Tag Archives: thesis

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 Seven: Collaboration 9-18-14

Today’s Agenda:

Project Two

This project is two-fold.  You will work with one or two partners on an analysis of a piece of discourse you find rhetorically interesting.  Your analysis needs to be:

  1. written and each partner will submit to SafeAssign; and
  2. made into a presentation.

The written portion, in turn, will have two components:

  1. The collaboratively written analysis.
  2. Your personal reflection on the act of creating the presentation and working with a partner(s).

The presentation  needs to be multimedia and delivered to the class. It should last 5-10 minutes.  Ideally, your analysis should be delivered orally (you can use the written analysis as a script) enhanced and accompanied by multimedia.


 Two Issues about Project Two:

  1. How are you going to work on it?

  2. What are you going to work on?

Three primary models of collaboration are:

  • The Round Table

https://stablerenglish.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/f6371-37109chb-37110chb-37111chb-38247-instl.jpg?w=274&h=206Pros: Quick sharing of ideas among team members; Real time debate of pros and cons of project.

Cons: Difficult to schedule time to meet; Difficult to control input if there is only one keyboard operator; Can produce conflict that impedes production.

Most effective for brainstorming, task scheduling and progress reporting.

  • Divide-and-Conquer


Pros: Assigned task can be completed in the least amount of time.

Cons: Minimal collaboration; Difficult to recover if a task is not completed by a team member; Inconsistencies in tone and style; Replications or gaps in final product

Most effective for small, specific tasks that are part of a larger project.

  • Layered Approach


Pros: Each member has multiple opportunities to provide input, critique, and revise; More motivation due to ownership of the project; Similar to professional workplace collaboration

Cons: Different roles may create inequalities; Requires thoughtful and careful planning.

Most effective for drafting and revising tasks.

Topics for Project Two

Between you and your partner(s), if you have completed all the homework due up to this point in the semester, have already looked at numerous pieces of discourse. These include:

  • Blogs and “About Me” pages
  • Comparing two websites after reading ch. 2 of WW
  • A sample from your courses (which you were asked to bring in tonight)

In other words, you’ve already been exposed to a variety of genre and samples of discourse.  Your first task, tonight, is to find a partner or two with whom you wish to work and compare your genre analysis notes about the samples of discourse you brought with you.

You may write an analysis on anything you have already encountered in classwork or any new piece of discourse including advertisements, television networks or shows, documentaries, music videos, textbooks or other non-fiction. Choose wisely.  Use the following Venn diagram as a guide:


Whatever you decide to write on, keep your analysis grounded in the rhetorical situation.

Thesis statements for Project Two

Thesis statements for rhetorical analyses are a bit tricky. The central argument of the piece you are analyzing is its thesis. Your thesis, however, will be an argument about how that that thesis is made and supported.

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://i2.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.”



Handout on an analysis of Comic images.

Weasel Words essay

Wayne Writer

“Analysis” and “Analyzing Media” from the “Introduction” to . pp. li-lxv.

Ch. 9 pp. 299-311 and and 337-355


Post on your blog a short response (@300 words) to “Writing Activity 9.9” on p. 351-2 of WW