Learning Goal: I’m working on a writing multi-part question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.part 1:Produce a “reverse outline” of Mitchell’s essay.How to do this:•Go through the essay paragraph by paragraph.•For each paragraph, write a sentence explanation of the main idea in the paragraph and quote the key phrase from the paragraph.•Make a note of the main piece(s) of evidence he uses to explore that idea.•Try to identify an introductory thesis and concluding idea.It may look like this:Reverse Outline for Mitchell’s What Do Pictures Want essay1.Introduction: Main idea/thesis•Key quotation2.Paragraph 1: Main idea•Key quotation3.Paragraph 2: Main idea•Key quotationEtc.You only need to do this for the “Cloning Terror/Vital Signs” sections of the essay (not the preface/acknowledgments)This will be key to enabling you to produce a rhetorical analysis of this paper!
part 2:Baruch College: ENGL 2150
Saying What We See
Instructor: Thom May
PAPER 2: Rhetorical Analysis
This is your first graded assignment (20% of course grade).
Deadline: Final draft due to instructor Sunday March 13th (Turnitin Assignment on
Text: W.J.T Mitchell, “Cloning Terror/Vital Signs”, pp. 1 –
27 in What Do Pictures Want
What does W.J.T. Mitchell’s essay argue about our
relationship to images?
Perform a rhetorical analysis of Mitchell’s essay and
then, using quotes from Mitchell to support your
argument, discuss these ideas in reference to an image
of your own choosing.
Submit a typed essay of 1500 – 2000 words in double-spaced MLA format responding to the
– Establish a thesis in your introduction. “Thesis” in this case means “a provisional
answer to the question” that you can spend the essay
demonstrating/proving/refining in more detail. This should be limited to one or two
sentences, and may start something like “In his essay, Mitchell argues…”
– Use the body of the essay to discuss how each of the ideas in the essay build up
towards Mitchell’s conclusion. You might imagine this in the form of a staircase, with
each idea one step higher on the staircase. Consider drawing this staircase if you find
– Don’t assume that the ideas in Mitchell’s essay are chronological – he might doubleback sometimes to get a piece of supporting evidence. Organize your analysis in the
order that best demonstrates how Mitchell’s ideas build on one another, rather than
just the order they show up in the essay.
– Reread Mitchell’s essay several times as you write to make sure you’re accurately
representing his argument. Iconoclash is not the only thing Mitchell talks about –
there are other parts of his argument that iconoclash builds on, like
punctum/studium and double consciousness.
– Devote a substantial portion of your essay to a “rhetorical analysis” of what Mitchell
is saying before you begin your analysis of a painting or image of your choice. In this
case, rhetorical analysis means a “description of the main points of Mitchell’s argument,
how they connect to one another, and the main evidence the argument rests on”,
rather than an explanation of how he argues (e.g. pathos/logos/ethos).
– Spend about 2/3 of the essay on rhetorical analysis and 1/3 on image analysis.
– Use the image you select as a way to further illustrate or expand upon Mitchell’s
ideas. Think about how Mitchell would talk about the image.
– Consult with me if you’re unsure about whether a painting or image would be a good
choice for the essay in advance
– If it helps your explanation, consider the image’s genre, use of tropes or motifs,
symbolism, metaphor, its compositional structure and character, and/or the way an
artist’s “voice” or style comes through. There’s no need to include image analysis that
isn’t relevant to your discussion of Mitchell’s essay.
– Use outlining, re-outlining, and planning strategies to write and develop your draft.
– Don’t hand in a first draft. Try to finish your draft before the deadline, let it sit for a
while, and return to it with fresh eyes. You’ll probably realize how much better it can
be after 12 hours or so away from it.
– Do consult with me and your peers ASAP when you run into difficulty.
– Proofread your essay for spelling, grammar, word choice, and clarity improvements.
– Submit in MLA format (see syllabus)
Requirements: part 1: 1200 words part 2: 1500 words | .doc file
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