment.
  • Don’t forget that you can submit your draft to Tutor.com multiple times during the revision process.
  • Make sure that your document is fully MLA formatted, including MLA running header, block header with MLA formatted date, 12pt standard serif font (such as Times New Roman), with lines double-spaced.
  • Check that you have included your in-text (parenthetical) citations and a correctly formatted Work Cited page.
  • Ensure your document is submitted as a .DOC, .DOCX, or .PDF file

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