Issue analysis

What am I doing?

You’ll write a well-researched essay that analyzes an issue at work in the world by explaining the multiple, possibly conflicting perspectives that comprise the problem and its solutions.

Why am I doing this?

Whatever your future holds, in the working world, as a writer, as a citizen, you will be asked to analyze complicated issues in order to consider the problems that impact our lives. It’s important that you know how to evaluate all of those elements so you can make the best decisions for yourself.

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How do I do it?

Try to make your writing more careful and thoughtful in this paper, so do not use “you” (though “I” is still okay). Your goal is to write a coherent, sophisticated analysis that will engage and inform your readers.


Over the course of the interview, make sure that you:

  • Identify the problem or issue you’re exploring. Describe the conversation surrounding the issue, and explain what’s at stake.
  • Try to analyze what different sources are saying, how they are saying it, and why.
  • Your essay will include background information that readers need to understand the issue. Explain several different positions with regard to this issue (this includes controversies and conflicting interests from multiple stakeholders).
    • Stakeholder: a group of people has an interest or a stake in an issue, either negatively or positively
  • Your thesis will generally be a descriptive argument about how other arguments around an issue are working.


What are the guidelines?

  • 4-5 pages, not including the Works Cited page.
  • At least 4 credible sources.
  • Please use MLA format (12-point Times New Roman, 1-inch margins, Works Cited and in-text citations)
  • This assignment is worth 30% of the overall course grade.



Due: Wednesday, November 25, 2020 by midnight; if you need more time, take it! The absolute last day I can accept these essays is December 1 by midnight.





Rubric for Project 5: Issue Analysis

Rhetorical Analysis

  • 5: You can break down the rhetorical strategies used by your sources and stakeholders. You know what they are saying, how they’re saying it, and who they’re saying it to.
  • 4: You understand and can identify that your sources and stakeholders use rhetorical strategies, but you don’t analyze how those strategies are being used.
  • 3: You largely summarize the stances taken on the issue without engaging in much analysis of rhetorical strategies.
  • 2: You don’t recognize or analyze rhetorical strategies.
  • 1: You only summarize your sources.


Critical Thought

  • 5: You grapple with the multiple viewpoints on your issue. You talk about the strong and weak points of all your sources.
  • 4: You recognize that your sources have conflicts with each other, but you don’t engage with those conflicts fully.
  • 3: You acknowledge multiple viewpoints but only discuss one or two in depth.
  • 2: You neglect to acknowledge that there are multiple viewpoints on this issue.
  • 1: You pick a side and talk only about how this stance is the right one.



  • 5: Your essay is easy to follow; anyone outside of our class could read it and understand what you’re talking about.
  • 4: Your essay mostly makes sense; sometimes you state a point or reference a source unclearly.
  • 3: Your essay is confusing at times; the reader occasionally finds themselves wondering what you mean.
  • 2: Your essay is hard to follow; the reader often doesn’t understand what’s being said.
  • 1:Your essay does not make sense; the reader cannot not understand what’s being said.



  • 5: You back up all of your points/counter-points with evidence from reliable sources.
  • 4: You back up most of your points/counter-points with evidence.
  • 3: You back up some of your points/counter-points OR your sources are somewhat questionable (unsure of source author or organization, etc.).
  • 2: You don’t back up your points/counter-points OR your sources seem unreliable.
  • 1:You state facts without evidence and/or your sources are faulty (such as citing statistics within their own article but not providing sources to back up their claims).



  • 5: Your essay is organized logically. The reader never wonders how the parts of the essay fit together.
  • 4: The reader might get a little lost or wonder how the parts of the essay fit together.
  • 3: The reader struggles from time to time to follow the organization of the essay.
  • 2: The reader feels lost more often than not and struggles to follow the organization of the essay.
  • 1: The reader doesn’t understand the progression of the essay at all.



  • 5: Your essay is formatted to the specifications of the assignment sheet.
  • 4: Your essay mostly follows the assignment sheet.
  • 3: Your essay struggles to follow the assignment sheet (less than 4 pages).
  • 2: Your essay very loosely follows the assignment sheet (less than 3.5 pages ).
  • 1: Your essay does not meet the requirements asked of you (3 pages or less).

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