Rhetorical Analysis of a New York Times’ Article

An analysis depending on one’s memory reveals challenges due to biases and memory distortion. [This is a summary. What’s your analysis of how the authors used the rhetorical triangle?]

[Analyze rather than summarize.] In the article, “Why Our Memory Fails Us” by Christopher F. Chabris and Daniel J. Simons, they have two main arguments they are trying to get across about relying on one’s memory. Frist [SP], how biases can blind the way we see and believe in things. For example, Tyson was misled by faith in the accuracy of his memory of what Bush had said . He let his faith come between his memory and what had actually happened. Even though Tyson had a memory of this occurring, he soon realized what actually had occurred. Our memory is not always accurate. [Separate topic sentences with paragraphs.] The second argument that Chabris and Simons make is the argument of science of memory distortion. It is possible to take two different memories and combine them into one. At times, people misremember certain things. This does not mean that a person is intentionally lying; they were just misguided by their own memories. [Separate topic sentences with paragraphs.] Tyson for example, took two different speeches Bush had done and in his memory made the two speeches into one. His memory was not aware that these were two speeches at two different times. People rely on the confidence of their memory. If they are confident that they have had a certain memory, the more likely they are to believe it actually happened.

I believe Chabris and Simons had a pathos tone of voice while writing this article; they relied more on the emotions of ones memory to get their point across. They appealed to the beliefs and feelings of ones [one’s] memory. They taught not to scrutinize someone if memory distortion occurs or how biases can blind ones memories.   If this does occur, it is best to admit fault and apologize. They are trying to appeal to the belief in fairness [use of ethos]. Everyone makes mistakes; therefore, fairness should be taken into account before scrutinizing and judgment happen.

I think the top three comments in the “Reader Picks” were found to be convincing by the readers for different reasons. The first comment, written by Neil Tyson himself, shows his side of things for what he said about Bush in his own opinion. You get to see his own take on things and what he had to say about things that had been said about him. [Separate topic sentences with paragraphs.] Keith Dow, the second commenter, says that our memory of Bush being an intelligent person is inaccurate. He then goes on to list a few quotes spoken by Bush trying to prove that Bush is not a smart person. This makes a person question every speech made by Bush. [Separate topic sentences with paragraphs.] I feel like the last commenter [Analyze rather than express personal opinion.] , Jacob Sommer, was the most reasonable with his comment. He showed that everyone makes mistakes and is not always acting with bad intentions. What made these comments most effective is that they all got you thinking in different points of views.

I do believe the New York Times way of ranking comments is effective. They sort through the comments that have sustenance and a point to them and separate them for the readers. I do not think it is necessarily needed, but it does help to read through a few good comments rather than reading though over 100 comments that you will skim through.


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