Rhetorical Analysis of “Why Our Memory Fails Us”

Thesis: “Why Our Memory Fails Us” by Christopher F. Chabris and Daniel K. Simons is a scientific article in disguise trying to appeal to the common New York Times reader in order to persuade the urgency of forgiving our memory lapses and admitting to their inaccuracy in order to create a better world with less wrongful convictions and absurd politicians. WELL, YES, BUT WHICH APPEALS DO THEY USE?

In the article “Why Our Memory Fails Us” by Christopher F. Chabris and Daniel J. Simons the two professors argue that even the most iconic and important people are prone to have memory fails and that it is time to stop relying and being so confident on our memory because it can actually become dangerous. well

They begin their argument giving an example about a memory fail of one of the world’s must renowned astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson. I believe they used him in their argument in order toTHIS ARGUMENT BOOSTED that sense of credibility in their studies as who would be a better example of showing how even one of the most intelligent people in the world can suffer from a memory lapse than a famous astrophysicist. Utilizing Tyson, Bush, and Clinton in their argument was an excellent example of ethos as these are such public figures and it shows that even people we may look up to are subject to a memory lapse. They also utilized various studies to form their argument and since it is about a more scientific topic it makes sense that they would choose that route instead of touching base on people’s emotions. Two scientific studies, statistics, and reports from highly credible sources make their argument truly reflect heavily on a logos appeal. However, they do a good job of making the audience feel included in their argument by saying “we” and “us” and giving the audience a sense of responsibility to own up to the fact that our memories aren’t perfect. Including the audience and mentioning how our justice system is failing and giving so many wrongful convictions because of false memories can be considered an emotional appeal that the authors were utilizing and I think it was excellent in getting their point across. Their tones were assertive, direct, urgent, and definitely informative. The article was written to mostly inform people about memory fails and how it’s a large issue that can cause innocent people to be in jail and that people should be more cautious of how much confidence they put in their memory.

The top reader’s comments were so convincing because the first one was actually Neil deGrasse Tyson and I think just his credibility alone helped his comment be the top one for people. The comment by Keith Dow was credible and popular because with his statement of saying that George W. Bush shouldn’t be considered intelligent, he included a plethora of examples of unintelligent quotes that Bush has said and it is also funny which appeals to people’s emotions. Jacob Sommer’s comment was trying to comfort people and had a soothing tone, which I think is what made it so popular among readers. The New York Time’s picks were completely different from the reader’s picks and I think that it is important to have that distinction because it allows for comments that are well written and that prove a valid argument to be seen when they would otherwise not be seen. Like the article was saying, it’s important to have two sides to every story and by having a reader’s pick and the New York Time’s pick of top comments you get those two sides. WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?


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