Teaching Samples


Overview | Courses Taught | Professional Development | Samples | Service Learning | Evaluations

3) English 102 Assignment sheet: Rhetorical Analysis of a Local History

English 102, Section 22 Brown University of Arizona
Assignment #1
Rhetorical Analysis of a Local History

NOTE: Your text decision needs to be made by class on September 22 (posted to the MOO class list) Rough drafts of this essay are due in class for peer editing on September 24. Final drafts due (posted in the MOO) on September 29.


Your first full length assignment for this course is to write a formal analysis of a local history "text. " This assignment will require you to identify a "text" which you will read carefully, place in context, and critique in terms of a specific useful framework.

We have discussed analysis in class, and the journals you have (or will have) written up to this point have been designed to get you working on analysis already. The essay you read for class, "Ideology" was also connected to the process of analysis as it suggests that all interpretations, all texts, and all readings of "texts" (meaning traditional written texts to popular media, etc) are influenced by ideologies, and ideological assumptions often conflict.
Considering what we have discussed and you have read, you will want to look at the best way to frame your analysis of the text you choose. Here are some suggestions for possible approaches:

Any of these frameworks will allow you to analyze your text. Choose a text (or texts, if you prefer) wisely. Pick something that you will be able to write about extensively and will lend itself to the type of analysis necessary. You might choose something like a traditional historical textbook (something like Sonnichsen, or even a chapter of Sonnichsen), or you might choose something less traditional like an exhibit at the Arizona State Museum. You might look at a collection of historical photographs, or you might listen to an oral history. You might view a local documentary or go to an organization in town and read their historical representation (for example, the Tucson Trolley Volunteer organization has an extensive "magazine" type publication about the history of transportation here). You might look at a neighborhood history project, or visit a historical building and gather the historical material put together about that site. You might even look at a short literary piece about local history (such as Patricia Precidio Martin's Days of Plenty, Days of Want). You can use a chapter or a section of something. Just make sure you have plenty to write about.

This essay should:
• be well organized.
• have a clear point of analysis (that is a thesis you are supporting consistently throughout).
• have significant examples from the original text.
• incorporate context and have a framework from which you are critiquing the text.
• include enough summary to familiarize your reader with the text in question.
• be about 5 pages in length.