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RWS 200 Paper #1 Prompt

RWS 200 Paper #1 Prompt
Assignment goal: Articulating and evaluating how an argument persuades a specific audience
For this paper, you will write in response to the article by Kevin Carey, “Why Do You Think They’re Called For-Profit Colleges?” Your goal is to write a formal essay of four to five pages in which you construct an account of the argument this text makes and evaluate its effectiveness. There are three main components here:

  • First, identify what you see as the most interesting and important claims that the argument makes.
  • Second, describe specific strategies that the author uses in order to guide his intended reader to understand and accept those claims.
  • Third, evaluate the extent to which you see those strategies as likely to be successful.

Based on our classwork, you understand that all texts, including Carey’s text, are written for specific audiences, people in a certain time and place and who have particular knowledge and values. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the text, you will need to explain the clues in the text that demonstrate who Carey’s intended audience is. You should consider how the text is constructed to appeal to this audience. You may want to consider questions such as the intended reader’s age, education, economic class, values and beliefs, as well as what they already know about education.
You should write your paper with an intended audience as well. You should envision your audience as an academic reader in the field of rhetorical studies, one who is familiar with the broad outlines of the arguments regarding American education, but who is not familiar with this particular text. The paper should also meet the expectations of this academic audience as outlined below.
Highly successful papers will:

  1. Have a clear and thoughtful thesis that identifies several strategies used in the text, identifies the claim each is used to develop, and evaluates the effectiveness of that strategy.
  2. Have a strong introduction that introduces the topic, briefly places the topic into context, identifies your method for examining the topic, and states your thesis.
  3. Have a strong conclusion that returns to the larger topic, reminds the audience of your argument, and has a compelling final statement.
  4. Have effective overall organization that leads your reader smoothly through your text, using metadiscourse and transitions between both paragraphs and sentences to connect your ideas to one another.
  5. Have well-organized discussion paragraphs that center on a specific, clearly stated evaluative claim about a specific strategy.

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