Assignment 1: Rhetorical analysis of a New York Times’ article and commentary

Emilia De La Vera

Frederick Blevens and George Pearson


Individual Assignment 1: Rhetorical analysis of a New York Times’ article and commentary

Jan 23,2017

[State thesis in first sentence. Analyze than re-cap the article.] In the article “Why our memory fails us” by Daniel Simons and Christopher Charis, the authors discuss the statements made by Neil deGrasse Tyson on former president George W. Bush. Tyson made incorrect statements about George W. Bush to suggest ideas about the human memory, and show us that we all must rethink the way we answer to false memories.

[Analyze rather than summarize. How do the authors use the rhetorical triangle — ethos, logos and pathos — to convince the reader and how do they support their arguments?] In the first paragraph of the article the authors pointed out that Tyson told several audiences that President Bush said the words “Our God is the God who named the stars” in his post-9/11 speech to separate Americans from Muslims. Bush never said those exact words and it is believing Tyson misinterpret what was said. This is set to be a perfect example of how memory can fail us.

[Analyze rather than express personal opinion.] After reading this article about three time I came to the conclusion that the authors did not write this for the purpose of tearing apart Neil deGrasse Tyson but to show reading a perfect example on how we can make mistakes that put us in awkward situations due to our lack of memory.

After reading the “Reader Picks” top three comments and the “NYT Picks” top three comments I saw a big difference. [How do the commenters use the rhetorical triangle to make their points?] For example, in the “Reader pick” the top comment was left by who I believe was Tyson himself the author a Facebook link to the readers where he discusses the matters of the article. I read the links and one of them was a conversation via email between Tyson and Sean Davis from The Federalist, where they discuss what said about Bush. The next comments give series of quotes from president George W. Bush, the commenter when as far a disagreeing with the authors on Bush being intelligent. The last comment left by Jacob Sommer and I agree [Analyze rather than express personal opinion.] with this theory on honest mistakes. I also believe that people make honest mistakes. The “NYT Picks” comments I found more in detail, people expressed more how they felt on the matter. For example the first comment left by Peter C he discusses the fact that is scary that we do not remember something at the fact that we do no remember it we quickly  deny it ever happened. Magicisnotreal left an interesting comment suggesting that now a days the problem is not the human memory but the fact that reasoning objectivity I not being taught and that is the real issue.



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