Essay about an article and an episode

I need an explanation for this English question to help me study.

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Over the past few weeks of the semester, we’ve been working with “academic texts” to identify arguments, claims, evidence, strategies, & rhetorical appeals. In general, these texts share many of the same features, including making explicit arguments, creating practical solutions, using language that is accessible for the target audience, and using frequent appeals to ethos, pathos, and logos.

What happens, however, when we try to analyze a genre that is not considered an “academic text?” Do any of the conventions change? Are any of the conventions similar?


For this assignment, you are being asked to analyze two genres: (1) an academic text and (2) a television show. Ultimately, you will need to synthesize both genres and analyze the effectiveness of both arguments.

You will use the following material for your analysis:

  1. Roger McNamee’s “I Invested Early in Google and Facebook. Now They Terrify Me” (2017)
  2. Black Mirror, season 3, episode 1, “Nosedive” (2016) located on Netflix
    1. As an alternative for those who do not have access to Netflix, you can watch “Generation Like” by PBS (2014) located on YouTube


  • Read: McNamee’s article, taking note of his argument, rhetorical strategies, and rhetorical appeals
  • Watch: “Nosedive” or “Generation Like,” taking of their argument, rhetorical strategies, and rhetorical appeals
  • Begin finding areas where the television show and written text agree, disagree, or use similar/different rhetorical strategies and appeals
  • You will need to identify four ways they are similar or different (can be 3 similar, 1 different; 2 similar, 2 different, etc.)
  • Put the two media “in conversation” by synthesizing and analyzing the effectiveness of their choices
  • Develop an essay between 4-5 pages long


  • 4-5 pages in length
  • MLA 8 Format
  • MLA 8 Works Cited Page
  • Direct quotes make sure you introduce, integrate, and analyze. Don’t simply “drop in” quotes.
  • Because you are asked to write an analysis of an argument, you are required to evaluate whether or not McNamee’s and Black Mirror’s (or “Generation Like”) argument was effective or ineffective. Focus on walking your reader through the choices they make and why they make them in order to make their argument.
  • Intro: strong hook, background context, introduce both article & secondary media, road map of your analysis, thesis
  • Body: identify one of the rhetorical moves that McNamee uses that either is similar or different than secondary media; analyze how the strategy contributes to both of their arguments; analyze how and why the strategy may have impacted both the written & visual argument; analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of the rhetorical appeals (ethos, pathos, logos, and/or kairos)
    • Repeat as necessary
  • Conclusion: So what? Bigger picture? Why should we care? Was the article or show more successful or persuasive? What should she add to be more persuasive? Is social media taking over our lives? Are we too focused on making people like us on social media that we’re losing sight of what really matters?

Evaluation Criteria:

  • Comprehension
    • Effectively addresses all aspects of the prompt
    • Fully grasps McNamee’s article & selected television program and showcases knowledge cogently
  • Development
    • Details/analyzes article thoroughly and thoughtfully
    • Writer thoroughly addresses elements of the argument, including author, context, purpose, and evidence.
    • Writer successfully identifies both rhetorical strategies and rhetorical appeals in academic text & media
  • Organization
    • Essay flows logically from introduction → body → conclusion
    • Sentence level organization is strong
  • Expression/Mechanics/Grammar
    • Writer uses appropriate syntax, grammar, punctuation
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