Grief in the Age of Facebook

Constructing an Account of an Argument:

Topic:  “Grief in the Age of Facebook”

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Your Purpose:  To discuss how the writer constructs her argument through identifying certain elements of argument (rhetorical précis) and to examine her use of the appeals of ethos, pathos and logos (body paragraphs).

Audience:  Your audience consists of your peers who are likely familiar with Facebook, and who likely use it. The way you discuss the appeals makes should make it understandable for those who might not have a sophisticated understanding of how the appeals work.


Task 1:  Writing an Introduction 

  • In addition to easing into the topic at hand (how Facebook has changed how we grieve in our society), your introduction will:  
  • Engage the reader through a “hook” of some sort that catches their interest.
    • Remember, you are paving your own “common ground” with your readers, and establishing your own credibility, so be selective in what you decide to include from your own experiences and/or observations.
    • You may use information gained through light research online (like an interesting statistic or fact) that is not considered “general pool of knowledge” information. Be sure to cite that information, though.

Rhetorical Precis:  

  • Sentence 1: Introduce the writer, the article’s title (in quotation marks; capitalize correctly), the year the text was published (in parenthesis) and the MAIN ARGUMENT.   
  • Sentence 2: Show what the writer uses to support the main argument (for this piece, there are 3 significant ways she does this)
  • Sentence 3: Identify the text’s purpose (both parts; use an active verb)
  • Sentence 4 : Identify identify the Audience- What do we know about the audience based on the publication the article appeared in. Also, what do we know about the audience based on what is revealed in the text?
  • Sentence 5: This sentence is YOUR thesis which will reflect the focus of YOUR essay (to examine the effectiveness of Stone’s use of the three appeals).

THE Paragraphs that make up the BODY OF YOUR ESSAY WILL discuss how Stone uses all 3 appeals. 

  • You will need to discuss all 3 appeals using two textual examples for each appeal. 
  • You may structure your body however you choose, but you must be sure that each body paragraph CLEARLY indicates which appeal or appeals you will be discussing.  

Conclusion:  To close, address this question: Does the writer’s argument persuade you personally? Why or Why not? (use of firsthand knowledge and/or experience with Facebook as evidence to support your opinion is encouraged) 


Learning outcomes met: 

  • Construct an account of an argument; 
  • Explain the rhetorical situation 
  • Describe elements of an argument—claims, methods of development, persuasive appeals;
  • Choose an effective structure for the essay;
  • Determine when and where a source was published.
  • Edit writing for the conventions appropriate for academic writing.

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