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ENGWR 302 (Jacobsen)

ENGWR 302 (Jacobsen)



English 302 Paper #3: Rhetorical Analysis of a Source/Article

Length: 3-4 pages


Rough draft due:

Final draft due:

In this essay you will find an argumentative article for your research paper, and you will analyze how or why it works (or doesn't work) rhetorically. Like a close reading, rhetorical analysis pays attention to things such as structure, word choice, and organization. The focus of this paper is not on your opinion about the topic, but on how the author of the article put it together. If after writing this essay, you decide that you would rather not use this article again or that you want to switch topics for your research paper, that is fine.

English 302 Paper 4: Essay with Research

Length: 4-5 pages for essay, plus one page for works cited


Rough draft due:

Final draft due:

In this essay you will explore a controversial issue by researching and analyzing various points of view. You should provide a balanced and fair overview of the different perspectives. Your thesis will take a clear stand on an issue. However, you should not try to come up with a thesis until after you have done your research. Go into the process with as open a mind as possible; your aim is to find out what the controversy is all about. After you have researched your topic, you will want to write a working thesis, which you will refine in later drafts.


Pick one of the following topics.

1. Technology in the Classroom: Useful or Distracting?

2. The Current State of Childhood: Is "Helicopter Parenting" or "Free-Range Childhood" Better for kids?

3. College Education: What is Its Purpose?

4. Race and Police Violence: How Do We Solve the Problem?

5. Junk Food: Should the Government Regulate Our Intake?

6. Online Verses IRL: How Has Social Networking Changed How We Relate to One Another?

Note: Please avoid bringing in religion to support or argue a point. If you have any questions about what is acceptable to use in your paper, please feel free to talk with me.


Successful essays will have six to eight different sources that you cite in your paper. Every source that you cite in your paper should be cited in your works cited at the end. (Your works cited needs also to have six to eight different sources.) Your sources should be recent (within the last five years).

Your sources can come from the following places:

• Internet sources (no more than one)

• Interviews (no more than one)

• Journal articles

• Magazine articles

• Newspaper articles

• Books

• Encyclopedias (no more than one)

• Current Issues and Enduring Questions (no more than one)

For this assignment you don't have to use the same source as you did for your paper #3. You are welcome to use that source, but you are not required to do so.


The audience is your instructor and classmates. Because your readers may be only marginally familiar with your issue or problem, you may need to orient them to it and familiarize them with the concepts and terminology relevant to the discussion.

The Process:

1. Pick one of the topics.

2. Conduct research on the various sides of the question. Don’t rely on Google for your research. Be sure to consult library sources. Your essay will be evaluated on the quality of your source material as well as on how well your essay is written. Remember that anyone can publish anything on the web—you will have to weigh the reliability and authoritativeness of each source you consider.

3. Narrow your topic area further, if necessary, and pick out the main arguments and points each side makes.

4. Take a clear stand on your topic. Argue a point.

5. In citing sources, both at the end of your paper and within your text, use the MLA format.

On the day the paper is due please hand me a hard copy at the beginning of class and turn in a virtual copy to the Canvas drop box.