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ENC 1101 - Prof. Geerling: Rhetorical Analysis Essay


Rhetorical Analysis Essay


Assignment Description:

The Rhetorical Analysis Essay will examine two resources linked by a common theme or subject using at least one from the textbook, Humor: A Reader for Writers and the other can be a John Oliver video. You will put the resources in conversation with each other and analyze their rhetorical effectiveness.

 Assignment Outcomes:

The Rhetorical Analysis Essay should demonstrate your ability to analyze rhetorical strategies , and show an understanding of MLA formatting and citations.


Evaluate the way your author(s) or John Oliver go about their inquiry, and how effectively their word choices are in achieving their purposes with reaching their intended audiences. You should use quotations  to back up your assertions. By the end of the essay, you should state definitively which resource is more rhetorically effective and why.

What the Essay Should NOT Do: 

The Rhetorical Analysis Essay should not summarize the resources. Summary may be necessary in service to a point you are making, but essays that rely on summary will not be successful. Look at the component elements of the arguments presented and analyze their impact on the overall effectiveness.

Assignment Requirements:

  1.  Choose which pair of essays, or essay and video segment you want to use.
  2.  Essays should put the resources in conversation and analyze the rhetoric in each.
  3.  Quotes from the texts must be used to support your analytical points. Quotes must use correct MLA citation style.
  4.  Essays must be formatted in correct MLA style.
  5.  Only the two resources should be used. Do not consult other sources. The essay is between you and the two resources you selected.
  6. A Works Cited page must be included, and it must be in correct MLA format.
  7. Essays should be approximately two to four pages long. Length does not include the Works Cited page.


  1. Do attend all classes and library sessions. We’ll be working on sections of the essay in class, so you will get the most support and have the clearest idea of what to do if you’re always present. 
  2. Get help early and often. You have the library resources, ASC, the writing lab, Pearson’s resources (on the left side of the MyLab page), Brainduse, and me. Don’t wait until the last minute to ask for help, but even last minute help is better than no help at all. 
  3. Look ahead. Don’t let the draft deadlines sneak up on you. Set reminders on your phone or whatever else you need to do to make sure you have a draft ready for each deadline. Each draft has equal weight in the final grade. Participating in the full process is the best way to improve your writing and get the grade you want. 


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Judi Tidwell