English 1010 Assignment #2: Rhetorical Lens

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English 1010 Assignment #2: Rhetorical Lens
Draft due: See Syllabus    Final due:  See Syllabus
Weight:  25% of final grade
Many times in academic or professional work, you will be asked to apply one perspective/theory/idea to a set of data.  Whether this is a mathematical theorem, a disease pattern, or a business strategy, the skill of using one idea to understand another is one worth mastering.  The A2 gives you some formal preparation in this ability by having you write a 5 page rhetorical “lens” analysis that uses one text as a “lens” through which to analyze another. This paper will require you to demonstrate an understanding, therefore, of two different texts as you utilize the perspective of one author to “read” the other’s work.

  • Choose two of our readings. The two restrictions are that your lens text must be one of the non-A1 readings and your second text cannot be your A1 selection.


  • Any non-A1 reading used as a lens to “read” an image of your choice. You must secure instructor permission to use a particular image before drafting.

Process Suggestions:

  • After selecting your two “texts,” decide which one will be your lens text.
  • Write an introduction paragraph that sets up just the lens text, as we did in the A1.
  • Similar to the A1, spend the first two pages doing CES rhetorical analysis (3-4 body paragraphs) of some of the key ideas on only that lens text, to help your reader understand some of the lens author’s positions (ideas) or approaches (techniques).
  • Starting somewhere on the third page, in a transitional paragraph, introduce the second text, evolving the thesis.
  • Then, use the next two pages writing lens-reading paragraphs, where you’ll analyze the second text through the perspective of your lens author. Do this with CES body paragraphs that have a Claim and Evidence from the second text, then the lens author’s perspective in the Significance.  For example, if Hearne is your lens and King is your second text, you will be analyzing in the Significance what Hearne would say about the quote from King’s  In essence, you will be using the perspective of one author to analyze/better understanding the other.
  • On the fifth page, write a conclusion that broadens and pushes the thesis to its final stage.

Criteria For Evaluation

  • Establishes key points from the lens text before applying it to the other author’s work.
  • Develops a specific analytical thesis that grows throughout the paper.
  • Employs CES properly, with an emphasis on analysis.
  • Develops ideas sufficiently to fill, but not go beyond, the five required pages.
  • Utilizes direct quoted (or closely-described details for an image) Evidence, and fluidly merges that material.
  • Clearly prioritizes the lens author’s perspective throughout the piece.
  • Has coherence: progresses logically and smoothly with 1) appropriate transitions indicating connections between ideas, and 2) attributive tags (author claims/argues/states).
  • Makes appropriate use of sentence structure, word choice, grammar, spelling, punctuation, and voice (formal, no I/you/me) that enables rather than hinders clear and effective communication.
  • Uses correct formatting, both for the pages and for the MLA in-text citations, to distinguish for the reader which of the two texts is being quoted.

The A2 is worth a possible 100 points.  As our second major essay, the piece is weighted more than the A1, but also requires greater demonstration of skill and insight. 
The below categories are general ranges for scoring.  Depending on where a particular essay falls within a particular category, the essay will be given a +/- grade, in order to give you a more specific sense of the essay’s success.

  • An ‘A’ paper (90-100 points) is an essay of five full pages which shows mastery of two texts and excellent structural control. The essay has an engaging intro which introduces the lens author and text, provides some basic context for an unfamiliar reader, and culminates in the first stage of the evolving thesis.  Each CES lens body paragraph that follows is well-developed examination of a single idea or technique in the text.  The second text is then introduced effectively, and the lens-reading paragraphs thereafter strongly use the lens author’s perspective to interpret the second author’s ideas/techniques.  The essay closes with a broadening conclusion that presents the final evolution of the thesis.  Throughout, the essay is a smooth read and highly polished/formatted.


  • A ‘B’ paper (80-89 points) is a sturdy essay of at least four full pages that does much of what an ‘A’ paper does, but without the same level of depth, consistency, or polish. It may have a paragraph or two with structural or conceptual issues, an underdeveloped idea, or lose its grip on the lens at some point.  Alternatively, it may be a strong conceptual piece that suffers from stylistic issues, with phrasing or mechanics getting in the way of clarity.


  • A ‘C’ paper (70-79 points) is a reasonable, middle-of-the-road analysis of at least three full pages that has the right foundation but does not fully deliver. While it addresses the assignment prompt accurately, it may misinterpret some key ideas from the author, have issues with organizational consistency, flip the lens perspective around, or develop its ideas in only a basic way.  Such a paper may also suffer from frequent stylistic errors, and often runs short.


  • A ‘D’ paper (60-69 points) is at least three full pages and tends to suffer from either writing a summary of the text’s ideas, neglecting to use the lens perspective at all, or insufficiently developing the analysis that is completed. Such a paper may also have serious presentation issues in terms of grammar, spelling, or tone, and typically runs far short of the page requirement.


  • Below that, a paper which completes less than 60% of the required length or fails to meet even the basic assignment requirements will receive between 1 and 59 points, depending on the success of the existing material. Most often, these kinds of papers occur due to time management issues and can be avoided by proper planning.


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