For the Critical Analysis Research Essay, here are the prompt and requirements:
Description: This essay continues the work from your two earlier essays, the Dual Article Review and the Rhetorical Analysis Essay. You need to revise those earlier essays so that they become the first two sections of this essay and then you need to add a new 1,000-word section that provides your unique research and analysis on the topic, as well as your view on the correct course of action.
Remember: Having a unique argument of your own doesn’t mean you can’t use what people have already done. It just means that you have to take it a step further, add a new part, or create a unique blend of approaches that hasn’t been seen in exactly that way before.
You can use other people’s ideas for support, but you have to go a step farther and make a unique point of your own: for example, an approach that deals with current sources by acknowledging them and then insisting that we try harder in a particular area (with details, argument, explanation of how, etc). You can think of this as the “One Step Further” approach.
Length: 2,000 words (500 from the Initial Overview, 500 from the Rhetorical Analysis, and a new 1,000 from your research analysis).
Style: MLA (12pt Times New Roman, double-spaced, Works Cited page, in-text citations, page numbers, correct header, etc).
Research Required: Eight sources minimum. Cite these in the text of your argument and also give the full information on your Works Cited page. (Do not include the annotation blurbs–those only go on the Annotated Bibliography.)
How to Do It:
Based on your earlier two essays, you should have a clear idea of an argument that is important to you and that “Inspires You to Action.” That argument should have two clear sides that disagree with each other.
It may not be as simple as pro/con. It’s probably a disagreement over when or how to do something.
Now, finish collecting eight (or more) academic sources that are important to this topic and that clearly explain the two positions, where they come from, any additional data or statistics that support them, and anything else that is relevant to analyzing them and offering your own argument.
That probably looks like this:
2-3 articles on each position
2-3 sources of complementary material that offers something important to the research discussion or your own solution.
This essay is 2,000 words total and it has three sections: Initial Overview, Rhetorical Analysis, and Critical Research Analysis. (Use MLA-style section headers to divide the sections of the paper, so that it has three clear parts. You can find examples in the handouts here on Canvas or on Google.)
Section 1: Initial Overview.
Revise your Dual Article Review into the new Initial Overview Section (~500 words). The length here can be shorter than your original Dual Article Review, but you are welcome to write as much as you think you need.
This section should now provide an introduction to the two sides of the debate, not specifically to just two articles. Add as many sources as you need to clearly explain the two major positions for this debate. Each article that you discussed before should be an example of one side of the debate, so you want to add more material here to make it clear what each side is saying.
Section 2: Rhetorical Analysis.
Revise your Rhetorical Analysis Essay into the new Rhetorical Analysis section (~500 words).
In this section, you are no longer limited to discussing the arguments of just two articles. Instead, analyze the rhetoric of each side of the debate. building upon what you’ve discussed in the first section. What are the major principles, arguments, generalizations, analogies, etc, that each side is using to support/promote their ideas?
Section 3: Critical Research Analysis
Write a Critical Analysis Research section that provides your own supported view of what you think we should do about this matter (1,000 words).
Make sure you have fully and clearly researched the two sides of the argument before you reach this point.
Explain any remaining gaps in research or logic in the two positions you are analyzing (that you haven’t already mentioned in an earlier section), and then
Provide your own research-informed argument on what action you believe we should take.
Make sure to develop your argument well and to explain why it is reasonable to do it.
Clearly and accurately critique the two sides of this debate and to provide your own position on the topic
Support your argument with academic sources. (You need eight total sources for the essay. Try to have at least three or four for this section.)
Add a Conclusion and make sure to describe the path forward for the work that still needs to be done to bring this idea to its next stage.
Include a “Call to Action” at the end of your Conclusion as a nice way to end the essay on a strong note. Tell us what you want us to do about this problem.
Assemble the essay into a complete version that is 2,000 words (but more is fine).
Final Presentation (for Extra Credit this term, up to 3%):
Any appropriate media (Posterboard, Google Slides, a video, multimedia, artwork, etc)
your proposed solution
where you agree/disagree with others
what you want people to do about it (A Call to Action).
The Poster (if that is what you choose to do):
It should present your argument in a visual, direct way–text boxes, bullet points, graphs, photos, a movie, etc. Try to use mostly graphs/charts with bullet points. It should be easy to understand at a glance, with more detailed information available on a close look.
One way of dividing up the poster is into three parts:
Left Section: The Problem
Middle Section: The Solution You Propose
Right Section: Why It Might Work / The Way Forward
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