To compare and contrast the rhetorical situations of two essays.

To compare and contrast the rhetorical situations of two essays.

Audience: Your instructor and classmates (an academic audience)
Genre: Academic essay
Directions:
1.    Pick one of the following pairs of essays we have read this quarter:
a.    “The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me” by Sherman Alexie and “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan
b.    “On Being a Cripple” by Nancy Mairs and “A Plague of Tics” by David Sedaris
c.    “A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift and “On Dumpster Diving” by Lars Eighner
d.    “Turkeys in the Kitchen” by Dave Barry and “The Ways We Lie” by Stephanie Ericsson
2.    Write an essay of at least three pages comparing and contrasting the rhetorical situations of the two essays.  The parts of the rhetorical situation are as

follows:
a.    Author
b.    Purpose
c.    Message
d.    Context
e.    Audience
i.    You don’t have to analyze all five elements.  Pick THREE to be the focus of this essay.
3.    Write an introduction that does the following:
a.    Hooks your readers
b.    Introduces your sources (author’s names and titles)
c.    Describes your sources:
i.    Briefly explains the main idea of each essay
d.    Makes a thesis claim that shows which rhetorical elements you will be comparing and contrasting and indicates what you learned by doing this analysis:
i.    Example: Through a careful comparison and contrast of the audience, context, and message of Mukherjee’s and Pollan’s essays, I learned that essays that seem to

be about entirely different topics can both be making significant social contributions.
ii.    Example:  Based on the following analysis of the authors, purpose, and context of Mukerjee’s and Pollan’s essays, it can be concluded that although they differ

in many ways, they share underlying similarities that make their readers want to become more socially engaged.
4.    Support your thesis by writing at least six paragraphs that follow this pattern:
a.    Paragraph One: Compare the two essays and the first rhetorical situation element
i.    How are the two essays similar with regard to the first rhetorical situation element?
ii.    For example, if you are comparing “audience,” you would talk about how the intended audience for each essay is similar.
iii.    Remember to include a topic sentence and a transitional sentence.
b.    Paragraph Two: Contrast the two essays and the first rhetorical situation element.
i.    How are the two essays different with regard to the first rhetorical situation element?
ii.    For example, if you are contrasting “audience,” you would talk about how the intended audience for each essay is different.
iii.    Remember to include a topic sentence and a transitional sentence.
c.    Repeat this pattern until you have compared and contrasted all three of the rhetorical situation elements.
5.    Write a conclusion paragraph that does the following:
a.    Restates your thesis
b.    Summarizes your main points
c.    Indicates what you learned from your analysis
i.    Are the essays more (or less) similar?
ii.    Which essay do you like best?  Why?
iii.    Did anything you noticed in your analysis surprise you?  What and why?
iv.    What effect did the essays have on you as a reader?
v.    What could the authors have done differently to improve their essays?
6.    All quotations must include MLA-style citations.
a.    Don’t use quotations of longer than one line.
b.    You may only use two quotations.
7.    You must have an MLA-style works cited page. If you turn this paper in without one, it will receive a zero.

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