Developing Your Claim for Your Rhetorical Analysis

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SWBAT write a supportable thesis/claim for their Rhetorical Analysis essays.

Big Idea

... a strong thesis statement is the key to a cogent argument ...

Introduction and Context

8 minutes

At this point it is time to write the thesis statement for this essay.  Students have selected an article, read the article, read it again, highlighted for instances of ethos, pathos, and logos, read the article again, and (hopefully) have formed an idea of the rhetorical appeals and stylistic devices they want to illuminate.  

As to composing the thesis/claim for this piece, I take a direct, very straightforward approach (and I trust you see that this bears out in the student samples attached to this lesson).  I ask that students, simply, identify the author's main claim, in their own words, and identify the most prevalent form of rhetorical appeal, found in the piece.  I find that -- at least for this essay -- including style notes in the thesis overburdens the initial ideas.

Direct Instruction: Using RA Thesis Guide

19 minutes

After introducing the lesson's activity, I share this Google Doc with students, and I project on the classroom screen.  Then, I narrate the three steps needed, and I ask students to open a fresh doc of their own.

I tell students that, when they are ready, they should take a stab at writing their claim/thesis.  I mention that they will share their claim/thesis with me as a first step to drafting.  Eventually, I state, I will make some comments such that they can be successful on the final product!

Guided Practice: Getting Started, Sharing Your Draft

19 minutes

After they are clear on the use of the "RA Thesis Guide," students generally start typing with little trouble.  If a student is "stuck" I mention he/she should LITERALLY follow my advice -- that is type the answer to each of the 1st two q. on the Guide and THEN try his/her hand at the draft thesis.

During this "drafting time" I circulate in the lab and lend a hand as needed ...

With 3-4 min. remaining in class, I ask students to share these claim/thesis statements on the draft level via Drive.