Textual Analysis Assignment & Instructions
I. Instructions & Requirements A. Assignment:
Find a persuasive article on an important contemporary topic in one of the following ACC library databases: CQ Researcher, Gale in Context: Opposing Viewpoints, TOPICsearch, or JSTOR. Write an essay of at least 750 words in which you analyze the article’s main ideas and writing strategies. Underline your thesis statement. Your essay must demonstrate critical thinking and be written coherently, observing grammatical, mechanical, and stylistic conventions. Your paper must include at least one paragraph on each of the following:
Summary (one paragraph)
Identify the author and the title of the essay, and then provide a brief summary of the essay’s key ideas. What are
the author’s primary and secondary argumentative claims? Conclude with your THESIS, which must be written as one sentence. Your thesis will have two parts:
• A statement of the essay’s main point
• A claim regarding the essay’s effectiveness as a persuasive essay
Analysis (more than one paragraph) Discuss how the author supports his or her argumentative claims through any of the following types of appeals:
• Logos: Appeal based on logic. Discuss the essay’s process of reasoning. Identify the types of evidence presented in support of the essay’s claims, and give examples (e.g. personal experience, facts & statistics,
expert testimony, anecdotal evidence, examples from history or current events, etc.).
• Pathos: Appeal based on emotion. Discuss how the essay appeals to readers’ emotions (needs, fears, feelings, beliefs/values, and sympathies).
• Ethos: Appeal based on author’s character/credibility. Consider his or her word choice, selection of evidence, presentation of credentials or personal experience, presentation of opposing viewpoints, etc.
Discuss the patterns of development used by the author in constructing the essay’s argument (e.g. cause &
effect, comparison/contrast, classification, definition, description, illustration through examples, narration, process analysis), and give examples.