Tips & strategies for writing Essay 2

• Introduction

If you’re stuck in how to get started writing Essay 2, look at page 2 of the essay assignment.

I give you some tips and ideas on how to brainstorm your introduction.

The introduction paragraph of a rhetorical analysis essay like Essay 2 should provide information about what you will be writing about.

Make sure that you introduce Stevenson and his book. (This is one of the criteria for evaluation I mention on the first page of the assignment.)

What is his purpose in writing the book, and how do appeals connect to that purpose?

You could begin your introduction by starting with a discussion about why and how writers use rhetorical appeals to achieve their purpose.

That you could lead you into your discussion of Stevenson’s book and his purpose and his use of rhetorical appeals.

Think of your introduction as an upside-down triangle:

The wider base at the beginning is your discussion of writers and why/how they use rhetorical appeals; and the tip of your triangle is your thesis about how Stevenson uses appeals in his book to achieve his purpose.

You should also mention in your introduction which appeals you will be discussing, and how successful Stevenson is in using those appeals to achieve his purpose (this is your thesis).

• Body paragraphs

Let’s review what we said last week about body paragraphs in Essay 2.

Write one paragraph on each of the rhetorical strategies and appeals that you mention in your introduction.

Keep this formula in mind:

1 appeal or means of persuasion=1paragraph

(Note: You can use the phrases “rhetorical appeal” or “means of persuasion” or “appeal to ethos” or “appeal to logos” or “appeal to pathos” in your essay.)

Keep this point in mind: All of your body paragraphs need to explain how Stevenson uses that appeal to the reader, and how these appeals connect back to his purpose in writing the book.

Remember our formula for effective body paragraphs – the word TEST:

Topic Sentence
Evidence
Summary Statement
Transition

Topic Sentence: Unifies your paragraph

Remember, each paragraph in the body should have its own topic sentence.

For the topic sentence for this assignment, make sure that you explain the definition of the rhetorical strategy or appeal you are writing about.

You should write one paragraph on each of the rhetorical strategies and appeals that you mention in your introduction.

Use the questions I have provided to you in the essay assignment hand-out to help you focus your body paragraphs:

What is the definition of the rhetorical strategy or appeal you are writing about?

Writers use the appeal to pathos in order to …

The appeal to pathos is used by writers to …

What is your evaluation of Stevenson’s use of that appeal in regard to his purpose?

Stevenson’s appeal to ethos is effective in this chapter because …

How does the example in this paragraph illustrate the use of that strategy?

This moment in Chapter 2 illustrates how Stevenson appeals to …

How does this example contribute to Stevenson’s purpose?

In order to achieve this purpose, Stevenson uses the appeal to … in order to …

Evidence: Supports your paragraph’s topic sentence (an example of the appeal you are writing about)

You need to find concrete examples of Stevenson using this appeal in his book.

As I say in the criteria for evaluation, I’m looking for clear and specific evidence that he does use these means of persuasion.

How does the example in your body paragraph illustrate the use of that appeal?

Summary statement: (explaining why Stevenson uses that appeal)

How does this example contribute to his purpose? (Use the summary statement to link back to your thesis)

Transitions: (so you lead your reader smoothly from one example to the next)

In addition to using the appeal to emotions, Stevenson also uses the appeal to …

Another example of how Stevenson appeals to the emotions occurs in the first chapter …

• Do a close reading of each of your examples

Remember also that a rhetorical analysis assignment like Essay 2 requires you to do a close reading of the book – in other words, you must discuss the words and phrases that Stevenson uses to achieve his effects.

Find the definitions and stats that you are talking about and include them in your body paragraphs. This is the evidence I’m looking for.

You have to show how and why Stevenson uses the appeal and how that appeal connects to your topic sentence (and your thesis).

Or let’s say you wanted to discuss why Stevenson included the moment where Henry suddenly starts singing in the beginning of the book.

You could write something like: “Another example of Stevenson using the appeal to pathos occurs with the moment of Henry’s singing a hymn in the beginning of the book. This passage portrays Henry as a sad and lost man locked behind bars.”

But this wouldn’t be sufficient in terms of a rhetorical analysis of that page. This is more of a summary of that passage than an analysis of how the passage works.

What, exactly, does Stevenson say here about Henry and himself? What words or phrases does he use to convey the emotions of this scene?

How does the language Stevenson uses help him convey the emotions he wants his readers to feel?

What emotions is he trying to rouse in his reader?

And remember to finish this paragraph by explaining how it connects to Stevenson’s overall purpose:

If your thesis is that Stevenson uses the appeal to pathos to give a human dimension to the problems in the criminal justice system, you need to explain:

Why is that human dimension important for Stevenson’s purpose?


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