Mod. 3 | Persuasive Web Article – Assignment Sheet
Now that you have spent some time finding the best and most relevant research about your topic and have begun to think about how your sources “speak to”
each other, it is time to think about what you have learned from your research and take a stance. This project serves as the link between thinking about your
sources as separate texts and moving to think about them in a more integrated way, as voices in a research conversation that work together to advocate a
particular perspective or perspectives. This project allows you to demonstrate your growing knowledge around your topic and show that you can use this
knowledge to argue a particular position for a specific audience.
This project asks you to write a persuasive web article that makes an argument about your topic to a specific audience, using the research you’ve gathered
(from Unit 2 and the additional sources you will gather in Unit 3). In total, you are required to use at least 8 sources. A web article is a broad genre of text that
encompasses many different purposes, audiences and platforms. For example, you might look at Example 1 (Links to an external site.) or Example 2 (Links
to an external site.) or Example 3 (Links to an external site.). I’m also including this student example. Your web article can take any shape you want as long
as 1) it can be distributed digitally, and 2) it includes digital links and visuals components. For example, you might choose to create your project on a website
such as Wix.com, a blog such as WordPress.com, a Word Document, or a PDF.
You’ll want to select an audience that makes sense for your particular research topic, the research you have conducted, and the stance you are taking. For
example, if your web article is arguing for policy change relevant to a particular topic, then your specific audience should be a group who has the ability to
impact policy. Or, if you believe that your topic requires action from a specific demographic, such as people your age, you should keep that audience in mind.
Your persuasive web article has three goals: 1) inform your specific audience on important background context and information they need to understand
your topic, 2) take a stance on the topic/issue you’ve researched, and 3) persuade your audience to agree with your stance. You’ll also want to use research
effectively enough that you are convincing your secondary audience, your teacher, that you are making this argument based on the research that you have
A web article is a very broad genre that includes essentially any article on the internet. For example, a newspaper article, a blog, and a magazine article all
qualify as example web articles (see the links I included above). Therefore, it’ll be your responsibility in this project to make the best decisions about what
kind of article you want to write–but you will have to keep your audience and purpose in mind when making these decisions. You’ll see that one thing all the
sources have in common is the way they synthesize sources to present the argument to writers: in other words, the writers of these texts don’t organize the
writing by discussing one source, then the next, then the next. Instead, the writers what they want to argue and then use sources to back their explanations.
Your web article should be at least 1000 words long and will be created as a digital text (also called a web text). A web text or digital text is a text that is
meant to be consumed by a public audience on the internet (rather than in print form) and so it’s designed very differently than a traditional essay.
What makes a web article different from composing a traditional essay?
Visual rhetoric: Since this is a web article, you should take advantage of the digital nature of this genre including visual elements besides the written text. You
can choose if these elements will be photos, illustrations, charts, graphs, or something else.
Page design: As you plan your article, think carefully about your audience’s reading experience. This means considering page layout, use of color throughout
the article, and formatting. When you are creating a web text, you not only have more opportunities to think about page design–effective page design is an
important part of the genre. Effective page design for a web text helps establish your ethos as a writer and help your audience read more easily.
Citation: In web sources, like online reports and articles, sources are referenced through hyperlinks. I recommend that you review this resource, created by
FIU’s Digital Writing Studio: Digital Writing and Citation (Links to an external site.). The entire video is incredibly useful for this project, but you can see the
section on hyperlinking starting around 6:55. You can also scroll down and read the section on web articles. You can also see two real world examples of
hyperlink citation by viewing Example 1 (Links to an external site.) and Example 2 (Links to an external site.).
You may also consult Chicago Bridge – How to Write a Web Article (Links to an external site.) which gives some advice to writers. There’s also 9 Simple Tips
for Writing Persuasive Web Content (Links to an external site.). Importantly, the advice in these sources is not universally true of all web articles, because–
again–your choices will be informed by your audience and purpose. However, these sources do help give you a sense of some of the decisions you might
make while composing.
Criteria for Success for the Web Article (worth 60% of your grade):
This writing project will be evaluated based on the following:
Synthesis of sources (30%)
Does the web article provide a clear and useful explanation of the current “conversation” around this issue?
Does the web article use multiple sources to advocate a particular stance?
Is the web article organized around an argument rather than presenting a list of source summaries?
Use of sources for support (20%)
Does the web article demonstrate a balance between specific quotations from the sources and the writer’s own words in the form of summaries and
Does the web article include sources that are credible and useful for the chosen conversation?
Are the sources introduced and integrated effectively in support of a specific stance?
Awareness of audience (20%)
Is a specific audience clearly addressed in the web article?
Does the web article provide sufficient background information/context that is needed for the audience to understand the ideas presented?
Is the information organized in a way that is logical and appropriate for the specific audience?
Use of links and visual components (20%)
Does the web article effectively incorporate hyperlinks to give credit to sources?
Does the web article effectively incorporate hyperlinks to point the audience to additional relevant information?
Does the web article include visual components that are appropriate to the topic, stance, and audience?
Do the links and visual components work together to effectively persuade the specific audience?
Is the web article a polished document, with few to no errors and professional page design? (10%)
After you submit your Report, you’ll submit a reflection for a separate grade, approximately 40% of the grade for this project. Here are the questions that your
reflection will focus on:
What Rhetorical Decisions Did You Make As You Wrote?
What is the topic/theme of your web article? Who have you identified as your target audience? What made you decide this was the best audience for what
you wanted to say? How did you convey these in your writing?
Please discuss at least four of the following rhetorical decisions you made while composing your web article: the page design choices you made to best
reach your audience, the way you established your ethos/credibility as a writer, the language style and word choice you chose, the visual rhetoric you
incorporated, your use of hyperlinks as appropriate for your audience/purpose, and/or the choices you made in structure and organization.
What was your experience adapting your work for a digital format? What did you learn about presenting your research using digital and public-facing
techniques (rather than in MLA format, for example)? How did your rhetorical choices change/adjust for this digital web article context?
How Did You Use Research/Change Your Ideas About Research?
How did you view researching a topic before this project? How did your views about research change (or not change) during this module? Were there any
readings or assignments from this module that contributed to this change? Please make sure you refer to specific details in your response.
What you have learned about your topic as a result of your research? What ideas about your topic have changed or evolved due to what you read this
semester? What remaining questions or gaps in your knowledge do you still have?
How Did You Use The Writing/Revision Process to Improve Your Writing?
What is at least one piece of feedback you received during peer review or from your instructor that helped you think about your writing in a new way or from a
new perspective? Who was this feedback from? What was the feedback and in what specific ways did it impact your ideas?
What is one thing that you think you did especially well in your web article? Here, be specific and be proud!
If you had more time and another draft, what is one thing you might change/improve in your web article?
Did any part of the revision process (the instructor draft of peer review) shape what sources you chose to use or how you used sources in this project?
Here’s how you’ll be graded on this reflection:
Does the student describe how their ideas about research changed based on this project/module, including readings or assignments that contributed to this
change? Does the student reflect on the ways their ideas about their topic has changed or evolved and next steps for research? (20%)
Does the student discuss their experience writing in a digital and public-facing format, including the rhetorical choices that were made? Does the student
address what they learned through this process? (15%)
Does the student address the steps they took in the writing process to improve this draft, including the feedback they chose to respond to? (10%)
Does the student use specific details in their response? (10%)
Does the student write a well-organized reflection, in paragraph form, with topic sentences? Does the student write a reflection that is free from grammatical
errors? Is the reflection is a polished, professional-looking submission? (10%)