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English 121: Guide

Modules for each section of English 121

Background, Purpose, and Objectives

Background and Purpose 

For this assignment, you will explore how authors can create authority/ethos within a variety of writing environments. An awareness of authority in writing situations helps as you work to gain members in the discourse communities of your major. As a student, you may feel you don’t have authority/ethos in your field, but that shouldn’t stop you from writing as though you do. 

Compare the decisions made by the authors that accommodate the expectations of their respective audiences. Look at their word choice, their assumptions, their arguments, and their negotiation of authority present through textual signifiers of authority. Your job for this assignment is to draw conclusions about the differences you observe in the texts. Your ultimate goal is to answer this: How and why do authors make adjustments for different discourse communities, different audiences? 



  • Analyze how writers navigate authority/ethos in various situations 
  • Identify textual signifiers of authority as listed in the “Writing with Authority” video  

Explain authorial decisions in terms of audience awareness and accommodation in the reflection concluding your essay.  


  • This will be very similar to what you wrote in the Module 2 Assignment, except you will be analyzing two, not just one text in order to compare them, and you will be including summaries, paraphrases, and quotations from both texts in order to illustrate your points. Each time you summarize, paraphrase, or quote the essays, you will be using in-text citations to cite these sources properly. 

  1. In your writing explain how the language and other rhetorical situation elements used by each author indicate the authors’ ability to respond to audience expectations.  
  2. Please, structure your writing by beginning with the analysis of the first text, followed by the analysis of the second, and concluding with a reflection answering the question: How and why do authors make adjustments for different discourse communities?