Demonstrative essay | English homework help


Thoughtfully select a specific audience (choose an individual or a small group) for your paper and provide, at the top of page one, a description of the intended audience.  After describing the audience provide a brief analysis of the audience’s interest in, prior knowledge of, and possible expectations regarding the topic.  Discuss what you will do to capture the audience’s attention and make them agree with your claim. How did the topoi help you to devise strategies for this audience?


The demonstrative essay asks you to praise or condemn a person, place, or thing.  In preparation, you will spend time thinking, analyzing, and defining qualities of your subject that match the audience’s values. You must persuade the reader that you have a good answer to the question:  “Why should I praise (or condemn) X?   Consult the topoi—Hermogenean, Ciceronian and Demonstrative–covered for this assignment to help generate ideas for the essay.


Construct an introduction that captures the audience’s attention, makes them receptive to your topic, places the term/concept in a context, and previews the main claims you present in the essay.  Following the introduction, you should develop your essay with three to four main claims. Well-structured claims for this paper feature a declarative sentence, highlight only one idea, express the idea precisely, and target a specific audience.  Support each claim with enough compelling evidence to satisfy the reader.  Include transition sentences between each claim.  Conclude your essay with a clear summary of the main claims covered as you provide an appropriate sense of closure for the reader.  As with the single point essay, each sentence should reflect careful thought in both word choice and structure. These sentences, in turn, should coalesce into robust, coherent paragraphs governed by clear and relevant topic sentences.  (Refer back Clark and Lanham for guidance on sentence structure.  Consult Diana Hacker for advice on paragraphs.) Join your paragraphs with meaningful transition sentences; conclude with a brief summary of the claim and supporting evidence.


The style of your writing should reflect the clarity and precision introduced and practiced in the single point essay. Write with clear subjects anchored by strong, vivid verbs.  Work greater variety into the sentences to create a pleasing rhythm for the reader (see Lanham, ch. 2 and Clark Tools, 7 and 18).  Proofread your paper to catch and correct grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors.

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1. Audience Analysis: Identify an audience in detail and provide information regarding the audience’s prior orientation to the topic. How much prior knowledge does the reader have about the topic? Given the audience’s stance toward your topic, describe briefly your decisions regarding the selection and arrangement of your supporting material.  How did the topoi covered in class guide the development of the topic?

2. Revision  Analysis: Briefly describe the workshop process including revisions you make, peer advice, and material from Clark, Lanham, and Hacker. How did you detect errors, weaknesses in word choice, argument structure, or arrangement of evidence? How did you fix these problems? By now Clark’s Tools and Lanham’s revision method should guide your writing. 

3. The Essay

4-6 pages including annotated bibliography

4.  Full Sentence Outline

5. Annotated Bibliography: Following the advice offered in MLA, APA, Chicago or other accepted style manual, prepare a bibliography of the resources consulted for your paper (even if you did not include them in the final draft of the paper.) Each entry should include full publication information and a thoughtful annotation. 

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