Hacking Rhetoric

Final paper(s) prompt

You have two options for your final paper. In both cases, you’re asked to write a formal, 5-7 page paper that engages with the course themes and material, and which demonstrates your grasp of and ability to use the rhetorical strategies we’ve examined and analysed in class. As with your analysis paper, you have the option of designing your own project which fulfils the assignment goals.

1. Write a formal argumentative paper in which you argue for your position about an issue related to hacking.

2. Write a formal reflective paper in which you explain how you came to your position about an issue related to hacking.

Key dates:

November 25 (Mon)               Peer review of completed, polished draft

November 27 (Wed)                Final paper V.1 due (revised based on peer feedback)

December 2 (Mon)                  Conference day (maybe also Tuesday)

December 6 (Fri)                     Final paper V.2 due (revised based on instructor feedback)

Full prompts for both options follow.

Argumentative option

General

In this 5-7 page persuasive essay (or equivalent by negotiation*), you will situate yourself within the “map” of positions on your hacking-related topic that you researched for your Annotated Bibliography and produce an argument that advocates a particular position using the persuasive strategies analysed and studied throughout the semester.

Specifics

Your task in this assignment is to take a stance on an aspect of hacking and argue in favor of your position. At this point in the semester, you have done a great deal of research and, hopefully, decided which position you favour. In this essay, you’ll argue your position using the information and arguments you’ve found in your research, as well as your own ideas about the topic. Use the knowledge of rhetorical strategies you’ve garnered this semester to construct a clear, well-argued, rhetorically effective and convincing essay.

You will need to decide what the context of your paper will be, including:

  • What the purpose of your essay is
  • What sort of situation you are arguing in
  • What sort of audience you are addressing

Note: You can choose your own audience and argumentative situation, but the essay must be formal.  For example, you cannot choose your roommate as your audience.

The paper must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Provide a clear description of the context of your argument (the larger conversation to which this paper contributes; i.e., a brief map of the various positions in this area)
  • Argue for a specific position on the controversy you have chosen
  • Identify the specific audience you are intending to speak to in this paper (liberal, conservative, oppositional to your argument, businesspeople, academics, teachers, Texas high school students, Austinites, etc.) You may not use a general audience, or the uneducated public. Be as specific and as creative as possible.
  • Clearly illustrate the situation in which you are arguing (you could be giving a speech at a city council meeting, writing an editorial for a publication, giving a sermon or a eulogy)
  • Argue with a specific purpose in mind (do you want the audience to do something, feel something, open their minds to something, change their minds about something?)
  • Include at least one refutation of another position in the controversy.  A successful refutation will include the following three elements: (1) an accurate, fair summary of the other position, (2) concessions that acknowledge the other position’s valid arguments, (3) a rebuttal that convinces your reader that your position is better

This is your chance to finally say something about the issue you have been studying, as well as to employ the rhetorical strategies that we have been discussing.  The objective is for you to consciously use those tools to create the best argument possible for your purpose, situation, and audience.

Requirements

Your essay must:

  • Be 5-7 pages long, typed, double-spaced, in a 12-point font with 1-inch margins
  • Have descriptive filenames, with your name in the filename of every document submitted
  • Strategically and effectively incorporate at least 1 credible source#
  • Document all sources accurately (in-text and on a Works Cited page) according to MLA or APA style guides#
  • Be written effectively and coherently, with very few punctuation or grammatical errors
  • Have been peer reviewed at the in-class workshop#
  • Be turned in on time and be accompanied by all previous drafts, pre-writing exercises, and written peer reviews#

If you are undertaking an alternate assignment, you will agree on criteria for assessment with Beck as some of these criteria will be inappropriate for certain forms. However, items marked with a # are mandatory. Do not propose an alternate assignment that cannot meet these criteria.

* If you wish to make your final assignment something other than a persuasive essay (for example, a blog post, video, website, policy document, art project or piece of fiction), you must meet with Beck a minimum of two weeks before version 3.1 is due to present your proposal. This should outline your planned assignment, how it relates to the goals of this paper (to argue for your stance on your issue), your plans to succeed with it and how it is an equivalent amount of work to a 5-7 page persuasive essay. In addition, come prepared to discuss assessment criteria for your assignment.

Reflective option

General

In this 5-7 page essay (or equivalent by negotiation*), you will compose a reflection on how your research related to hacking and/or experience as a hacker has shaped your opinion on the hacking-related topic that you researched for your annotated bibliography. The paper must use the rhetorical strategies analyzed and studied throughout the semester.

Specifics

Your task in this assignment is to take a stance on an aspect of hacking and explain how you came to that position, drawing on your own research and experience to construct your narrative. At this point in the semester, you have done a great deal of research, experimented with some kinds of hacking yourself, and (hopefully) decided which position you favour. In this essay, you’ll briefly argue your position using the information and arguments you’ve found in your research and experience, as well as your own ideas about the topic. However, your main focus in this paper will be constructing a narrative that explains how you came to hold that position. Use the knowledge of rhetorical strategies you’ve garnered this semester to construct a clear, well-composed, rhetorically effective and convincing essay.

You will need to decide what the context of your paper will be, including:

  • What the purpose of your essay is
  • What sort of situation you are writing in
  • What sort of audience you are addressing

Note: You can choose your own audience and rhetorical situation, but the essay must be formal.  For example, you cannot choose your roommate as your audience.

The paper must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Provide a clear description of the context of your discussion (the larger conversation to which this paper contributes / within which it occurs; i.e., a brief map of the various positions in this area)
  • Identify your specific position on the controversy you have chosen
  • Identify the specific audience you are intending to speak to in this paper (liberal, conservative, oppositional to your argument, businesspeople, academics, teachers, Texas high school students, Austinites, etc.) You may not use a general audience, or the uneducated public. Be as specific and as creative as possible.
  • Clearly illustrate the situation in which you are writing (you could be giving a speech at a city council meeting, writing an editorial for a publication, giving a sermon or a eulogy)
  • Write with a specific purpose in mind (do you want the audience to do something, feel something, open their minds to something, change their minds about something?)

This is your chance to finally say something about the issue you have been studying, as well as to employ the rhetorical strategies that we have been discussing.  The objective is for you to consciously use those tools to create the best composition possible for your purpose, situation, and audience.

Requirements

Your essay must:

  • Be 5-7 pages long, typed, double-spaced, in a 12-point font with 1-inch margins
  • Have descriptive filenames, with your name in the filename of every document submitted
  • Strategically and effectively incorporate at least 1 credible source#
  • Document all sources accurately (in-text and on a Works Cited page) according to MLA or APA style guides#
  • Be written effectively and coherently, with very few punctuation or grammatical errors
  • Have been peer reviewed at the in-class workshop#
  • Be turned in on time and be accompanied by all previous drafts, pre-writing exercises, and written peer reviews#

If you are undertaking an alternate assignment, you will agree on criteria for assessment with Beck as some of these criteria will be inappropriate for certain forms. However, items marked with a # are mandatory. Do not propose an alternate assignment that cannot meet these criteria.

* If you wish to make your final assignment something other than a formal reflective essay (for example, a blog post, video, website, policy document, art project or piece of fiction), you must meet with Beck a minimum of two weeks before version 3.1 is due to present your proposal. This should outline your planned assignment, how it relates to the goals of this assignment, your plans to succeed with it and how it is an equivalent amount of work to a 5-7 page reflective essay. In addition, come prepared to discuss assessment criteria for your assignment.

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