My attempt at a Rhetorical Analysis


In the New York Times Article: “Why our Memory Fails Us” FIRST NAMES? Chabris and Simons use factual stories and tells of the extensive research in the area to make readers believe in their credibility. These appeals to ethos, logos, combined with hisA friendly informative tone, creates an effective argument for questioning why our memory fails us


In the Article “Why Our Memory Fails Us”, The Authors Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons present a strong case enriched with logical scientific explanation on the effects of memory failure. In order to have a presentable case to readers, the authors rely on the use of trust worthy examples, scientific studies, and facts. In addition, the authors mention the emotional effect that our memory can ignite. For instance, they state that when our memory is challenged we often rely on our confidence: the emotional feeling of self assurance arising of ones’ own abilities – “as a signal of accuracy in ourselves and in others”. Yet mainly relying on facts and studies(Logos) rather than focusing on using the emotion approach to writing (pathos). From the start they begin with a factual example about the effect of memory failure that involves a well respected Astrophisict Dr. Neil Degrasse Tyson. This example creates a sustainable base for their argument The purpose of this example is to show readers that even the most Intelligent can make mistakes in recalling their memory.  The use of studies strengthens the argument, the authors use several throughout: “Studies find that even our “flashbulb memories” of emotionally charged events can be distorted and inaccurate, but we cling to them with the greatest of confidence”. The overall tone of this article is to inform. As I was reading, I took notice in my emotional response to the tone of its structure. I noticed that it begins with a surprising fact check of memories related to public figures. As a reader, it grabs your attention generally because the topic of politics, religion, and terrorism is always sensitive yet intriguing. UNNECESSARY The article gradually grows to inform on a bigger scale… potentially leading to false convictions, and death sentences, broadening the readers sense of knowledge in the topic. The use of case studies builds trustworthiness amongst the authors. It  is reassurance that you feel when reading about how  memory failure is realistic and okay but should have a higher quality of awareness. Informing readers of an issue that has been unknowingly overlooked. Lastly providing a positive step to reforming memory failure.



The readers top three pics were interesting to read, each presenting a humorous tone in response. I was surprised in finding that Dr. Neal Tyson was the top pick. His response attempted to reassure the audience of his scientific competence by posting a link to his own studies on the subject. The next pick mainly consisted of quotations by former president Bush to argue against his intelligence. Lastly the third pick had an emotional response that the readers could relate and understand.  All three using one of the rhetorical triangles. The New York times method to selecting the top comments is reasonable. Each comments presents a logical response to the article. This provides a strong alternative to what the real issue is. Untimely picking comments that readers can agree and relate to.


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