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ENGL 110: Intro to Academic Writing (Walpole): Topic Development

Professor Walpole's Rhetorical Situation Paper

(Extracted from Professor Walpole's Rhetorical Situation Paper's Instructions)

TOPICS:

Choose a current topic or issue that interests you, relates to your course theme, and is a topic you will continue analyzing for your research paper.  The text you choose may be a Web-site, an article, a report, a newsletter, a TEDTalk, a documentary, or or a blog.  While an advertisement also qualifies, I would prefer you avoid ads since we wrote analytical essays of them in the most recent essay.  

Choose topics wisely and carefully.  If you do, you very well may end up expanding this assignment into your research paper.

THE MOST IMPORTANT AND POTENTIALLY CONFUSING PART OF THIS ESSAY FOR STUDENTS:  YOU ARE ANALYZING THE SOURCE AND THE AUTHOR’S/RHETOR’S DEVELOPMENT OF HIS OR HER ARGUMENT IN TERMS OF THE RHETORICAL SITUATION.  YOUR THESIS SHOULD NOT TAKE A POSITION ON THE ISSUE ITSELF; YOUR THESIS MUST EXAMINE THE SOURCE IN THE CONTEXT OF THE RHETORICAL SITUATION, and you must use the terms exigence, audience, and constraints in your discussion. IF YOUR ESSAY IS A MINI-THESIS PAPER, YOU WILL FAIL THE ASSIGNMENT.  LATER IN THE NEXT PAPER, YOU WILL TAKE YOUR OWN POSITION AND DEVELOP YOUR ARGUMENT, AND THE SOURCE YOU EXAMINE FOR THE RHETORICAL SITUATION PAPER LIKELY WILL BE ONE OF YOUR MORE IMPORTANT SOURCES.

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