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Argument Analysis – Rhetorical Strategies

Assignment # 2 – Argument Analysis – Rhetorical Strategies (Co-authored project)

You will work together with a co-author, and you will both get the same grade.


Read “How reading rewires your brain for more intelligence and empathy” by  Derek Beres, and write an analysis of the text’s argument, with particular emphasis on the rhetorical strategies. Make a judgment about how effective the article is at accomplishing its purpose, and explain how well the rhetorical strategies work – or not. At the end of the analysis, you will also engage with the issue and express your opinions on the topic.


Write an approximately three to four-page long paper, typed in normal font (12), and double spaced. Use M.L.A. formatting.  Papers with too many elementary spelling and grammar mistakes will be returned as incomplete. Late papers will be penalized. (I’ll accept emailed work only if you had obtained my permission in advance. In case you have to email me your paper, you also have to bring me a hard copy for grading the next time you come to class. If you fail to do so, the paper will count as late.)


You are to respect the University rules regarding plagiarism.  Anybody who will be found guilty of plagiarizing will absolutely fail the class.


Steps to follow:


  1. Set the stage for your analysis by explaining the importance and/or actuality of the issue.


  1. Write the rhetorical précis of the assigned reading. (one paragraph)


  1. Evaluate the article
  2. Make a judgment whether the article is effective and well-written or not. Consider these questions and incorporate some thoughts along these                           lines into your evaluation (at least one paragraph):


How clear are the claims? Are they sufficiently backed up? How entertaining,         convincing, or informative is the whole piece? What is the overall effect of the     appeals on the reader? What rhetorical strategies(choices/moves/etc.) work    particularly well?


  1. Evaluate the author’s use of rhetorical strategies. Explain two rhetorical strategies that Berek is using, and decide how well they serve their purpose.  (You will write at least one well-developed paragraph for each.)


Each time when you are discussing a strategy, you have to: first, identify that particular strategy and provide a quotation or some textual proof; second, describe how it works, and third, explain why it is used – what purpose it serves in that context.


  1. Answer the following questions integrating all articles about reading:
  2. Why aren’t American high-school students good readers? (at least one    paragraph)


  1. What are the benefits of reading? (at least one paragraph)


  1. What should be done to help the next generations become better readers? (at least one paragraph)


Make sure that you have nice transitions and integrate these steps in a smooth-flowing essay.


Grading Formula


Rhetorical Précis – 10%; General Evaluation – 20%; Analysis of Rhetorical Strategies – 20%; Answers to the three questions on the issue – 30%; Grammar & Mechanics – 20%.



Key outcomes met with this assignment:

Students will learn to:

  • Extract main ideas from texts and reorganize them in the order of their importance;
  • Analyze an author’s specific rhetorical strategies in a given text;
  • Evaluate the arguments/claims and supporting material in written texts;
  • Distinguish different types of appeals;
  • Construct an analytical claim;
  • Use collaborative and social aspects of the writing process by critiquing peer’s texts and discussing own writing;
  • Use “language about language;”
  • Format simple manuscripts, and cite sources accurately;
  • Understand the consequences of plagiarism.






Last Updated on March 14, 2019

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