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Essay 1: Textual Analysis and Rubric
Assignment Description: Analyze how Jovan Byford does or does not make an effective argument
“Fake News” is a phrase that is used a lot lately. How can we tell the difference between truth and fiction? Who do we believe and how can we filter through lies and deception to know what’s true in our world, our country, and our own city? This is the point of Psychology Professor Jovan’s Byford’s articles, “How to Spot a Conspiracy Theory When You See One” (https://theconversation.com/how-to-spot-a-conspiracy-theory-when-you-see-one-133574).
Byford’s article makes an impact on most readers. Why? How? For this essay, you will write a 3-page textual analysis of this essay and discuss how Byford does or does not make an effective argument using logos, pathos, and ethos. You will also give a response to the essay as you write your essay, noting how well Byford presents his arguments and noting times when you feel the argument is weak or irrelevant. A key point of this assignment is not to summarize the article, but to analyze HOW the author uses ethos, logos, and pathos to prove his argument for how to tell the difference between fact and conspiracy theory.
This essay should:
• Include an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion
• Include a brief summary of Byford’s essay near the beginning of your essay/typically the second paragraph of the essay following the introduction paragraph (What is the main purpose/argument of the article? What does the author hope to achieve in writing it? Who is the intended audience?)
• Analyze how the writer uses ethos, logos, and pathos to prove the argument (think about who the essay is written for and what words, stories, or ideas are presented to prove the author’s point to the reader)
• May 21 – Complete “Introduction and Topic Sentences” for Essay 1
• May 28 – Submit essay 1 rough draft under Discussions and comment on two drafts
• June 4 – Submit essay 1 final paper (Assignments)
• Outside research IS NOT allowed for this assignment (the only source you will reference is the primary source: the article, “How to Spot a Conspiracy Theory When You See One”)
• Include at least two direct quotations and two paraphrases with appropriate in-text citations
• Include a Works Cited page, for just the Byford article, in proper MLA format
Use MLA 8th edition format. The Works Cited page should be separate from the essay itself. Use Times New Roman, 12-point font with 1” margins, and double-spaced lines. Write in third person (he, she, it, etc.), but not in first person (I, me, etc.) or second person (you, your, etc.).
Minimum 3-page paper
A copy of your rough AND final drafts must be submitted on D2L prior to the due dates listed.
RUBRIC: ESSAY ONE/ENG 101
Possible Points / Earned Points
20 Originality (Voice and Ideas):
• Focused and specific thesis that addresses the assignment topic
• Logical reasoning that supports the thesis
20 Organization (Structure and Coherence):
• Clear introduction, body, and conclusion
• Coherent incorporation of ideas, examples, and evidence, including use of transitions
20 Development (Analysis and Specific Support):
• Discussion of thesis includes specific and relevant examples and evidence
• Correct placement of signals and parenthetical references
Sentence Skills: (Grammar, Mechanics, and Punctuation):
• Five or more spelling / apostrophe errors per paper will fail category
• Two or more major sentence errors per page (see syllabus for list of major errors) will fail category
20 MLA Guidelines (Document Design and Research Format):
• Document design follows MLA format
• Correctly formatted example of quotation
• Correctly formatted example of paraphrase
• Works Cited page follows MLA format