Argument / Advocacy Project

Genre: Academic argument and advocacy
Audience: Your choice (primary, secondary, and tertiary audiences)
Learning Outcomes: Rhetorical Knowledge; Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing; Knowledge of Conventions; Processes
Length: 1250-1500 words

Due Dates:

  • Thursday 10/7: Statement of Purpose & Proposal
  • Tuesday 10/12: First Draft
  • Thursday 10/14: Peer Editing Feedback; Workshop Participation
  • Tuesday 10/19: Final Draft

Your choice of projects:

  • What representation of reality does the New York Times present?
  • Who is the ideal reader of the New York Times?
  • Select a topic of interest to you — social, cultural, economic, political; professional, creative, or community-based — and show how the New York Times covers and presents that topic historically and currently
  • Select a current news story and follow it for seven consecutive days: how does the New York Times cover and present that story?
  • Select a regular section of the New York Times and analyze how it is shaped — and shapes? — the domain that it covers
  • What are the rhetorical features of the New York Times’s visual and multimodal presentations?
  • Take a position: is it more productive to read the print or digital versions of the New York Times?
  • Reflect on the life of Tyler Clementi, the circumstances of how it ended, and how it’s being covered in the New York Times


The genre you’re working in is the persuasive academic essay. Our St. Martin’s e-Handbook is very strong in this area, and we’ll be using it at every point along the way in the planning, drafting, revising, and proofreading stages of your project’s development:

Rhetorical Situations

3a: Your rhetorical situation
3b: Deciding to write
3c: The topic or problem
3d: The assignment
Exploring, Planning, and Drafting
5a: Exploring a topic
5b: Narrowing a topic
5c: Drafting a working thesis
5d: Gathering information
5e: Organizing verbal and visual information
5f: Planning
5g: Drafting
5h: Your writing process
Constructing Arguments
11a: The purposes of argument
11b: Determining whether a statement can be argued
11c: Formulating a working thesis
11d: Finding good reasons
11e: Ethical appeals
11f: Logical appeals
11g: Emotional appeals
11h: Using sources in an argument
11i: Organizing an argument
11j: Designing an argument
11k: A student argument essay