Rhetorical Analysis 1

The first two paragraphs of the article NAME? serve as an introduction and example for the argument the authors will be making. The thesis appears as the last sentence of the third paragraph. “Instead, Dr. Tyson was fooled by his faith in the accuracy of his own memory” is the point where the example of Dr. Tyson’s false memory transitions into the argument made by the authors. The argument that follows is threefold making use mostly of “logos.” IDENTIFY THIS THREE-PART ARGUMENT.

The first point of the threefold argument that is addressed is the fact that our memories are often not as accurate as we would hope.IT’S NOT A FACT — IT’S THE AUTHORS’ OPINION SUPPORTED BY DATA. This portion of the article uses the anecdote of Dr. Tyson misremembering a quote by George Bush in order to demonstrate that even a modern intellectual, like Dr. Tyson, can fall victim to erroneous memories. The article then continues to explain exactly where Dr. Tyson went wrong in his statement about Bush. This example with Dr. Tyson was a clear use of logos, and served as an effective transition into the second point of the argument.THIS IS YOUR TOPIC SENTENCE. MOVE IT UP TO THE TOP OF THE PARAGRAPH.

The next point addressed by the authors is that an individual insisting upon a false recollection is not to be mistaken as a liar, as the individual can genuinely misremember events. Dr. Tyson’s predictable reaction of insisting he was correct is detailed. The point made is that he is not automatically a liar, as he apparently just remembers what Bush said incorrectly. This is a very obvious use of rational appeal, making readers consider the possibility that they could easily make the same mistake. The authors then provide factual information regarding the alarming frequency of erroneous eyewitness testimonies, and the relation between confidence in one’s memories and accuracy of the memories. They also address exactly how it is memories are brought to mind, and the concept of memory distortion, highlighting the idea that it is easy to have false memories. All this factual information based off of experiments, and statistics continues the trend of rational appeals within the article.

The final point the authors tie into their argument is that we should “admit error… apologize and move on” should it be proven that our memories were inaccurate. The last mention of Dr. Tyson is to commend his actions in admitting his mistake and apologizing. The authors then make an ethical appeal, and explain that we should all do the same, in order to maintain our credibility and/or trustworthiness.

The top “readers pick” comments whereSPELLING! rather lacking of insight. The first was one by Dr. Tyson himself in which he provides readers with links to notes in which he addresses and further explains the issues raised in the article. The second comment basically just seeks to speak ill of George Bush and his intelligence. While Mr. Dow does provide some quotes supporting the idea that George Bush is by no means intelligent, the comment provides little in regards to the article offers no insight and is rather off-topic. The third comment is the best combination of relevant and insightful of the top three comments. Mr. Sommer addresses the existence of individuals with exceptional memories (clearly a rational appeal) but also makes it clear that those individuals are not the norm. He then uses a combination of an ethical, rational and emotional appeal in order to convince us to be forgiving of people’s small mistakes.


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