Demographically and ideologically diverse group that is separate from USA TODAY’S news staff.

ENG 1031/32 Squires
Analysis Essay Portfolio Project
Analytical writing identifies the elements within a text and describes the relationship among those elements. For example, you can analyze a text in terms of the rhetorical devices an author uses (such as ethos, pathos, logos) or how the text fits into a larger cultural discussion. By examining these elements we determine how logical the thesis is and how effectively it is conveyed to a reader.

This assignment develops critical thinking skills, such as drawing inferences and making conclusions, as they fit into the genre of rhetorical analysis. It also gives you a chance to reflect on shifting issues and attitudes in American culture.

You will look at a set of two articles, and will break down the article elements to:
• determine how they function
• analyze the strategies the authors use to construct their arguments, focusing on their use of logos, pathos, and ethos
• compare and/or contrast the two articles’ strategies
• evaluate which are successful or unsuccessful, and why, and/or how they fit into a larger cultural discussion

You do not have to discuss all three logos, pathos and ethos strategies in your essay, but you will need to focus on a point of similarity and/or contrast between the articles. Remember the Rhetorical Questionnaire. (Some articles contain a small picture to help sell their points—you can make use of the pictures in your analysis, but keep it brief. Discussion of the pictures cannot take up a large portion of your essay.)

Below are the topics of three recent “Today’s Debate” columns in USA Today, plus another few topics I found in the university library’s Points database.

• Football Hazing

“Today’s Debate” is a section of the editorial page that presents two columns arguing different positions on the same issue. According to their website, “opinions expressed in USA TODAY’S editorials are decided by its Editorial Board, a demographically and ideologically diverse group that is separate from USA TODAY’S news staff. Most editorials are accompanied by an opposing view—a unique USA TODAY feature that allows readers to reach conclusions based on both sides of an argument rather than just the Editorial Board’s point of view.”

In order to be active, responsible citizens, it is important that people are able to navigate these debates, figuring out where different writers stand and determining the major elements of their arguments. This assignment will help you gain this critical skill.


Approximately 250 words