Joey Hernandez

Rhetorical Analysis Team 1

Joey – Overall, a good first effort. Make sure to edit carefully. It might help to read aloud and check if it sounds right. Ethos is the authority and the trustworthiness of the speaker. When analyzing the use of ethos in teh article, you want to look at the credibility and trustworthiness of C&S as authors. Otherwise, your analysis was very good.

Thesis statement:  Christopher F. Chabris and Daniel J. Simmons utilizes utilize the rhetoric triangle in “Why Our Memory Fails Us”  to explain with case studies the cause of false memory, to convey a message to the audience with emotions, and question the reliability of our memory. This is a bit unclear. Do you mean C&S primarily use pathos in their article?

Christopher F. Chabris and Daniel J. Simons were able to use successfully the rhetorical triangle in “Why Our Memory Fails Us” so that the audience could feel connected and more identified with what these professionals were trying to portray.

Christopher Chabirs and Daniel Simons start off the article with ethos giving the audience credibility about the person that they were going to talk about which was Neil Degrasse Tyson. Remember, ethos is the authority of the speaker or writer. What ethos do C&S have? They started off mentioning that he was an astrophysicist and host of a TV series so that the audience could build up their credibility about this individual.  That same credibility was later affected when he publicly claimed that Busch was decimating against Muslims. This incident cost him credibility because he didn’t have concrete evidence of what he thought the president said and because the president is the person with the most credibility out of the two.

The authors then started building their case using logos and heavily rely on facts and studies. Good. They used the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a case study of false memory as evidence to support their argument. to solve this argument with facts. Effectively, this study revealed that false memory is directly proportional to high confidence of the individual’s memory; exactly what happened to Neil Degrasse Tyson with President Bush’s speech.

Also, the authors resemble pathos being pity with use pathos in describing the false memory of the people mentioned in the article: “Do our heroes have memories of clay?” This statement makes the audience evaluate our leaders and realize that even the most “important and successful” people can be affected by false memory. Good. The authors also suggest that people respond with emotions when our memory is challenged, trying to justify what happened to Neil Degrasse Tyson. “But when our own memories are challenged, we may neglect all this and instead respond emotionally, acting as though we must be right and everyone else must be wrong.” Good point, but you don’t need the entire quote.

Neil Degrasse Tyson gives another perspective in the readers pick. He talks in an ethos perspective with his manager Sean Davis by giving out reliable sources about how he came up with the conclusion that the President was making discriminating comments about Muslims. The comments that Keith Dow wrote were in a form of logos because he is literally giving out facts to prove that George Bush was not as “intelligent and educated” like Christopher Chabirs and Daniel Simons said in “Why Our Memory Fails Us”. Jacob Sommer uses a more pathos style of writing because what he writes and how he writes is very appealing to the audience. He makes the audience feel like if we have criticized them too much as if we were perfect human beings. He makes the audience realize that everyone makes mistakes and exhorts us to become more humane when people make errors.  Good analysis of the comments. Did this approach work for the NYT?