2,000-2,200 wordsMinimum eight paragraphsAn introduction, with a thesis statement in boldAt least one paragraph on ethos, with one direct quote per paragraphAt least one paragraph on pathos, with one

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  • 2,000-2,200 words
  • Minimum eight paragraphs
  • An introduction, with a thesis statement in bold
  • At least one paragraph on ethos, with one direct quote per paragraph
  • At least one paragraph on pathos, with one direct quote per paragraph
  • At least one paragraph on logos, with one direct quote per paragraph
  • A conclusion

Note: the rhetorical device you identify as the primary rhetorical device of the author’s essay in your thesis statement should have at least three paragraphs analyzing the significance of that rhetorical device within the author’s argument.

  • Use at least three templates from “They Say” in They Say/I Say (in bold)
  • Original title, not rhetorical analysis, or essay one
  • Double space
  • Proper MLA parenthetical citations
  • MLA Header in the top left corner of the first page:

Your Name

ENGL 1101

Instructor’s Last Name

Due Date

Readings in They Say/I Say:

  • “Should Everyone Go to College?” by Stephanie Owen and Isabell Sawhill
  • “Generation Stress: The Mental Health Crisis on Campus” by Sylvia Mathews Burwell
  • “The Student Loan Trap: When Debt Delays Life” by Charles Fain Lehman


For this project, we are reading three essays that present arguments connecting the concept of ‘college’ with real-world application and consequences surrounding higher education. Each essay presents a distinct argument. We will read and discuss each essay in Module 1.

As a society, college is often presented as the next step towards a sustainable career. But it has only been recently that journalists, politicians, college students and graduates, and critics have started to question the ‘cost’ of college for the average citizen. Each essay will look at this cost from a distinct perspective.

While the arguments that Owen and Sawhill, Burwell, and Lehman make are important, it does not matter if you agree or disagree with them.

For this essay, you will look at how the argument of one essay is constructed. In other words, how does the author use rhetorical devices to develop their argument and persuade their audience of the argument they are making?


When we agree or disagree with an argument, there are three very basic concepts that ultimately sway us to one side or the other:

  1. Do we find the person making the argument credible, or trustworthy and knowledgeable on the subject?
  2. Are we provided information that appears logical and supportive of the argument?

        • This could be statistics,
        • It could be a story that resonates as “real,”
        • It could be anything you see as factual,

          • logic can be a number of things, not just numbers and figures.
  3. Do we have an emotional connection—good, bad, or in between—that connects us to the topic

Each argument we accept and each that we disregard, we do so based on these rhetorical devices. We analyze all arguments in this manner, often without even thinking. A few other things can go into the matter, but in general that is all it takes to sway a person.

Your Essay:

For this essay, you will analyze how the rhetorical devices—ethos, logos, and pathos—are presented in one of the essays listed above.

You will need to analyze how the author(s) of your essay demonstrates each of the following rhetorical devices:

  • Ethos: how the author creates a sense of credibility, or how they demonstrate that they are a trustworthy source for the information they have provided
  • Logos: how the author uses data to create a sense of reason from their audience while reinforcing their claims
  • Pathos: how the author elicits a strong emotional connection between you and the subject matter

For each rhetorical device—ethos, logos, and pathos—you will need to write at least one paragraph analyzing how the author uses that device to support their argument. Each paragraph will need to include one direct quote to support the claims you are making.

Note: Each paragraph should not include more than one direct quote. You want most of your essay to be how you analyze the argument the author is making through rhetorical devices.

Once you have determined how the author uses each rhetorical device to create their argument, you will need to determine which device is the primary rhetorical device. In other words, which rhetorical device do you feel dominates the argument.

Is it a sense of trustworthiness or credibility?

Then your primary rhetorical device is ethos.

Is it full of facts and data that leave little room for a counterargument?

Then your primary rhetorical device is logos.

Is it an emotional pull that either tugs at your heartstrings or leaves you feeling disgusted or maybe it enrages you to think about?

Then your primary rhetorical device is pathos.

The device you decide on is the primary rhetorical device. You will need to write at least three paragraphs analyzing this rhetorical device. How you distribute the remaining body paragraphs between the rhetorical devices is up to you.

This essay will also start to develop the tone and language used in academic discourse. The reading assignment for Draft 1 in Module 2: “They Say” from They Say/I Say will help you learn and develop this. In “They Say” there are several different templates designed to help you start building your skills within the discourse. For at least three body paragraphs you will need to incorporate one of the templates into your writing. These templates will need to be bolded.

Your essay will also need an introduction, with a thesis statement that you should put in bold and a conclusion. Neither your introduction nor your conclusion should include any direct quotes but should be full-sized paragraphs.

Your introduction needs to provide an overview of the topic of the essay.

Your thesis statement should argue which rhetorical device is the primary device of the essay and why that is significant in understanding the argument being made.

Your conclusion needs to explain why the argument presented in the essay you’re analyzing is important to consider.

Ideal Essays:

An ideal essay will be well-polished had has taken my feedback from your drafts into consideration while revising and polishing for final submission. Clarity and details are a significant part of this assignment, especially when describing the time, you experienced identifying judgements.

While proper grammar and sentence structure are not a primary goal in ENGL 1102—ideas are the primary focus—basic English grammar is necessary. While working on this project we will have an InQuizitive Assignment that will help you work on rhetorical situations and devices.

I highly recommend using Grammarly to check your final essay before submitting it. You can download it for free in your VSU (Valdosta State University) online Microsoft Suite.

After reading your essay, it should be clear how the author of the original essay uses ethos, pathos, and logos to form their argument, and which rhetorical device you find to be the most prominent.


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