Draft of a Rhetorical Analysis of a Public Document Assignment


Write a 750-1,000-word essay that analyzes the rhetorical situation of a public document. This public document is the Centers for Disease Controls (CDC) website on Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) found at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/facts.html. Your analysis should include at least TWO scholarly sources outside of class texts.


Complete a close reading of the assigned public document. Then, write a cohesive essay that:

1.      Introduces and summarizes the CDC website on ADHD.

2.      Analyzes the rhetorical tools used on the site (here, you will want to incorporate ideas from your preanalysis below). For instance, your essay could analyze the CDCs use of ethos, pathos, and logos.

3.      Evaluates the sites effectiveness (again, ideas from your preanalysis below will be helpful).

This essay is NOT simply an expository or descriptive essay or an analysis of ADHD. It is an analysis of the site and how effectively the site uses rhetorical tools to get its point across.

First Draft Grading

        You will receive completion points for the first draft based upon the successful submission of your draft.

        Because your first draft is a completion grade, do not assume that this grade reflects or predicts the final grade. If you do not consider your instructors comments, you may be deducted points on your final draft.

Final Draft Grading

The essay will be graded using a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the assignment criteria and expectations.


        Include in-text citations and a References page in GCU Style for at least TWO scholarly sources outside of class texts.

        These sources should be used to support any claims you make and should be present in the text of the essay.

        Use the GCU Library to help you find sources.

        Include this research in the paper in a scholarly manner.


Preparing to Write the Essay

Read the site closely:

1.      Read the webpage on Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) found at  http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/facts.html

o  Do a first reading that uses underlining, annotation, and summary to make sure you understand what the writer is saying. Go back to any sections that need clarification.

o  On a second reading, pay attention to what the writer(s) of the CDC site is doing by describing the writers strategy.

Conduct a preanalysis:

1.      Use your close reading to analyze the rhetorical situation of the site.

2.      Here are some questions to guide your analysis.

3.      You do NOT need to answer all of thempick three that make the most sense to you. Your close reading will help you generate ideas for your essay.

        What is the context of the issue(s)?

a)      What do you know about the topic?

b)      What issues does the topic raise?

c)      Is there a larger debate, discussion, or controversy already going on?

d)      What seems to be at stake?

        Who is the writer?

a.      What do you know about the writers background, credibility, knowledge of the topic, beliefs, and social allegiances?

        What is the publication?

a.      What do you know about its intended readers, reputability, political slant, and the topics it covers?

        How does the writer define the rhetorical situation and identify the call to write?

a.      What is the writers orientation toward the issues involved?

b.      What is at stake for the writer?

        Who is the intended audience?

a.      Is the writer addressing one group or more than one group of readers?

b.      Is the writer trying to bring an audience into being?

c.      What kind of relationship is the writer trying to establish with readers?

d.      What assumptions about readers does the writer seem to make?

        How does the writer use language?

a.      How does the writer use ethos, pathos, and logos to appeal to the audience?

b.      What is the writers tone?

c.      What does the writers word choice show about his or her assumptions about readers?

d.      Does the writer use specialized terms or slang?

e.      Are there memorable figures of speech?

f.        Does the writer stereotype?

        What is your evaluation of the rhetorical effectiveness?

a.      Does the writer accomplish his or her purposes?

b.      What constraints, if any, qualify the writings effectiveness?

Draft the essay:

Once youve completed the pre-analysis, draft the essay. The essay should include:

1.      Header, essay title, heading in GCU Style

2.      An introduction paragraph with a thesis statement

3.      At least three body paragraphs

4.      A conclusion paragraph

Also, you will need to include a References page and in-text citations formatted in GCU Style with at least TWO scholarly sources outside of class texts.

Submit this assignment to your instructor in the assignment drop box AND post this draft as an attachment in the Module 2 Rhetorical Analysis Peer Review forum

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