Draft of a rhetorical analysis of a public document assignment



Write a 750-1,000-word essay that analyzes the rhetorical situation of a public document. This public document is the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) website on Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) found at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/facts.html.Your analysis should include at least TWO scholarly sources outside of class texts.




Complete a close reading of the assigned public document. Then, write a cohesive essay that:


1.Introduces and summarizes the CDC website on ADHD.


2.Analyzes the rhetorical tools used on the site (here, you will want to incorporate ideas from your pre-analysis below). For instance, your essay could analyze the CDC’s use of ethos, pathos, and logos.


3.Evaluates the site’s effectiveness (again, ideas from your pre-analysis below will be helpful).


This essay is NOT simply an expository or descriptive essay or an analysis of ADHD. It is an analysis of the site and how effectively the site uses rhetorical tools to get its point across.


Use Chapter 2 in The Call to Write and the sample rhetorical analysis on pages 57-60 as a guide.


First Draft Grading


•You will receive completion points for the first draft based upon the successful submission of your draft.  


•Because your first draft is a completion grade, do not assume that this grade reflects or predicts the final grade. If you do not consider your instructor’s comments, you may be deducted points on your final draft. 


Final Draft Grading


The essay will be graded using a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the assignment criteria and expectations. 








•Include in-text citations and a References page in GCU Style for at least TWO scholarly sources outside of class texts.


•These sources should be used to support any claims you make and should be present in the text of the essay. 


•Use the GCU Library to help you find sources.


•Include this research in the paper in a scholarly manner.




Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the GCU Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center.




•You are required to submit this assignment to Turnitin. Refer to the directions in the Student Success Center.


•Please be sure to review your Turnitin score before submitting the draft to your instructor. 


•Only Word documents can be submitted to Turnitin.


Preparing to Write the Essay


Read the site closely: 


1.Read the webpage on Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) found at http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/facts.html


2.Use the reading strategies in Chapter 2 of The Call to Write to help you better understand the site: 



oDo a first reading that uses underlining, annotation, and summary to make sure you understand what the writer is saying. Go back to any sections that need clarification. 


oOn a second reading, pay attention to what the writer(s) of the CDC site is doing by describing the writer’s strategy. 


Conduct a pre-analysis:


1.Use your close reading to analyze the rhetorical situation of the site.


2.Here are some questions to guide your analysis. 


3.You do NOT need to answer all of them—pick three that make the most sense to you. Your close reading will help you generate ideas for your essay. 



•What is the context of the issue(s)? 


a)What do you know about the topic? 


b)What issues does the topic raise? 


c)Is there a larger debate, discussion, or controversy already going on? 


d)What seems to be at stake?



•Who is the writer? 


a.What do you know about the writer’s background, credibility, knowledge of the topic, beliefs, and social allegiances?


•What is the publication? 


a.What do you know about its intended readers, reputability, political slant, and the topics it covers?


•How does the writer define the rhetorical situation and identify the call to write? 


a.What is the writer’s orientation toward the issues involved? 


b.What is at stake for the writer?


•Who is the intended audience? 


a.Is the writer addressing one group or more than one group of readers? 


b.Is the writer trying to bring an audience into being? 


c.What kind of relationship is the writer trying to establish with readers?


d.What assumptions about readers does the writer seem to make?


•How does the writer use language? 


a.How does the writer use ethos, pathos, and logos to appeal to the audience? 


b.What is the writer’s tone? 


c.What does the writer’s word choice show about his or her assumptions about readers? 


d.Does the writer use specialized terms or slang? 


e.Are there memorable figures of speech?


f.Does the writer stereotype?


•What is your evaluation of the rhetorical effectiveness? 


a.Does the writer accomplish his or her purposes? 


b.What constraints, if any, qualify the writing’s effectiveness?


Draft the essay: 


Once you’ve completed the pre-analysis, draft the essay. The essay should include: 


1.Header, essay title, heading in GCU Style 


2.An introduction paragraph with a thesis statement


3.At least three body paragraphs


4.A conclusion paragraph 


Also, you will need to include a References page and in-text citations formatted in GCU Style with at least TWO scholarly sources outside of class texts.

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