Due: 11:59pm on Thursday, 9/19 (Essay 1) and Thursday, 10/17 (Essay 2) through Turnitin.
Length and Format: The paper should be at least 900 words and should not exceed 1,200 words. (One double-spaced page of 12-point Times New Roman font is about 300 words.) It should be formatted according to MLA guidelines.
Assignment Overview: Choose one article from those listed below and write a paper that evaluates its persuasiveness by analyzing various elements of its rhetorical structure (see the sample paper on pp. 375-78 of your textbook).
“Just Walk on By…” by Brent Staples http://cf.linnbenton.edu/wed/dev/vanrast/upload/Black_Men_and_Public_Spaces_Brent_Staples.pdf http://nicolejenkins.cmswiki.wikispaces.net/file/view/Just+Walk+on+By.pdf
“Hip-Hop’s Betrayal of Black Women” by Jennifer McLune (pp. 296-300 http://www.saidit.org/archives/jan06/article4.html
“Race: The Story We are Not Telling” by Leonard Pitts
“How Hip-Hop Holds Blacks Back” by John McWhorter
Rhetorical Situation: You are working as an intern at PopMatters, an online magazine that is working with the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) to identify articles on popular culture that might be useful for writing instructors. As part of the process, PopMatters is awarding a series of prizes for recent articles, and one of the prize categories is persuasiveness. You have been assigned to read one of the articles under consideration for the persuasiveness prize and provide a well-reasoned recommendation on whether it is deserving of the top prize (or perhaps some other recognition). Your recommendation will be taken into consideration by an award panel consisting of PopMatters editors and NCTE officials, and they will expect it to be supported by a detailed analysis of the article’s rhetorical effectiveness.
Paper Structure: The paper must be formatted according to MLA guidelines and must include a full bibliographical citation of the source article. The paper should be structured as follows:
I. Introductory Paragraph: Your opening paragraph should introduce the source article by providing an overview of its rhetorical situation. It should conclude with a thesis statement indicating the evaluation/recommendation that you will articulate in more depth in your concluding paragraph. The thesis should not just be a yes/no statement about whether the article deserves the prize; it should foreshadow the reasoning behind your recommendation. See, for example, the thesis statement of the sample paper in your textbook: “Despite its many strengths, ‘The Technology Slaves’ should not be considered for the top prize for persuasive essays due to problems with how it addresses alternative viewpoints.”
II. Body Paragraphs: Each body paragraph should consist of a well-developed analysis of one aspect of the source article’s rhetorical framework. Below is a list of the types of things a body paragraph might address; see the Writing Arguments chapter of your textbook (pp. 78-95) for detailed information about each of these elements of argument.