What – Two Options:
1. Choose an underappreciated topic in your field, learn about it, and write a 5-7-page essay
(page count does not include works cited page) arguing for why it ought to be better
known or understood. Your essay should demonstrate both your understanding of the
topic and the “reality” of the topic’s underappreciated status, consider reasons for its
relative obscurity, explain why it should be properly appreciated, and examine the
negative outcomes of its underappreciation along with the potential positive
consequences of its full appreciation. Include a Works Cited page and a cover letter
briefly explaining your process for, and what you learned from, completing the
NOTE: It’s important to consider who should hear about your topic. This semester, we’ve
practiced looking closely at the rhetorical tactics used by writers and speakers to reach
particular readers. For this assignment, you’ll need to identify the audience and context
for your project (the rhetorical situation): Are you writing for students or practitioners in
your discipline? Or, are you writing for a general audience? Is this something your
discipline needs to appreciate/care about? Is this something important to your discipline
that you want to share with the general public?
This project is your chance to enter the sphere you’ve observed and analyzed this semester.
Use this opportunity to craft a rhetorical document of your own—convincing a selected audience of the significance of your chosen topic. You will work on effectively drafting and structuring rhetorical documents of your own. This assignment will support all four of the course’s student learning
● Identify and explain a problem or issue, recognize and evaluate concepts and assumptions from multiple perspectives, ask relevant questions, analyze appropriate sources, and articulate logical, well-organized, and innovative conclusions.
● Organize content cohesively, use compelling language and delivery that is audience appropriate, incorporate supporting materials to establish credibility, and reinforce a memorable central message with civility. [Core Learning Outcome: Oral Communication]
● Produce well-organized and clear writing, supported by strong, diverse evidence and precise explanation, applicable to its audience and consistent with the conventions of appropriate genres.
● Ethically discover, evaluate, and use information to formulate and address research questions, explain how information is produced and valued in a given discipline, and share their results.
Things to consider:
● “Underappreciated” might mean overlooked, undervalued, or misunderstood. Make
sure you can define what you mean by “underappreciated.”
● Who is/are your audience/audiences?
● Who are the stakeholders? (i.e. who is or will be impacted by this?)
● Think back on effective moments in our past readings, in-class videos, etc.→what
made those moments effective? How might you emulate those moments?
● How might you strike a balance among logos, ethos, and pathos while adhering to the
parameters of the genre?
● You’ll want to support your argument with academic sources, searching for and writing
annotated bibliographies for at least three such sources.
● After you’ve found your sources, use the note-taking method that works best for
you—SQ3R, Cornell, double-entry, etc.
● When it comes to corroborating sources, think outside the box → are there real-
world examples you might use to illustrate your claims?
*As part of the research you do for this assignment, you will complete an annotated
bibliography for four to six sources. The format for the annotated bibliography will be
modeled and practiced in class. The final draft of your project may have more than six
sources–several more, in fact–at least half of which must be considered academically
credible by your discipline. Not every item, above, will be explicitly addressed in your final draft, but working through each
of these questions and considerations will make the work you do more substantial and effective.
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