In this project, you will perform an in-depth rhetorical analysis of a scholarly journal in your field. You will write an essay that describes your chosen journal, assesses its audience, summarizes an article from it, and analyzes the its particular writing conventions.
Analysis entails looking at something closely and methodically to figure out how it works (or doesn't work, as the case may be). In performing a rhetorical analysis, your goal is to explain what constitutes successful writing within your forum and why. Analysis like this isn't just something that rhetoric nerds do for fun—it is a process that should eventually inform the production of successful writing. The findings from this project will give you practical insight into how to write for your chosen discourse community. You will also gain practical insight into every other assignment you will encounter this semester.
Your rhetorical analysis essay should contain at least the following major sections:
Your evidence will be pieces of the journal and article shown to your audience through direct quotes, paraphrases, summaries, and description. Evidence will be key to making persuasive claims in this project: you will need to gather data, explain the data (and how it supports a specific claim made), and tie your explanation back to the overall thesis of the project.
The Porter heuristic and the Bazerman checklist are there to help you begin your analysis and gather your evidence, but the intention is not for you to answer every question within the body your essay. Particularly since there is some overlap between the two resources, you will have to decide what section in your essay is the best place to use the evidence you gather (if you use it at all).
Your rhetorical analysis essay should be 1,500–2,000 words in length.