Tag Archives: Introduction

Research Project Presentations and Workshop

One thing that will greatly influence the tone and style of your essay is the intended audience.

In your proposal argument, you want to convince your audience to take action. Your thesis, which should appear at the end of your introduction paragraph(s), describes that action. The body of the essay lays out the reasons for and logistics of that action. Later, in your conclusion, you will reinforce that action.

The first step is to know is who your target audience. This  will help you focus your research, your rhetorical appeals, and the direction of your essay.


Who are you trying to convince to take action? Who has the power to actually make this change? That “who” is your audience.

In your introduction, you need to do a few things to address your audience:

  • Through your identification of relevant details of the discourse community and your discussion of your stake in that community, you will establish your ethos (credibility) as writers.
  • Through your discussion of the issue (What is the problem? Why is it a problem? What have others written or said or done about this problem?) you will show your audience what YOU know about the issue/need and will also bring them up to speed on the discussion at hand.
  • Through your thesis, you will indicate, in a nutshell, what your solution is and why it is important.

Take a look at a sample introduction from last semester. In the intro, the student writers indicate that they plan to write a proposal to the Chipotle corporate office. Thus, as it is written now, the audience is their peers. How would you revise this introduction if the audience was the Chipotle corporate office?

chipotle essay intro that needs to be revised.


Read: Revising by Reading Aloud

Write Project Four! Post work-in-progress to blogs before class on Tuesday.




1020 Session Eight Analyze This! 9-25-14

On Tap Tonight:

The Analysis Essay Outline



I. Introduction with a strong thesis –

Your Introduction needs to have H.E.A.T

  • Hook-capture the reader’s attention
  • Exigence-create a need/desire to continue reading
  • Anticipation-provide a peek at what is to come in the body
  • Thesis – Project Two is largely driven by its thesis. Having a strong thesis statement (such as one that uses the “skeletal structure” we’ve covered in class) will  make it easier for you as a writer to keep your argument organized and for your readers to follow your argument’s structure.

A “skeletal structure” for the thesis will likely be some variation on the following:

 A = Author(s)

W = Work being analyzed

T = Thesis of that work

X, Y, Z, Q(etc.) = particular strategies used by Author(s) to support their thesis  and/or questions and problems that arise

Any variation of this formula will work.

eg.  “In W, A argues T through X, Y, Z” or “Through the use of  X, Y, Z, A argues T in W.“

Likewise, if you choose to analyze a genre from a specific discourse community, you may find that your thesis statement contains the following elements:

https://i0.wp.com/images.cjcarterdesigns.com/projects/skeleton1-jumbo.jpgG = Genre being analyzed

DC = Discourse community it is primarily found in

P =  Purpose the genre serves

X, Y, Z, Q(etc) = Specific features of the genre that serve the DC and/or questions or problems that arise

e.g. “The G helps DC by providing X, Y, Z in the pursuit of P.” or, “In order to P the DC uses G which features X, Y, Z.”

Building Blocks for Support Paragraphs: TED revisited.

You need basically three items in each support paragraph.

1. A transition that also serves as a topic sentence to open the paragraph. An easy way to segue into your new paragraph is to introduce the technique under review in relation the previous one. For instance, you might write:

  • (If the previous paragraph was on technique X, and the new one you are starting is on technique Y): “In addition to X, A spends considerable time relating Y.”
  • Or you might write something that weights the technique under review in comparison to others: “However, A’s strongest examples come by way of Y.”
  • Here’s one from the film reviewers analysis from The Wayne Writer: “Both authors discuss the plot, but write about it differently” (303).

2. You need sentences that provide examples of the technique under review in the paragraph. Effective use of quotations from, or paraphrases of, the text being analyzed will be valuable in this section.

3. Finally, you need to relate the examples back to the thesis of the text being analyzed. Doing so reminds the reader of the central argument of the text and how the technique you’re covering in this paragraph is, as you have stated, important to the forwarding of this argument. These types of sentences can conclude your paragraph or the can be woven into the paragraph.

Here’s the “examples” section of the paragraph from the film reviewers analysis from The Wayne Writer, with sentences that relate to the thesis in bold:

  • Geist felt that the movie was “a constantly surprising comedy which chronicles the thirty-year relationship of a mother and daughter and their wayward men.” He uses difficult vocabulary intended for the well-educated reader. For example, Geist writes, “Alone and fearful of reaching fifty, Aurora surrenders to her bibulous and lecherous neighbor, Garret, a former astronaut, whom she had previously disdained as uncouth.” When discussing the story, Geist gave away too much to the reader. He stated that Emma became infected with cancer and eventually died. When Schickel explained the same part in the story, he did not completely give the story away. Instead of saying that Emma has cancer he refers to it as “Emma’s illness.” He never states that she dies.

All of these “concluding” sentences illustrate the different writing styles of the two film reviewers as stated in the essay writer’s thesis. They may also work to show how the example described in the sentence that preceded it were effective and/or how it forwards the central argument of the work being analyzed.

Check your support paragraph with the following criteria for evaluation:

  • How effectively does the first (“topic”) sentence of the paragraph set up the rest of the paragraph?
  • Are appropriate/effective examples drawn from the text? Do these examples fit into one of the categories/techniques identifed in the thesis?
  • Does the paragraph as a whole fit together cohesively?

A sample outline for the written part of Project Two could look something like this:

  1. Introduction and background info (1-2 paragraphs)
    1. Hook–make the reader want to read! Start with something exciting about the piece you will be analyzing;
    2. Exigence–explain why the reader should care about your analysis by explaining background info about your selected work and discuss what is at stake;
    3. Anticipation–provide some hint of what is  in store for the reader by explaining what you are analyzing; often this is performed in conjunction with…
    4. THESIS — should be along the lines of how the specific rhetorical strategies and/or elements of the work affect its audience
  2. Body Paragraphs (as many as you need) should all have:
    1. Topic Sentence (also works as a transition)
    2. Claim
    3. Evidence
    4. Analysis
    5. Always refers back to the THESIS
  3. Conclusion
    1. Revisit your thesis in some manner.  DO NOT CUT AND PASTE it from your introduction.  Show how your analysis prove (or disprove) how rhetorical elements of the work produce the effects you claim.
    2. Wrap things up.

Use this analysis checklist to make sure you have all the essential elements.

Homework: Write analysis essay. Create multimedia project.

Bring two printed copies of your analysis (without personal reflection) to class on Tuesday for peer review. Essay to be uploaded to SafeAssign via Blackboard by 11:59 pm on Wednesday 10/1/14.

Presentation to be finalized before class on Thursday, 10/2/14. Place it or a link to it on your blog.

Read: Macrorie I-Search Ch 6  AND Postman and Weingartner