You may revise and resubmit this essay for a higher grade at any point before Thanksgiving break. Be sure to confer with me about your plans for revision.
FORMAT: Minimum 1,500 words, double-spaced, 12-point TNR, 1” margins; put your name, my name, the class, assignment number, and date in the upper left corner of the
first page; staple and number pages; have a title. Cite sources in MLA style.
BASIC INSTRUCTIONS: Compose an essay comparing and contrasting the writing (the rhetoric) of two authors in Chapter 13 of the Common Reader: “Nature and the
DETAILED DESCRIPTION: A2 is not a five-paragraph essay. It is also not an argument about any particular issue. It is an exercise in comparative rhetorical analysis.
Look for what you can see by reading these two essays together that you could not see by reading them separately. Don’t simply make a list of similarities and
differences. THAT there are many similarities and differences between any two texts is such an obvious thing to say that it’s a useless thing to say. Here, that’s not
Do this instead. Look at HOW each author discusses and judges their subject. Spend some time thinking about each author’s writing. They directly say many things that
are worth paying attention to. But in order to say these things (and to say them in the ways they say them), they must assume all kinds of things they don’t say as
directly. Every argument (every text, really) is built on unstated assumptions, philosophies, worldviews, judgments, prejudices, etc. That means that we can look at
anything someone wrote and reason backwards to find those things under the surface. So while two authors may seem to agree or disagree on certain things, you’ll find
unexpected similarities within specific differences and unexpected differences within similarities if you look closely. Two authors who may argue for the same course
of action may have very different reasons and logical thought processes (rationale) for making that argument. Those thought processes are what you’re after here. What
assumptions does each author make about their subject? What do they seem to value? What (and whom) do they seem to de-value? What do they emphasize? What do they
ignore? What is significant and revealing about these and other rhetorical choices?
You can’t argue your opinion in a logical and measured way (or even develop a responsible and sound opinion) unless you consider the views of others. You can’t
effectively or responsibly join a conversation until you’ve defined the conversation you’re trying to join. So this essay is not about taking a position on the
authors’ subject. You won’t actually be writing about environmental issues in this assignment. Instead, you’ll write about HOW people like Joy Horowitz, and Rachel
Carson talk about environmental issues. You’ll learn a lot more about these authors than you will about their subjects.
We will discuss several of these essays in class, but not all of them. Considering all the essays, you must choose at least two to work with at length. Be sure to let
me know which pair you are choosing and why before you begin drafting.
Write to a general, academically literate audience, not to me. Don’t assume your reader has read either essay.
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