4 Module 3

The purpose of Module Three is to apply an understanding of rhetorical analysis and MLA to the crafting and peer-reviewing of Essay #1, your rhetorical analysis essay.


The Module Three assignments will guide you toward the following objectives:

  • Gain a more in-depth understanding of the rhetorical situation as it applies to rhetorical analysis
  • Become more confident about the purpose and process of rhetorical analysis
  • Create a rough draft of Essay #1
  • Engage in peer-review


By this time, you should have a good fundamental understanding of the meaning and purpose of rhetorical analysis and should have ideas in mind for Essay #1. The focus of this module, then, is on drafting Essay #1 rough drafts and peer-reviewing those drafts with classmates. By the end of this module, you should have an even stronger understanding of rhetorical analysis and be in great shape to revise Essay #1 rough drafts so you can have a solid rhetorical analysis essay to close out this first unit of Writing 101.


The Module Three readings are from Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab (OWL) and provide more in-depth information on rhetorical analysis. They also offer examples to show how to engage in rhetorical analysis.

Click on the title of the reading to open it in a new browser window.

Writing Commons

Optional – Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab (OWL)

Preparing for Essay #1 and Peer Review: A Few Notes

The focus for this module is all about drafting and peer-reviewing Essay #1 drafts. You will spend the first part of the module writing your rough draft and the second part engaging in peer-review with classmates.

Essay #1 Rough Drafts

The first step for composing your Essay #1 rough draft is to ensure you have a clear understanding of the requirements. As a reminder, the instructions are linked under “Quick Links to Major Assignments and Grading Rubrics.” You can access the instructions and grading rubric directly in separate browser windows by clicking on the corresponding links below:

Using the grading rubric as a checklist will be valuable as you compose and revise, as it lists out the criteria that will be used to evaluate final drafts. You will also use the grading rubric for peer-review.

The next step will be to identify a text to analyze if you have not done so already. You discussed possibilities in the CD1b discussion, and now you will want to commit to a text. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Choose something relatively brief (200 – 900 words or so). If you are a student who worries about word count, your impulse might be to think that you will have more to write about if you choose a longer text; however, longer texts can often be more challenging to analyze at an in-depth level for an essay of this length, as there is generally more to untangle, which can make the process of developing analytical conclusions more challenging.
  • Choose something you are interested in analyzing. Likely, you will be more engaged in the assignment if you care about what you are writing about!
  • Choose something that contains a clear author, audience, and argument. This is very important, as if you aren’t able to identify the author, audience, and argument, you will have a difficult time establishing a foundation for your analysis.

You are completely welcome to continue using the text you focused on in the CD1bdiscussion.

Your next step will be to apply everything you’ve learned about rhetorical analysis to the drafting of your essay. Likely, you will benefit from reviewing the readings from the past modules. As you are aware, one of the goals is to ensure your essay has an introduction, a series of focused body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Here is an outline you can follow that will help you achieve these requirements:

Sample Outline: Rhetorical Analysis Essay

  • Introduction: Readers are engaged, topic is set up, and thesis is revealed.
  • Body Paragraph #1: The rhetorical situation is described.
  • Body Paragraph #2: Analytical Point #1 (ethos) is discussed and connected to thesis.
  • Body Paragraph #3: Analytical Point #2 (logos) is discussed and connected to thesis.
  • Body Paragraph #4: Analytical Point #3 (pathos) is discussed and connected to thesis.
  • Additional Body paragraphs: Additional analytical points are discussed and connected to thesis.
  • Conclusion: Main points are summed up and thesis is reemphasized. Final insights, observations, and conclusions are revealed.

You do not have to follow this exact outline, but you are welcome to if it will help you organize your ideas. You will see that the rhetorical analysis essay examples linked under “Optional Readings” above follow this outline or a very similar outline.

Peer Review

The second part of this week will focus on peer-review. You will post your rough draft to the CD2 topic under Discussions. Full instructions for peer-review are provided in the discussion prompt. Be sure to read the instructions carefully to ensure you have a clear understanding of the purpose and value of peer-review and the process you will follow. You may also find it helpful to review the “Peer-Review: A Few Notes” page posted under the Course Materials module in the Content area. Click the following link to open this page in a new browser window: Peer-Review: A Few Notes

As expressed on this page, any feedback you offer is valuable as long as it focuses on the assignment goals and reflects your response as a reader. Your instructor wants to emphasize that students often feel anxious about offering feedback because of concerns of coming across as too critical or because of a lack of confidence about writing and reading skills. As described on the page, a strategy that helps is using reader-response language rather than critical, command-style language. Note the difference:

Critical, command-style: You need to redo the whole body of the essay.

Reader response: When I read the body of your essay, I was able to get a good idea of the main ideas of the article you are analyzing, but I was unclear about your analytical points. This may be an important part to work on when you revise since a main goal of this essay is to create a rhetorical analysis. One thing that helped me focus more on rhetorical analysis is using those terms “ethos,” “pathos,” and “logos.” What is the author’s ethos? How would you describe the logos – does the argument about coal mining seem logical? What about the emotional appeal (pathos)? Rhetorical analysis is totally new to me, and using these terms really helped!

You can’t go wrong if you express your response in terms that reflect your distinct reading and in a way that focuses on providing helpful feedback related to the assignment goals. Note, also, the use of examples in the second version and how the examples help show the reader’s perspective and reasoning. This type of reader-response, specific feedback will be much more helpful to classmates.

Keep in mind that you are not obligated to follow every suggestion offered when you revise – that could prove challenging, if not impossible! – but when you have an assortment of reader responses and weigh them all together, you will get a sense of areas of your essay that will be valuable to focus on during revision.



CD3: Peer-Review, Rough Drafts of Essay #1

Essay #1 Peer-Review: Overview

Use this forum to workshop your rough drafts of your Essay #1. You should post your draft and workshop responses to three group members’ rough drafts by the due date noted in the Course Schedule. Follow the process and instructions noted below.

Essay #1 Peer-Review: Process

Choose carefully when selecting drafts to review to ensure that everyone gets an equal amount of peer-review feedback.

Reviews should be at least 200 words each.

draft of a typed paper with red markings throughout
“Mistakes, Editing, School, Red Ink”by annekarakash. CC-0.

Use the Essay #1 Grading Rubric to offer feedback. It is recommended that you print it out and have it beside you as you offer feedback or having it easily accessible in a separate browser window.  You can access this rubric by going to Content and selecting “Essay #1 – Rhetorical Analysis Grading Rubric” under “Quick Links to Major Assignments and Grading Rubrics” or clicking on the following link to open it in a new browser window: Essay #1 – Rhetorical Analysis Grading Rubric

Be as helpful and specific as possible!

Do not make comments directly to drafts; instead, make comments in response paragraphs and post these response paragraphs as replies to drafts you review.  Divide your comments into the following three main areas which directly reflect the assignment requirements and areas identified in the Grading Rubric as outlined below.

Essay #1 Peer-Review: Feedback

  1. Content: First, identify a strength related to the content. Then, offer suggestions.  Questions to consider include: Does the essay focus consistently on rhetorical analysis (analyzing a piece of text)? Does the essay follow the assignment guidelines and discuss the rhetorical situation, ethos, pathos, and logos? Do any areas go off on tangents or contain information that is not related to rhetorical analysis? Do any sections focus too much on summary rather than analysis?
  2. Organization: First, identify a strength related to organization; then, offer feedback on the overall organization of the essay. Questions to consider include: Does it contain an introduction, a series of focused body paragraphs, and a conclusion? Does the introduction introduce the piece of writing (including author and title) and a rhetorical analysis claim? Does each body paragraph focus on one main idea related to rhetorical analysis? Does the conclusion sum up the main points of analysis and offer final insights?
  3. MLA and Grammar: First, identify a strength of MLA or grammar. Then, offer MLA and grammar suggestions. Questions to consider include: Does the writer follow MLA format? Does the tone feel appropriate for a college essay? Is the essay free of errors? What could the writer do to improve?

See the example posted to this forum for guidance and review the “Peer-Review: A Few Notes” page to ensure you have a solid sense of the goal and value of peer-review. You can access this page by going to Content and then locating it under “Course Materials” or just click the following link to open this page in a new browser window: Peer-Review: A Few Notes

Use this peer-review as an opportunity to develop your rhetorical analysis skills (as peer-reviewing is rhetorical analysis), to gain ideas for strengthening your Essay #2 rough draft, to participate in a community of readers and writers, and to grow as a reader and writer.

Looking Ahead

In Module Four, we will begin Unit 2, “Brief Argument.” You will revise Essay #1 drafts independently as you learn more about the art of argumentation and generate ideas for the next essay assignment.

Essay 1: Rhetorical Analysis

Basic task: To evaluate the effectiveness of a written argument.

Purpose: To develop a strong understanding of the elements of effective argumentation.

Later in the course, you will write your own arguments about meaningful topics—but first, it will be valuable for you to analyze effective and ineffective elements of arguments and identify strategies for conveying strong arguments. This way, you will be informed about techniques and approaches before developing your own arguments.

For this assignment, then, you will choose a specific written argument to analyze. Then, you will analyze rhetorical elements to come to a conclusion about the effectiveness of the argument. Your essay should identify and assess the following:

  • The rhetorical situation of the argument, including:
    • The author’s purpose/argument
    • The author’s audience
    • The context of the situation
  • The writer’s credibility (ethos)
  • The ability of the writer to engage readers emotionally (pathos)
  • The logic of the writer’s ideas ( logos)
  • The author’s use of additional rhetorical elements (voice, style, tone, organization/flow, diction, etc.) and whether the author’s use of the elements helps or hinders the writer’s attempt to persuade the audience of the argument
  • The overall strength and effectiveness of the argument

To best fulfill your purpose, you should present your points in a focused essay of at least 900 words that contains a strong introduction and conclusion and a series of well-organized and well-developed body paragraphs. Also:

  • Use examples and quotations from the argument you are analyzing to support your points
  • Format citations appropriately (MLA style)

The due dates will arrive quickly, so the sooner you identify a written argument to analyze, the more time you will have to develop your essay.

Essay #1: Rhetorical Analysis Grading Rubric

Understanding of Material & Clarity of Expression: 55 Points Possible

  • Essay contains at least 900 words and focuses consistently on rhetorical analysis.
  • Student illustrates understanding of rhetorical analysis (the purpose, the process, the key concepts)
  • Summarizing is kept to an appropriate minimum and is used only to support thesis and points of analysis.
  • Rhetorical terms (ethos, pathos, logos, style, tone, etc.) are properly and appropriately used.
  • Ideas and explanations are clear and well-supported.
  • Quoting is kept to an appropriate minimum, used only to emphasize points or provide brief examples.
  • Student focuses on and discusses each major point within essay fully and complexly.


Organization: 25 Points Possible

  • Introductory paragraph is attention-grabbing, introduces the article and author(s), and establishes the focus of the essay, which concerns rhetorical analysis.
  • A thesis statement placed at the end of the introduction outlines the main idea(s) and/or purpose of the essay.
  • Each body paragraph is focused on one main idea that relates to and supports the thesis
  • Transitional words, phrases/sentences and/or paragraphs link ideas, sentences, and paragraphs together.
  • Conclusion paragraph is well-developed and recaps the thesis and purpose of essay.
  • The essay flows smoothly from beginning to end without the reader having to pause or reread certain sentences and/or sections for clarification.
  • Essay maintains a level of formality—i.e. no superfluous use of “I”, “we”, “us” or a conversational tone.
  • All paragraphs are relevant and do not go off on tangents.


Formatting and In-Text References: 10 Points Possible

  • Proper MLA essay formatting is followed (1″ margins on all four sides, essay is double-spaced, from beginning to end without any extra spacing, last name and page numbers are present in upper right hand corner ½” from top of page, etc.)
  • References and in-text citations comply with MLA standards


Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling, Basic Communication: 10 Points Possible

  • Sentences are structurally complete—subject/verb/object, no fragments.
  • Student uses a variety of sentences (simple, compound, and complex) to convey complex ideas in meaningful ways.
  • All words are spelled correctly.
  • Proper use of subject/verb agreement, pronouns, tenses, punctuation, etc.



NOTE: If plagiarism is discovered on any level, the essay will receive a zero.


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