“ assert ,” “ argue ,” “ suggest ,” “ imply ,” “ claim ,” “ question ,” etc .) W r i t i n g

“ assert ,” “ argue ,” “ suggest ,” “ imply ,” “ claim ,” “ question ,” etc .) W r i t i n g

First, choose an essay or article about a controversial issue from the Ecology of Place bibliography in a topic area you’re interested in, one you haven’t read before, and read the essay sympathetically and critically. You my also choose to use one of this week’s critical readings by Storr or powell for the assignment.

Second, to prepare to write the précis, read the description below and the SEE ATTACHED FILEAlso, you may check out the following example:

http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/phl201/modules/rhetorical-precis/sample/peirce_sample_precis_click.html (Links to an external site.)

*Use the exact frame structure provided at the end of this page to construct your précis.

Third, after you write your précis, write two questions at issue the essay or article brings to mind. After each, write what kind of question at issue type each question is. (Review Reading, Reasoning and Writing, Pp. 6-8).

Explanation of the structure to use to construct your précis:

In order to help us quickly and effectively describe the argument an author is making in a text, we can use a method of description called the rhetorical précis. Developed by Margaret Woodworth, [1] this method is designed to highlight key elements of the rhetorical situation, and help students with reading comprehension and treatment of source materials in their writing.

This précis is a highly structured four-sentence paragraph that records the essential rhetorical elements in any spoken or written discourse. The précis includes the name of the speaker/writer(s), the context or situation in which the text is delivered, the major assertion, the mode of development for or support of the main idea, the stated and/or apparent purpose of the text, and the relationship between the speaker/writer(s) and the audience. The following is a breakdown of the information you should include in each one of the four sentences.

  1. Name of the author, a phrase describing the author, the type and title of the work, the date (in parenthesis), a rhetorically accurate verb (such as “assert,” “argue,” “suggest,” “imply,” “claim,” “question,” etc.) that describes what the author is doing in the text, and a THAT clause in which you state the major assertion (argument statement) of the author’s text.
  1. An explanation of how the author develops and/or supports the argument—the rhetorical structure of the text (for instance, comparing and contrasting, narrating, illustrating, defining, describing, etc.). Your explanation is usually presented in the same chronological order that the items of support are presented in the work.
  1. A statement of the author’s apparent purpose, followed by an IN ORDER TO phrase in which you explain what the author wants the audience to do or feel as a result of reading the work.
  1. A description of the intended audience and/or the relationship the author establishes with the author (tone).

Rhetorical Précis Structure (follow this guideline):

  1. (Author’s credentials), (author’s first and last name) in his/her (type of text), (title of text), published in (publishing info) addresses the topic of (topic of text) and argues that (argument).

  1. He/she supports this claim by___________, then___________, then_____________, and finally
  1. (Author’s last name)’s purpose is to (author’s purpose in writing) in order to (change in reader/society the author wants to achieve).

  1. He/she adopts a(n) _________tone (tone– Links to an external site.) for his/her audience, the readers of (publication) and others interested in the topic of ________.

NEXT – After you complete your précis,

1.) write two questions at issue suggested by the reading

(2. Determine which question type each one is. (Review Crosswhite’s Reading, Reasoning and Writing, pages 4-8 )

  • Question at issue 1 ____________________________________________________________________________________ Question type_________________________________
  • Question at issue 2 ____________________________________________________________________________________ Question type_________________________________


To earn a grade of Complete your assignment will meet the following requirements:

  • Submit a doc or PDF file with your Précis, the two questions at issue and types of questions following the above instructions by the due date and time.
  • Your précis follows the structure shown in the example.
  • The two questions are complete, with correct question types. (for questions, review Crosswhite).
  • Work meets all requirements outlined above.
  • Assignment is submitted on time (or accommodations for late submission).
  • All work is your own and not plagiarized.