Context:In the rhetorical analysis assignment, you read an article on a controversial topic, looking for the aim of the author and trying to determine if the author was successful in their aim. There, you were focused on rhetorical strategies rather than the content of the argument. Now, you will integrate those skills and apply them to the task of developing your own point of view on a contemporary topic. This means you will look not only at how the authors you read address their topic, but what they say about the topic. The readings you’ll be doing are from the news.Prompt:Write a paper in which you take a position on a current topic that is, or has recently been, in the news.In order to support your position, you will also include these elements:A summary of the issue and the different positions on this topicRhetorical analysis of some of the opinion-based journalism on this subjectSynthesis of differing points of view to build your ownSome element of counterargument that shows you have evaluated differing points of viewRequirements and additional guidelines:2000-2500 wordsSources:Reference at least three works of written journalism, including at least one relatively “neutral” source, and two different opinion-based articles.Also include one article from either CQ Researcher or Gale Virtual Reference Library (both available on the DVC library website) that is relevant to your topic.In addition to these four text-based sources, you may also cite videos or audio that represent different political opinions on your topic: think political commentators, satirical news shows, interviews, etc.Be sure that you acknowledge and respond to conflicting points of view, i.e. include counter-arguments.Follow MLA formatting rules (double-spaced, etc.), and include a list of Works Cited in MLA format.Other pointers:Work to establish a narrow focus that you can realistically address in 2000 words. For example “President Trump” is not narrow. “President Trump’s trade policies” is better. “The Trump administration’s tariffs” or “The new US-Mexico-Canada Agreement” are even better.Your thesis should clearly state your point of view on the topic you have chosen.Though this paper is about the “what,” i.e. your perspective on your topic, be sure you build that perspective in part on argument about “how” journalists discuss this topic.Here is how I would approach this paper:Begin by reading more neutral sources to get a handle on the topic.Then, free write on the issue to articulate your initial thoughts.Read more opinionated pieces from different sectors of the political spectrum, annotating carefully, and noting your responses.Conduct research with the aid of CQ Researcher and/or the Gale Virtual Reference Library on the DVC library website.Add new impressions to your free write.Begin developing a thesis and an outline, and then write!Avoid writing this paper in a structure where each body paragraph corresponds to a different article. Instead, organize the paragraphs around different parts of the issue and weave in multiple authors’ views throughout. This is called synthesis.
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