C.T.A. Assignment Sheet.doc
Paper 3 – Comparative Textual Analysis
ENGL 1510: Rhetoric and Composition I
The Rhetorical Situation
For your Discourse Community Analysis, you applied rhetorical concepts to your past
experiences in order to explain how you joined a community by learning its distinctive ways of
communication. In our class workshops, you prepared to join a new conversation by reading
carefully what “they say” about an important topic. Now, it is your turn to enter the conversation.
Now, you will take a position on an issue addressed in your topic cluster and write an argument
that synthesizes the articles in that cluster. (Synthesis simply means you make connections
etween multiple sources in order to make a new argument.) Your audience will be readers of a
JCC student publication that offers analysis and commentary about politics, news, and culture.
Use your knowledge of JCC students: they are educated, generally fair-minded, politically
diverse, and less knowledgeable than you about the issue addressed in your topic cluster.
Invention (i.e., discovering what you’re going to say in this paper)
1. INTRODUCTION: Your audience of JCC students will want to know immediately both the
conversation you’re responding to and your own position.
● You will need to introduce your rhetorical situation (explain the topic)
● You will need to indicate who is involved in the conversation
● You will need to point out the significance/importance of the conversation
2. THESIS: By now, you should be tentatively versed in looking at arguments and deciding
whether or not you agree with them (based on Ethical, Pathetic, and Logical appeal). Your task is
to align yourself with some of the speakers in the conversation. Furthermore, your readers will
want to know that you are advancing the conversation, turning it in a new direction, rathe
than just repeating another writer’s argument.
Your claim must represent your purpose, which is to compare speakers on a given topic, contrast
divergences in viewpoints, and finally take a position of your own.
3. REASONS: Of course, your audience will expect you to support your claim with good
easons, so you should attach at least three reasons to your claim. What makes for a “good”
eason? Reasons support the claim.
You have three tasks to perform here and thus you have three reasons. These reasons should be
indicated in topic sentences.
Basically, you will be supporting your CLAIM by comparing and contrasting viewpoints in orde
to take a position of your own. You will have three total reasons, which should be indicated
in TOPIC SENTENCES. Every paragraph begins with a topic sentence that points us to what
the paragraph is about; body paragraphs work to provide supporting detail for reasoning. In
this case, your paragraphs will be filled with:
1. Comparison of authors
2. Contrast of authors
3. The best one/your position/your contribution
Therefore, the topic sentences should indicate one of these three things only. These three things
will operate as the support for your claim that there are many voices on a topic/many
different opinions and sides and that you will explore these voices in order to make an
4. SUPPORT: Speaking of evidence to support your reasons, where will you find it? Certainly
your personal experiences, observations, and logical reasoning count as evidence, but you should
also mine the articles in your topic cluster for evidence that you can use to support your position.
● Draw upon our lessons in MLA format and parenthetical citation
● You should point to each text in your topic cluster at least once via citation
● Use Quote Sandwiches
● Utilize your textbook for MLA help
SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER:
Remember, you are making an argument of your own and you are responsible fo
maintaining your own ETHOS. Think about how you’re going to come across as a person of
good character, good sense, and good will. Here are some tips:
● Know what you’re talking about. Read all the articles in your topic cluster as carefully as
you read the article for your Rhetorical Analysis, make sure you understand the articles
deeply and thoroughly, and use information from the articles to provide sufficient
evidence for your reasons.
● Show regard for your readers. Try to come across as approachable and thoughtful, not
ogant or insensitive.
● Treat skeptical readers with respect—don’t ignore or demean their opinions just because
they expect more proof.
● Be careful and meticulous in your writing, not sloppy or disorganized.
Remember, you are making an argument of your own here and are responsible fo
maintaining your own PATHOS. Think about the values and emotions that you share with
fellow students and consider how you might appeal to them. Here are some tips:
● Unlike your first paper, imagine this paper will be written for publication and for readers
you don’t know. Thus, you should adopt a more formal style and tone than in you
Discourse Community Analysis
● Try to evoke emotions (sympathy, outrage, anger, delight, awe, ho
or, etc.) in you
audience that make your paper more moving.
● Try to evoke sensations (seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, smelling) in your audience
that make your writing vivid and help readers experience things imaginatively.
● Appeal to values (freedom, justice, tolerance, fairness, equality, etc.) that you share with
angement (i.e., organizing what you’re going to say in this paper)
Ultimately, you want to organize your paper in the manner you think will prove most effective
with your audience, but here are a couple tips:
● To give your writing the most important thing of all—namely, a point—a writer needs to
indicate clearly not only his or her thesis, but also what larger conversation that thesis is
esponding to. In this case, the conversation you’re responding to is the one constituted
y the articles in your topic cluster. Indicate at the beginning of your paper—before you
state your thesis—that you’re writing in response to that conversation.
Your paper should be no shorter than 4, no longer than five pages (maybe six)—. It should be
double-spaced, typed in Times New Roman font, with 12 point character size and one inch
margins all the way around.
Your Works Cited Page does not count toward the page limit.
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