The Company Man by Ellen Goodman

Intention:  The intention of the piece is to force readers to think about family, loved ones, what they truly value and how they spend their time.  It is supposed to make readers want to expend their energy on things that mean something to them and not waste their time away. >Goodman tells the story of…

Arriving at Perfection by Benjamin Franklin

Intention: To document Benjamin Franklin’s efforts to live each day without committing any faults which he characterized as failing to act in the manner defined by his thirteen virtues. Franklin wanted to acquire the habit of living by these virtues. Franklin’s writing is very clear and plain, explaining his entire thought process. He goes through…

Why I Want a Wife by Judy Brady

Intention: The intention of this piece is to emphasize the unrealistic expectations society has for women once they are married. Ethos: Brady begins this essay by making an appeal to ethos, “I belong to that classification of people known as wives. I am a Wife. And, not altogether incidentally, I am a mother.” This appeal…

Naps by Barbara Holland

Intention: Holland’s intention in this essay is to bring to light the importance of daily naps, and explain the benefits of napping in the middle of the afternoon. -Holland appeals to logos and builds her credibility with the audience by explaining other countries customs and views on napping versus the U.S.’s. For example, she tells…

About Men By Gretel Ehrlich

The intention of this essay is to uncover how the basic stereotypes about cowboys are not entirely true. She goes on to talk about how real cowboys are very nurturing and are not the rough and tough men we see in the movies. Ehrlich uses the appeal to pathos a lot in this piece to…

Influenza 1918 by Jane Brox

Intention: The intention of Brox’s essay is to bring awareness to the tragedy of the influenza epidemic of 1918. In her essay, Brox takes the audience to the small town of Lawrence, Massachusetts where she focuses on the lives of those affected by this devastating disease. Her raw, descriptive details let the audience experience a part…

On Ben Franklin’s Virtues by D.H. Lawrence

Intention: Lawrence’s intention in this essay is to criticize Ben Franklin’s self-improvement essay. He responds to Franklin’s plan for achieving perfection and explains why it will not work. -Lawrence’s tone throughout the essay is sarcastic and disrespectful toward Franklin and his ideas. His dislike for Franklin’s ideas is shown through this tone and when he…

Learning to Read and Write by Frederick Douglass

Intention:  The intention of this piece is to tell Douglass’ story of how he came to learn how to read and write.  The piece tells of the troubles and repercussions that reading and writing bestowed on Douglass. Style:  Douglass’ essay has a simplistic style.  His sentences are very direct and to the point; it is…

Into the Electric Millennium by Sven Birkerts

Intention: The essay’s intention is to make readers aware of the significant change that had begun to occur as electronic technologies developed. Birkerts uses rhetorical devices to convey his feelings toward this development, which takes our society into a new, unknown electronic culture. Birkerts wants to inform his audience of the major turning point society has reached in which the culture of…

In the Kitchen by Henry Louis Gates Jr.

The essay In the Kitchen by Henry Louis Gates Jr. explains through stories and images the importance of hairstyle and how hair can be connected to political, racial, and cultural traditions. It goes beyond just looking a certain way and can carry memories, views, and ideas that people connect with in their life during a…

Just Walk on By: Black Men and Public Space by Brent Staples

Intention: The intention of this essay is to illustrate the plight of black men being automatically labeled as criminals and treated as such. Style: In the very first paragraph, Staples refers to a random woman on the street as his, “first victim.” Immediately, the audience knows this is not going to be a happy piece…

Letter From Birmingham Jail

Intention: Martin Luther King Jr. uses rhetorical strategies to show his audience the reasons why he is willing to go to jail for what he believes in. Pathos: MLK appeals to emotion by giving very descriptive reasons to why the African Americans could not wait for change any longer. “But when you have seen vicious…