EPIC ENGL 1102 (Sample Assignment)
Essay 2: Critique (20%)
3 pages minimum (1000-1200 words)
The present assignment provides you a chance to practice two skills of significant value well beyond the composition classroom: (1) summarizing, and indeed appreciating, the similarities and differences among texts that address, or seem to address, the same subject, but that support various arguments, make various rhetorical and compositional choices, and possess various levels of authoritativeness and bias in doing so; and (2) assessing which is most and/or least
valuable relative to the others with reference to those various qualities. You, therefore, will critically summarize a minimum of two texts from the body of research assigned in the second unit, giving particular attention to the qualities differentiating them, before articulating and supporting an argumentative thesis statement in which you deem at least one text, but no more than two texts, more or less effective than the others. Please consult the relevant course materials
for additional information.
Task: Choose at least one text, but no more than two texts, that we have covered in Grizzly Man or Into The Wild). Then, once you chosen the text(s) on which you want to concentrate, compose (1) an introduction that summarizes the similarities and differences among at least two of the texts discussed in the unit, and that concludes with an argumentative thesis statement deeming at least one text, but no more than two texts, more and/or less effective relative to the others; (2) content paragraphs that illustrate and support the argument made in the
thesis statement; and (3) a conclusion that recontextualizes the assessed text(s) with the others, explaining how the various qualities considered throughout the paper make it/them more and/or less effective overall.
Criteria for Success
The introduction should achieve three objectives: (1) it should introduce
no fewer than two of the texts discussed in the second unit, including both their authors and their titles, if applicable; (2) it should critically summarize both what each text says and how each text says it in a clear, concise, and accurate manner, giving particular attention the qualities that differentiate the two; and (3) it should conclude with an argumentative thesis statement that assesses the value of no more than two texts relative to the others with reference to their arguments, authorial choices (i.e., rhetorical, compositional, and stylistic choices), authoritativeness, and contextual value, among other qualities.
Your thesis should present a clear and concise argumentative
statement that assesses the value of a source text* relative to the others discussed in the introduction, and based on its arguments, authorial choices (i.e., rhetorical, compositional, and stylistic choices), authoritativeness, and contextual value. Remember, your thesis should not be presented as a response to the text’s main points (e.g., agreeing or disagreeing with the text’s ideas) but should make a value judgement about the text (e.g., why the text is effective or persuasive). *Note: You can assess two source texts, specifically comparing and contrasting them, if you choose. 3. Supporting Argument/Body: Each content paragraph should likewise include three components: (1) a topic sentence, (2) evidence, and (3) analysis. Each topic sentence should make an argumentative claim that further specifies the assessment of the source text(s) articulated in the thesis statement, and as such should evaluate a particular rhetorical, compositional, organizational, stylistic, logical, (etc.), the choice made in that text. Evidence, meanwhile, will take the form of quotations or of paraphrases, from the source text, that support and/or illustrate the claim made in the topic sentence, and the analysis will explain how each piece of evidence supports, illustrates, and otherwise “proves” the argued evaluation. 4. Conclusion: The conclusion, in general, has just a few objectives: (1) it should restate the thesis statement in other words , (2) it should place the assessed text(s) in dialogue with those summarized in the introduction, explaining how the various qualities considered throughout the paper make it/them more and/or less effective overall; and (3) it should gesture at the value of the critiqued text(s) in larger social and/or cultural contexts given the assessment argued in the overall paper. 5. MLA Format: The paper should follow current MLA style guidelines. Be sure to include in-text citations for direct quotations and paraphrases from your source as well as a Works Cited page. NOTE: The Purdue OWL website is an excellent resource for MLA guidelines, including formatting in-text citations and your Works Cited page. No outside research for this essay. This should be your evaluation of the source text(s) contained in the body of research found in unit two