Comparative Rhetorical Analysis

Thursday July 21, 2022

Comparative Rhetorical Analysis

March 26, 2017

You will write a 4-6-page analysis of the contrasting styles and goals of two academic papers on a topic. One of these papers should be from a humanities discipline (history, cultural studies, English, philosophy, etc.) and one should be from a scientific discipline (social sciences and applied sciences included). Your analysis should compare and contrast the rhetorical context and strategies of each approach, including the different ways each paper uses structure, language, and evidence. You should then use your analysis to make a comment about the larger differences between the two disciplines and what those differences mean. For example, an urban studies paper might be concerned with social justice, while a chemistry paper might be more concerned with accurately measuring substances. What does this say about what an urban studies scholar values vs. what a chemist values?

Your paper should be organized under a strong thesis statement occurring in the opening paragraph(s). Some things to think about as you make your analysis:

How do the authors’ questions differ? Specificity, theme, scope, etc.
What are the assumptions underlying each paper?
The basics: how does the structure of each paper differ? What do these differences suggest about how the papers are read, used, or shared?
You’ll want to tailor your paper to a specific academic. Specific discipline, research focus, role in academia. You will also want to pull in outside sources (at least two) corroborating some of the claims you are making about these disciplines. Be sure to introduce and cite these sources. Try to mimic the language, reference, style and structure of an academic paper.

Audience: you should identify a specific academic audience that would be interested in the insights you provide and direct your discussion to them.

Purpose: By comparing the way a humanities scholar approaches a topic with the way a scientist approaches a topic, your paper should make an insightful point about the ways the two disciplines differ and why.

Outcomes: Purpose; Research; Argument & analysis; Critical reading. Always: Revision.

Format: 4-6 pages, 12-point font, double-spaced. Include a Works Cited. Citation format should be appropriate to your audience (MLA for a humanities audience, APA for a scientific audience).


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Category: English and Literature

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