Little Girls or Little Women Analysis The Disney Princess Effect
Analysis: “Little Girls or Little Women? The Disney Princess Effect
Length and Format: The paper should not exceed 1,000 words. It should be formatted according to MLA guidelines.
Rhetorical Situation: For this assignment, write an analysis of the structure of a source article of your choosing, as well as its stated or implied thesis/purpose. The audience is academic, meaning largely rhetorical scholars such as your professor.
Assignment Overview: Choose one article from the list below and write a paper that summarizes its rhetorical structure:
“Little Girls or Little Women? The Disney Princess Effect” by Stephanie Hanes (pp. 482-488)
Excerpt from Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It by Elizabeth Royte (pp.717-724)
“Rising Share of Americans See Conflict between Rich and Poor” by Richard Morin (pp. 888-898)
“Is Google Making Us Stupid?” by Nicholas Carr (on eCourses under Week 2)
“Under the Influence: Paying the Price of My Father’s Booze” by Scott Russell Sanders (on eCourses under Week 2)
This assignment is titled “analytical summary” rather than just “summary” because you are being asked to do more than simply provide a point-by-point recap of the source article. You must identify and explain the basic rhetorical situation of the article, you must distinguish between the central thesis and supporting points, and you must explain the organizational structure of the article. Make sure to identify:
the author, title, and context.
the rhetorical situation in which the source article participates: intended audience and purpose.
the organizational structure of the source article: how the main points are organized and how its supporting points advance the central thesis.
Paper Structure: The paper must be formatted according to MLA guidelines and must include a full bibliographical citation of the source article on the bottom of the last page (no separate works cited page is needed this time).
Style and Tone: Part of the purpose of this assignment to practice dealing closely with source material while avoiding unintentional plagiarism. This means that you must use signal phrases and in-text citations properly (according to MLA guidelines), choose and integrate quotes carefully, and paraphrase without borrowing the language of the source too closely. Use the last name of the author(s) of your source article throughout the paper. In terms of tone, you must demonstrate objectivity while analyzing and evaluating the article you have chosen. Exaggeration, cheerleading, and over-the-top rhetoric will not work. Your opinion of the article should not be included; your analysis should remain objective and merely summarize the facts of how this article is structured.
What is a Thesis?
Your formal, academic writing must have a thesis. The thesis is the point your paper is trying to prove. Here are some essential points to keep in mind about the thesis, starting with a definition.
Thesis (plural: theses, pronounced THEES-eez): The point that is trying to prove. Also known as the claim or argument. Everything in an argumentative relates to the thesis, either as evidence, explanation, elaboration or rebuttal of alternative claims. Think of the thesis as the spine of your paper. Just as all the parts of your body are connected to the spine, and without the spine your body could not stand, so too all parts must be connected to the thesis, and without the thesis cannot stand. Parts that are not connected must be revised so that they do connect, or else eliminated. A thesis, in other words, is not the same as the thesis statement, which is a sentence or two in your introduction that tells the reader what the thesis is. The thesis is not limited to one spot; it runs through the whole thing, from start to finish.
A thesis can be expressed as a statement
Because the thesis is what you’re trying to prove, it must be possible to express it in the form of a statement or assertion (e.g., “the sky is blue because of sunlight refraction”). It is not a question (“what color is the sky?”) or a topic (“the color of the sky”). Notice that “The sky is blue because of sunlight refraction” is a complete declarative sentence, while the topic (“the color of the sky”) is not—it does not say anything about the sky’s color that is not obvious.
A thesis is arguable
An arguable thesis is one you have to give reasons for, that is worth proving. So the last example above is not a valid thesis, because everybody knows what color the sky is. An arguable thesis would be that sunlight refraction causes the blue color. This statement is not obvious, and it would require reliable scientific evidence and explanations of why in order to be proved.
Theses can be statements about matters of fact (e.g., the physical structure of the atom), interpretation (e.g., the true meaning of Hamlet), analysis (e.g., the structure of a poem), or values (e.g., the morality of the death penalty). Your paper should make a persuasive case about some question of fact, interpretation or analysis.
Your thesis will answer the question presented by the assignment prompt:
In this case, the assignment question is—What is the purpose of your chosen article and how/why did the author structure this article in order to achieve this purpose? (Refer to the handout “Structure of Argumentation” to find some terms to use to help you with this analysis.)
This assignment calls for a descriptive thesis
A descriptive thesis makes a claim about how things are. Here are some features of this type of thesis:
makes an “is” statement
appeals to evidence that anyone (given enough training) can observe and confirm—in this case it’s textual evidence from your chosen article
appeals to logic that anyone (again, given enough training) can test and confirm
deals in analysis, interpretation, and explanation
Example thesis statement for this assignment, based on the reading “On Dumpster Diving”:
Lars Eighner uses definition, narration, explanation, and compare/contrast modes to inform his readers about the life of a homeless person, how to be a successful dumpster diver, and, more importantly, to persuade them to be less wasteful consumers.