Understanding a Problem

Continue exploring the local problem you selected for our first project. Find an article that takes a position on this issue and analyze whether or not the author presented a successful argument.NOTE: You are NOT taking a position on the issue itself, as we already know how you feel about the problem. Rather, is the author’s exploration of the topic thorough? Fair? Detailed? Etc…

You will address the author’s use (or nonuse) of rhetorical appeals in developing your position. Provide examples of ethos, pathos, and/or logos as applicable. Furthermore, should the author have added or omitted anything to make the rhetorical appeals more effective? Are there any rhetorical fallacies? Explain.

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Here are some additional factors to consider in your analysis:

Who is the intended audience? What assumptions does the writer make about this audience? Did the writer appropriately address the audience?
Beyond persuasion, what do you see as the writer’s purpose? To explain? Inform? Anger? Amuse? Motivate? Sadden? Ridicule? Is there more than one purpose? Does the purpose shift at some point within the text? Was the author successful in meeting this purpose?
How does the writer develop his or her ideas? Narration? Description? Definition? Comparison? Cause and effect? Provide examples and discuss whether or not this strategy of argumentation(s) helped the author to meet his/her purpose.
What is the tone of the text? Do you react on an emotional level? Does this reaction change at all throughout the text? Does this reaction align with the author’s purpose?
How does the writer arrange his or her ideas? Are there any patterns? In other words, where has the writer placed important elements like thesis statement, evidence (inartistic proofs), opposing viewpoint, etc. and were these choices effective?
Does the writer use dialogue? Quotations? To what effect?
How does the writer use diction? Is it formal? Informal? Technical? Does the writer use jargon? Slang? Is the language connotative? Denotative? Is the language emotionally evocative? Does the language change throughout the piece? How does the language contribute to the writer’s purpose?

Basic Requirements

1,000 total words (NOTE: Not meeting or exceeding the word count will result in lost points.)
Size 12, Arial or Times New Roman font
Third person point of view
A minimum of five citations from at least three credible sources (e.g. book, magazine, newspaper, online journal, film, speech, interview, etc.). One of these sources will be the article that you are analyzing. You’ll then need two others that contain evidence to support your claims.
Consult AWR or Purdue OWL
(Links to an external site.)
for proper MLA formatting. 


Interesting opening sentence (“hook”)
Brief summary of the article
Outline of the body (overview of what you are writing about—do not direct at the reader)
Thesis statement (take a position on the author’s effectiveness, NOT on the problem about which he/she wrote)
Cite examples of rhetorical appeals and any of the aforementioned items directly from the article in question.
Detail the reasoning that supports your thesis using information from credible sources.
So what? (What is the overall impact of this article?) For more information on Understanding a Problem see this:  https://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences-and-law/sociology-and-social-reform/sociology-general-terms-and-concepts/social-problems

Understanding a Problem

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