Project #80591 - Rhetorical Analysis

Rhetorical Analysis 1 Assignment Guidelines

Author, Language, and Bias


Part of evaluating an argument’s quality is determining who its author is and whether or not they are biased toward the subject they are writing about.  This assignment asks you to write an essay critiquing the logic and reasoning employed in one of the following three articles:


  • “Brave Old Worlds: Does Pixar Have a Problem with Stereotypes?” by Graeme McMillan (Link:
  • “Sorry Lammily, Your Dumpy Looks Won’t Fool Many Little Girls” by Lionel Shriver (Link:
  • “Videogames Can Never Be Art” by Roger Ebert (Link: 


You will need to do the following in order to successfully complete the assignment:

  • Find background information on your article’s author
  • Determine whether or not your article’s author is credible/has expertise on the subject they are writing about
  • Look to see if there are indications the author might be biased for or against the subject of the article
  • Find language used by the author that shows their bias or lack thereof
  • Examine the author’s reasoning to see if any parts are faulty as a result of bias (for instance, based primarily on assumptions)


In order to judge the argument’s strength, you will first have to determine what that argument is and what the thesis appears to be.  If there is not an explicit thesis statement, you will need to concisely state what the author’s primary argument is.  Both the article’s original thesis and a brief summary of the article should be included early on in the essay.  For the purposes of this essay, pretend that your reader has never read or heard of the article in question.


The essay should have an introduction and a conclusion.  The introduction must lead up to your thesis statement, which will state your assessment of the logic and reasoning found in the article (ie whether it is strong, weak, or somewhere in between as well as specifically why you feel that to be the case).


The following structure is recommended for this essay:



Introduce the article, its author, and the source in which the article appeared (in this case, the book or scholarly journal) and then briefly summarize the article in no more than 2-3 sentencesThe introduction should also preview the elements of the article you will discuss in depth and end with your thesis statement.  The thesis statement should indicate who the author is and whether or not their article and any outside information you have found about them demonstrates bias.



Each paragraph of the body should center on one of the supporting points for your thesis.

Body paragraphs should begin a topic sentence that clearly states the supporting point the paragraph is meant to talk about.  All of your paragraphs should contribute to proving the thesis, and your topic sentences should reflect that.  After the topic sentence, the rest of the paragraph should explain why and how you (as the reader) believe the paragraph’s main point to be true.  Any assertion must be backed up by evidence from the article itself or from outside sources.  Use MLA in-text citations for any information taken from a source.



The conclusion should synthesize the analysis done in the body and should reveal how these elements work together to “prove” your thesis.


You may choose to focus on all or part of the article’s argument.  Areas to examine while assessing the article could include the following, among other areas:


  • Author Credibility/Expertise/Experience
  • Ideology
  • Bias
  • Language/Word Choice
  • Definitions
  • Assumptions
  • Reasons
  • Rationalization
  • Rhetorical Context

Your assessment should be based on the article and its author’s merits, NOT on whether you personally agree or disagree with the author’s standpoint.  

Your analysis must be approximately 3-5 pages long double spaced, not including the works cited page (so no shorter than 2 full pages).  Include a works cited page for any sources cited, including your chosen article.  Include MLA format for your in-text citations and your works cited page.  Turn the assignment in using Blackboard.  Use the formatting guidelines listed in the syllabus.

This essay should incorporate quotes from the article to demonstrate the accuracy of your assertions and your thesis as a whole.  Avoid using quotes longer than 1-2 sentences though to leave room for adequate analysis.  If you have a quote longer than 2 sentences, paraphrase or summarize all or part of it instead.

Use and cite at least 3 outside sources to inform your position and demonstrate your assertions are accurate.


You may use any evidence, arguments, and thesis statements that we come up with in class.

Subject English
Due By (Pacific Time) 09/10/2015 12:00 am
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