Read the essay “Can You Make Yourself Smarter?” on pages 212-219
in the textbook. You will need to clearly identify the Rhetorical
Situation and the Explanatory Strategies used. Make sure to address
the effectiveness of the argument and state whether you agree or
disagree and why. Specifically, make sure to address the following:
● Identify and assess the Rhetorical Situation (i.e. writer,
purpose, audience, topic, context, culture)
● Identify and assess the Explanatory Strategies used
(definition, example, comparison and contrast, classification,
process narration, cause and effect, etc.)
● Identify and Assess the use of ethos (of the author and his
sources), pathos, logos
● Assess the author’s treatment of the material (i.e. fairness as
opposed to bias, acknowledgment of opposing viewpoints,
etc.). This does fall under the author’s ethos.
● What is it?
● How is it done or how does it occur?
● Why does it happen and what are its effects?
The essay needs to be at least 2-3 full pages, typed. You must include
quotes from the text to support your response. Document quotations
parenthetically. No secondary sources allowed!
Organizational Format for Summary/Response/Rhetorical analysis Essay:
- Present the summary in a block of paragraphs, followed by the
response in a block:
Summary (two to three paragraphs)
Agreement (or disagreement) Examples/evidence from the article
Disagreement (or agreement)Examples/evidence from the article
Effective Summary-Response Essay Format
A summary is a concise paraphrase of all the main ideas in an essay. It cites the
author and the title (usually in the first sentence); it contains the essay’s thesis and
supporting ideas; it may use direct quotation of forceful or concise statements of
the author’s ideas; it will NOT usually cite the author’s examples or supporting
details unless they are central to the main idea. Most summaries present the
major points in the order that the author made them and continually refer back to
the article being summarized (i.e. “Damon argues that …” or “Goodman also
points out that … “). The summary should take up no more than one-third the
length of the work being summarized.
A response is a critique or evaluation of the author’s essay. Unlike the summary, it
is composed of YOUR opinions in relation to the article being summarized. It
examines ideas that you agree or disagree with and identifies the essay’s
strengths and weaknesses in reasoning and logic, in quality of supporting
examples, and in organization and style. A good response is persuasive;
therefore, it should cite quotes and paraphrases from the article you are analyzing,
and you may also choose to include personal experience that either refutes or
supports the article you’re responding to, depending on your stance.