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In this class, we have examined how writers use content, organization, style, and design to identify with their audiences, persuading them to take action or to accept an idea. In this unit, we will look more specifically at how businesses establish their identity in relation to the context for doing business, their overall purpose, and their many audiences. To do so, you will analyze a company’s Annual Report, examining the audiences addressed, claims made, evidence used, as well as the underlying assumptions, values, ideas, images, attitudes, and beliefs. You will write a report that discusses how these aspects are used to establish credibility with their audience, to accomplish their purpose, and to address specifics factors, values, or events that may influence how readers interpret its messages

After completing this unit, you will be able to:

  • To identify the different ways in which businesses establish credibility with their audiences
  • To identify how businesses, respond to the broader political, economic, or social context
  • To make claims about how the business develops good will supported by evidence based on research and analysis
  • To organize this information for your readers, using multiple strategies to lead your readers through your ideas
  • To integrate visuals with the text to help your readers better understand your claims
  • To write with command at the sentence level


Research the broader context to develop a bibliography of current articles that identify trends, problems, or good news in a specific industry or with the company. Your bibliography should summarize 6–10 articles. Each bibliographic entry should include:

  • A full citation, following MLA citation style guide

  • A paragraph in your own words that summarizes the writer’s main points
  • A set of quotes that demonstrate the writer’s main points


Explain how the company establishes goodwill and credibility with their audience. In your report, include summary, analysis, and direct quotes from the annual report and from your research to make and support their claims about the kinds of relationships the company hopes to establish and maintain and the ways in which it establishes its good will and credibility. 

  • Length: Three pages, single-spaced with 2 visuals
  • Audience: The class
  • Citations: In-text and end-of-text works cited page

Introduction: Tell your reader where you are taking them and why

  • What company’s report did you analyze?
  • Why did you choose this company?
  • What is your purpose for analysis?
  • What is your thesis?

Body: Tell your readers what found, showing us how the business develops good will in their annual report. For example, you might answer these questions:

  • Who are audiences for this company’s annual report? What are their needs and values?
  • Given your research, what is the broader context for this company’s messaging in its annual report? 
  • How does the company develop its message? Is it a consistent message? Does it address the broader context? If so, how? 
  • How does the company use images to identify with their audiences? Do the images speak to some audiences and not others? 
  • How does the company use other visual devices (such as colors, fonts, headings, etc.) to develop an argument about the company and its performance for the year?

Conclusion: Tell your readers what you learned

  • What was new and surprising to you about your research and analysis?
  • What was not so new and surprising?
  • If you had more time for research, what would you want to know?
  • Given your research, what does credibility and good will mean to you?

Notes in class additional info

The  company ( I Choose Amazon)

-Research 6-10 articles

-pick 6 articles for paper from 2016 to now

-news prob

-What’s going on with your company right now

-industry right now

-main competitors

-Is it in the news

-How is the company financially

– Find the company annual report and include it in the summary of the articles read ALL INSTRUCTIONS ABOVE .

Hi Everyone, 

Just thought I’d send out a few tips and resources to help with the bibliography portion of the Unit 3 assignment. 

If you read the assignment, you’ll see that it asks you to create a bibliography with an annotation for each entry. Essentially, this is an extended version of the typical works cited page. 

For each entry, you’ll want:

-Source cited in MLA format 

-Summary of the source (a paragraph with five sentences is a good length to aim for). You’re putting the main points expressed in the article into your own words. 

-A set of 3 relevant quotes.

For an example of how an annotation looks, check out this page on Purdue Owl.  https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/common_writing_assignments/annotated_bibliographies/annotated_bibliography_samples.html

I also received some questions about which articles to choose. Ultimately, this is up to you decide. I would focus your research on how the business is doing today, primarily financially, as that is most relevant to the annual report. This may involve looking at its marketing plan, any issues that have come up recently, mergers, newsworthy events, etc. To round out your research, you can also look at the industry as a whole, the company’s history, and its competitors.

The length of the articles doesn’t really matter. I’d focus on quality of the article, relevance to the issues discussed in the company’s annual report, and timeliness (an article from 2012 could be out of date by now). 

To recap the homework, Module 9 is due by EOD tomorrow (Friday). We’ll be working with the first part of Module 10 on Tuesday, so please prepare for that. You’ll want to bring your annual reports to class next week, too. 

Hope that helps. Don’t hesitate to email with any other questions. 



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