Project 2

ENGW1111 Fall 2018

Project 2 .                                     

Rhetorical Analysis of Technology

For this assignment, you will conduct a rhetorical analysis of a form of technology and incorporate outside research. The first step is to choose an object to analyze; you cannot write about technology we’ve discussed in class. Below are some examples of what you can/cannot write about:
Off limits:
Google searches
Facial recognition technology
TSA body scanners
Medical devices (specifically the ones discussed in The Bleeding Edge)
Big data (as discussed in Weapons of Math Destruction)


Possible topics:
Social media
Artificial Intelligence
Technology associated with art or entertainment


You are not limited to the options above—feel free to choose an example not listed here. I am construing technology broadly, therefore your object does not have to be digital. You will want to choose specific examples. So instead of analyzing “social media,” you would narrow it down to Facebook. Instead of analyzing “transportation,” you might specify the MBTA. As with the first paper, you will need to make a compelling, debatable argument and support it with close reading and evidence. Unlike the first paper, this assignment requires you to integrate at least three outside sources.
Important: These sources must be used in a specific way. I want you to engage with the author’s ideas and arguments rather than just use them to provide background information. In other words, your argument should engage in a conversation with the arguments of three other texts. You can use additional sources to provide background info, but at least three must be used to demonstrate the ongoing debate or conversation about your piece of technology. The purpose of integrating sources in this way is for you to demonstrate an awareness of ongoing research and debate as well as practice engaging with others’ ideas in written form.
This does not have to be a form of technology you personally use or one that you have access to. Some specific questions to consider regarding your topic:


What is the history of the technology?
What has the reception of the technology been? Is it viewed positively? Has it provoked debate or controversy?
Is it easily accessible? How do you access it?
Who can access it? Are there fees or a learning curve?
How is the technology designed? How does that affect the user?
What is the purpose of the technology? How do you know?
Who are the intended users? How do you know?
How is the technology marketed to users? Is the marketing persuasive?
How would someone who is not the intended user interact with this technology?
Who designed the technology? What might that say about the technology itself?
Is there any way this technology could be improved?
Are there any drawbacks to this technology?
You’re not limited to these questions—other things may come to mind. Your paper should not read like bullet point answers to each of these questions.
Once you’ve considered your answers to these questions, you will then form a debatable argument. The structure of the paper will be very similar to the first paper, except this time you should have a literature review paragraph where you incorporate other arguments. This should come before your own analysis and serves to set up the current conversation on the topic for your reader. As with the first paper, you also want to consider the larger implications of your argument and supporting evidence (i.e. the “so what” and “who cares” questions). Please include a separate works cited page as well as in-text parenthetical citations.
Length: ~1500 words
Draft due for in-class workshop: Oct 23
 Peer Review: Oct 26
 Final Draft Due: Oct 30