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RWS 305W
Writing Project #1: Academic Discourse—Opinion Editorial Analysis
Format Requirements: Paper must be 3-5 pages, typed, double-spaced, Times New
Roman, 12 point font, with one-inch margins in standard MLA format with a works cited
You are responsible for finding an opinion editorial and making it available to me. You
may use one of the opinion editorials found on the link on Canvas, or you can choose any
other one you would like. Please submit a link to the op ed when you turn in the rough
draft and the final draft of the essay.
Essay: What appeals (Ethos, Pathos, Logos) are used in the opinion editorial?
Your task is to consider the text’s rhetorical situation and demonstrate an accurate
reading of the claim, the main supports, and the appeals used in that argument.
You should give a brief overview of the text but focus your essay on showing an
understanding of the argument being made and how it is supported. You will need to
identify any appeals that are being used as support to the claim. This paper is not simply a
summary of an argument. It is an analysis of the argument put forth by the text.
The essay should follow an academic structure with an introduction and thesis, body
paragraphs, and conclusion. The body paragraphs should bring in significant details from
the text as evidence to support the paragraph. The goal is to show an understanding of
how the op ed uses rhetorical appeals to support its claim.
Here are some questions that might help you think about the rhetorical situation:
What is the argument?
Who is the audience?
What contextual elements influenced the production of the text?
What appeal(s) does the author employ to persuade the audience?
In what ways are these appeals significant?
Are there other elements that clearly lend support to the claim?
In what ways are these significant?
How do the appeals or other elements build to support the claim?
Grading Criteria:
I will use a holistic scoring rubric to evaluate your paper that takes into account your
mastery of such facets of writing as organization, development, grammar, mechanics, and
A successful essay must accomplish the following (though not necessarily in this order):
a) Introduce the rhetorical situation of the text
b) Give an overview of the text
c) Identify the argument
d) Analyze the argument and rhetorical appeals to show how the argument/main
claim is being supported
Key RWS 305W Learning Objectives Met with This Assignment
Understand the concept of rhetorical situations: the relationship among writeraudience-subject-context
Apply critical reading strategies to a variety of publicly and individually
produced texts
Work with demanding readings and learn to interpret, incorporate, and evaluate
these readings
Use writing as a way to learn—to think about, question, and communicate ideas
Develop successful, flexible strategies for generating, revising, and editing texts
Understand the collaborative and social aspects of the writing process
Critique your own and others’ texts
Show initiative in problem solving situations

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