DRAFT 1 – Rhetorical Analysis of a Debate on an ISSUE (2+ sources)
Your goal in this assignment is to understand conflict or debate from multiple viewpoints through navigating at least two sources that disagree on some ISSUE. You have TWO OPTIONS for your focus in this Project 3:
1. Option 1: Focus on an ISSUE related to the community you studied in Project 2 (e.g., abusive language in gaming; devaluing Arabic in English language schools, etc.); OR
2. Option 2: Choose an entirely new ISSUE related to some aspect of your life that you are concerned about and that has relevance to you.
An issue can be defined as some problem that people in a community do not agree about, something that causes conflict and/or debate about what to do to solve the problem. When you explore issues, be sure to focus on issues that are directly relevant to you and your life. If you choose an issue such as “global warming,” how will YOU say anything new or different from what has already been said by experts? You need to choose an issue that YOU can contribute something to, so think about all the different problems and issues that you confront everyday or you read about in local social media and news sites.
Identifying (at least) TWO Sources That Disagree on Your Issue
Next, read, annotate, reread, analyze, and evaluate your two (or more) sources in order to find what they disagree upon. You’re looking for different claims, evidence, data, methodologies, or impacts of the previous research. Once you find this disagreement between your sources, look for a gap, or a space that needs to be filled through additional research.
Composing Your First Draft (Rhetorical Analysis of Sources)
Using the rhetorical strategies (logos, ethos, pathos) ANALYZE the two (or more) sources you’ve selected.
First, you’ll need to briefly SUMMARIZE each source. What is the MAIN point of each source? What is discussed? What additional important points are included. If someone asked what this source “says” about the issue, what would you say? Avoid saying “it talks about . . .”! Use verbs like reports, discusses, examines, identifies, reveals, details, etc. Avoid including specific details or data. Focus on MAIN points and supporting points.
Then, you’ll ANALYZE each source: HOW does the author/writer, publication (where it’s published), date (published), audience, and purpose possibly affect the information contained in this piece? HOW do you determine what its primary purpose is? (to inform, to persuade, etc.)? HOW do the specific kinds of information presented in this text create a particular perspective or angle? Examine how the organization of the piece – the people or perspectives focused on, the people/perspectives not present, the facts/statistics used and the sources for those facts/statistics – might shape the audience’s understanding of the content. HOW (be specific) do you know whether the information is reliable and/or credible? HOW do you determine whether this text is intended to be objective? Or, if it is not intended to be objective, how do you know? Remember that even if it is objective, the piece may present a particular “slant” or “perspective.” It may be useful to think in terms of ETHOS, PATHOS, and LOGOS. In what specific ways does the author use these rhetorical appeals in her/his presentation of information?
Finally, decide how primary research (from your previous project 2 or from your own experience, observations, interviews with people) may either add to previous research or respond to ideas in the sources. Write a research introduction (1-2 paragraphs) using the CARS model. You should cite your sources according to a particular academic style, such as APA, MLA, or a citation style used in engineering, such as IEEE.