Essay 1 Assignment

February 7, 2019


For this assignment, you will perform an in-depth rhetorical analysis of “Monster Culture (Seven Theses)” by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen. A rhetorical analysis essay systematically examines one or more rhetorical features of a text in order to deeply explore how they work to achieve the text’s purpose. In a rhetorical analysis essay, you are not simply concerned with what the text is saying but instead with how the text is constructed, and why the writer might have selected certain rhetorical features or strategies.

Essay Assignment: Analyze a few significant aspects of “Monster Culture” in order to develop an argument regarding the intended or imagined audience for that essay. You should aim to:

1) characterize the intended audience, and

2) evaluate Cohen’s stance towards his topic and audience To do so, you must:

3) analyze and discuss the functions of Cohen’s rhetorical choices within “Monster Culture,” and

4) consider why such choices might exist in academic essays in general.

Your essay must contain a persuasive thesis claim that it develops and supports through analysis of evidence from the text. Imagine that you are writing for other freshman scholars who have read “Monster Culture” and find the text to be rather difficult.

• Identify a problem or question worth addressing, using a passage or personal
experience that will reward close reading.

• Formulate a thesis claim that makes a strong, insightful (i.e. not obvious) argument.

• Establish a motive for the essay in your introduction. Here you will answer the “So
What?” question, suggesting why your essay is important and interesting to an
intelligent reader. Draw out the implications of the argument in your conclusion.

• Structure the essay around your central claim, making sure that each paragraph is
adding an essential piece to your argument.

• Use evidence persuasively, quoting and analyzing the text when necessary,
summarizing or paraphrasing accurately and responsibly when appropriate. Do not provide evidence from other sources or make general assertions (e.g. claims about “human nature”).

• Adhere to all relevant formatting guidelines described in the course syllabus. The final draft must be between 1400 and 1600 words.

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One Response to “Essay 1 Assignment”

  1.   Frank Lopez said:

    Ms. Goff I am questioning the essay 1 prompt as well as the Zero draft. Are we writing on Monsters Culture the entire 7 Thesis’s or are we writing on just the 7th Thesis out of 7.

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