Rhetorical Precis–Ongoing Writing Assignment
Students will stay informed on current events through reading a variety of news articles, op-ed pieces, and reviews from reputable digital or print media sources.
Students will continue to develop precise and analytical writing through regular short, structured writings.
Explore these publications’ websites to find a variety of news articles, op-ed pieces, reviews, and multimedia that capture your attention and help you connect with the larger world around you.
The New York Times nytimes.com one of the nation’s most award-winning news
The Washington Post washingtonpost.com ^ditto
The Guardian guardian.co.uk read US and global news from Britain’s point of
NPR npr.org a little bit of everything, on the radio and online
The Atlantic theatlantic.com usually longer, more researched interviews and
The Economist economist.com business and economic news from the US and
around the world
Rhetorical Precis Format:
A well-written rhetorical precis of a text need only be 4-5 sentences long. It’s how you pack the information into them that counts.
1st Sentence: Name of author, [optional: a phrase describing the author], the genre and title of the work, date in parentheses (additional publishing information in parentheses or note), a rhetorically accurate verb (such as “assert,” “argue,” “suggest,” “imply,” “claim,” etc.), and a THAT clause containing the major assertion (thesis statement) of the work.
2nd Sentence: An explanation of how the author develops and/or supports the thesis, usually in chronological order.
3rd Sentence: A statement of the author’s apparent purpose, followed by an “in order to” phrase.
4th Sentence: A description of the intended audience if it seems to be for a specific person or group, OR a brief statement of why you chose this article to analyze.
Examples of Rhetorical Precis:
In her New York Times article, “A Forgotten Step in Saving African Wildlife: Protecting the Rangers” (November 28, 2016) Rachel Nuwer claims that many park personnel are going without necessities such as health insurance, and necessary measures aren’t being taken to help solve this issue. She greatly supports this claim by offering the reader a lot of statistical evidence, and by explaining numerous touching stories to impact the audience emotionally intending to gain some sort of sympathy. Nuwer wrote this article intending for there to be a change in what these park personnel, the people who fend off poachers, receive in terms of healthcare and basic life necessities. I chose this article, because I am interested in what people are doing in order to ensure better care for all people worldwide.
In his article “These States Allow Teachers and Staff To Hit Students” (December 1, 2016) Cory Turner states that twenty two states still allow corporal punishment in school to cause pain in students to try and reverse their bad behavior. Turner supports his claim with a definition of corporal punishment from The National Association of School Psychologists, quotes from a letter written by U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr., statistics about how many children were physically punished in 2013- 2014, references an investigation by Education Week about the prevalence of the method, and how some groups are taking a step in trying to end this abusive practice. Turner’s purpose is to help spread awareness of corporal punishment to try to put an end to it. I chose this article because I found it shocking that today many states still allow corporal punishment.
Compose your first rhetorical precis.
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