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Reading 1: Esmé Weijun Wang, “High-Functioning”
Write an essay that analyzes rhetorical strategies the author uses to make their argument and appeal to their audience. These strategies might include the persona (or ethos) they craft in their essay, their organizational choices or use of evidence (logos), the appeals they make to their audience’s emotions (pathos), and/or other creative or rhetorical elements you notice.
A successful rhetorical analysis pulls apart a text, explains how it works, makes an original claim about it, and supports the claim with specific details. Your goal in this assignment is to choose the elements of the text that you think are most interesting and most important to making it work (or not), and make a critical argument about their effect. Your thesis will state your rhetorical argument about the text, establish the rhetorical elements you will focus on in your analysis, and explain how these relate to the author’s purpose and the impact you believe these elements make on that purpose. For example:
The author’s use of personal stories combined with extensive research persuades readers of her credibility. This helps the author make an effective argument for x by …
While the author effectively utilizes appeals of ethos and pathos, their logos appeal is undermined by x…
The author’s tone and word choice in the essay are (not) effective in supporting their overall purpose because…
In the body of your essay, you will demonstrate your understanding of the text, its message, and its audience, and develop support for your rhetorical argument with evidence from the text. This assignment does not ask you to argue for or against the essay’s topic. Rather, you will be writing more about the techniques the author uses than the topic of their essay. Be sure to review What is Rhetorical Analysis? for further help in developing your analysis.
Further questions you might consider in order to generate ideas for your essay include:
What evidence does the author use for support? How does that help you understand their intended purpose and audience for this essay? What do they assume their audience understands and cares about?
What tone and approach does the author use? How does that affect the persona the author creates for themself in this piece?
Who is definitely not the audience for this essay? Who is the author definitely not trying to reach?
What effect does the author hope to have on their readers? What are they trying to accomplish through this essay? How do they reveal their argument and purpose?
Where and when was this essay originally published, and how does that context shape the essay? What does the context tell you about the imagined audience for the essay? What other contexts regarding the time and place of the publication help you understand it?
Formatting and Requirements
Copy and paste your essay directly in Achieve. I strongly encourage you to write your essay in another platform (Microsoft Word or Google Docs)
Your essay should be approximately 3-4 pages in length (around 1000-1200 words)
Include your name, my name, class and date in the upper left corner of the 1st page
Format your essay according to MLA guidelines (see Documenting Sources: MLA Style in Achieve)
Include a Works Cited page listing all sources you used or consulted
For Writing Assistance:
See me during office hours for help with specific questions regarding your essay
Visit the FAU Writing Center for in-person or virtual writing assistance. http://www.fau.edu/UCEW/
Source Checks allow you to check your drafts for potential plagiarism prior to (if enabled) and during submission. Source Check reports show you possible types of plagiarism that might be present in your work, paired with content that will help you evaluate and fix any problems.See Macmillan Learning Privacy Notice.
Identify Similarity Types
• Exact Match: Contains identical language to sources on the web or in the database
• Close Wording: Uses nearly identical wording (e.g.; “slow” becomes “slowly”)
• Close Structure: Maintains close sentence structure with synonyms replacing original text
Exclude from Source Check
• Quoted material
• Student may run up to 2 reports per draft until due date
What’s Included in Source Check Report?
• Similarity Analysis
• Flagged Material
• Source Matches
• Recommended Resources