Write a proposal that describes the text you will analyze for the Analysis Essay and outlines your plan for completing the analysis.
Now that you’ve done some invention work and received feedback on your initial choices for this project, you will develop a formal proposal that describes the plans you will use for the Analysis Essay assignment.
This proposal should begin by naming the text you want to analyze. It should then explain why you find the text relevant to a specific issue that affects the community you have decided to write about. Justify your response: why is this a good text to analyze? How does breaking down the text help an audience understand the issue that is affecting the community?
Finally, the proposal should discuss the most important terms you will use to explain how the text works and outline the writing strategies and rhetorical tools you plan to use in order to analyze the text. Look back at the sections on “analysis” and “rhetorical tools” in CEL Ch.6 (169-176) to help you articulate your response.
From this proposal, a reader should be able to understand that you are using ethical decision-making skills to plan your analysis. In other words, the proposal needs to show that you are thinking carefully about your own point of view and planning to remain even as you are analyzing a text that represents other perspectives.
Length and Formatting
- Format: Typed, double-spaced, submitted as a word-processing document.
12 point, text-weight font, 1-inch margins.
- Length: 250 words words (approx. 1 page)
- Value: This project will be graded out of 20 possible points, and will be be included in the Unit 3 grade for this course.
This project will be graded out of 20 possible points, and will be be included in the Unit 3 project grade for this course. Additionally, you must complete a full proposal before your Unit 3 Analysis Essay will be accepted.
Reiterating what was outlined above, in this proposal, you should
- Clearly articulate your choices about the issue you are choosing to write about, as well as the communities to whom the issue matters.
- Demonstrate that you are thinking critically about the texts you have chosen to analyze
- Show that you understand how to use rhetorical tools and analytical strategies to break down the text and write about how it works.
- Explain how the text you are choosing to analyze relates to the issue and represents one or more communities invested in the issue
- Justify your decisions in choosing a text to analyze and focusing on the values of one or more particular communities.
The text that I am proposing to analyze is “‘Why I Won’t Buy an Ipad,’ by Cory Doctorow, published on the BoingBoing website (Links to an external site.) in April 2010. In the text, Doctorow effectively uses appeals to logos to achieve his goal of convincing people not to buy an Ipad. The issue at hand in this essay is serious. It is not just about whether consumers should purchase an iPad, but also about Doctorow’s worries that Apple and other “big corporations with enormous budgets” are producing “garbage” products that water down technology and make it too easy to consume. The issue of how corporations use technologies to gain control over consumers remains important today. More specifically, we are more concerned than ever with the issue of large technology companies controlling users’ purchasing habits through what Doctorow calls “a technical and social infrastructure” that privileges consumer “likes” over quality. As Doctorow himself notes (Links to an external site.), even ten years after the iPad initially came out, Apple continues to “lock out third parties” from accessing and modifying their technology. Doctorow uses many writing strategies and rhetorical tools to appeal to his readers, who are largely people interested in technology, media, and popular culture according to the BoingBoing website. Most important is his tone: he writes with a very playful, tongue-in-cheek voice as a writer and makes the seriousness of Apple’s control over technology seem comically exaggerated. I plan to focus primarily on this use of tone in my analysis, but also show how Doctorow’s use of metaphors as well as examples from popular culture (such as in his expression, “the Wal-Martization” of technology) draw in an audience both emotionally and logically. I believe my biggest challenge will be to relate this article back to the larger issue of consumer capitalism, since it will require me to read about how the sales and marketing of the iPad have changed since Doctorow wrote in 2010.
Notes on the Sample Proposal
Purpose and insight: Notice how this proposal describes a particular text that the writer wants to focus on and explains how the writer decided on this text. The writer’s proposal stays focused on the goal of the Analysis Essay: analyzing their chosen text, this article from Cory Doctorow, in a way that breaks down its writing strategies, appeals, and rhetorical tools (voice, appeals to logic and emotion, examples, etc.)
Context and description: The writer clearly and concisely explains that their chosen text addresses consumer capitalism and specifically the issue of large technology companies controlling users’ purchasing habits through a technical and social infrastructure based on poor quality products.
Organization and Structure: The writer’s proposal offers a coherent account of the text they will analyze, the issue that the text addresses, and their plan for analyzing the text. From their proposal, it is possible to see the organization their Analysis Essay will take, with the author’s (Doctorow’s) voice and use of examples and metaphors as the main ideas the writer will pursue.
Consideration of Other Perspectives: The writer mentions that this topic of consumer technology is important to an audience of technophiles (people who love technology) as well as to the average consumer. The writer, however, might also refer here to other articles or knowledge that they have develop about this issue from further reading.
Writing Strategies and Rhetorical Tools: The writer directly describes “voice” (CEL p. 173) as one of the main strategies for analysis they want to use. They also describe the text’s “appeals to emotions” (CEL p. 172). The writer shows that they have read and understand the appeals and other writing strategies described in the Strategies for Analysis section in CEL Ch. 6
Evidence: The writer’s proposal uses summary of Doctorow’s article to provide specific evidence of their claims that the article successfully appeals to the audience of BoingBoing. The writer also could describe the audience in more detail by doing more research about BoingBoing through other stories written on the site. Also keep in mind that direct quotes from the text work well here in addition to summary in order to make the writer’s evidence more precise and specific.
Conventions and correctness: The writer uses complex sentences, writes clear paragraphs, and provides appropriate details that all make their proposal clear and easy to understand. There also are no grammar or sentences issues that distract from the clarity of their message.