Rhetorical Analysis

Josmery – Your analysis is sharp and probing. Excellent job! You really went above and beyond the work of most students. I was impressed with the depth and thoughtfulness of some of your arguments. Overall, your writing is good for a first essay. Consider a more extensive edit. Try reading aloud to get a sense of the sound and flow of the prose.

TS: In the New York Times article “Why Our Memory Fails Us,” Christopher F. Chabris and Daniel J. Simons, by means of rhetorical components represent what they consider are, fallacies of the memory. Utilizing logos, pathos and ethos, Chabris and Simons intend to objectively convince people that confidently relying on one’s memory may be biased at times.

The most predominant rhetorical component the writers used along the text is logos. A good representation of this is in the case of Mr. Tyson. Even though he seemed very confident with his memories of the event, “Dr. Tyson was fooled by his faith in the accuracy of his own memory,” since he confused two different events related to President Bush. In this case, they render facts demonstrating the analogies of what Mr. Bush really said and what Mr. Tyson alleged he said. Argument that ends up being The argument is logical, since… who hasn’t mixed up memories from a series of events before?

Next, the use of pathos is depicted as well. A good example is given when they call politicians to stop “stonewalling” and admit their errors, and when they call people to be more understanding of mistakes by others. It is a call to be fair and compassionated. They are trying to convince people that even those who are esteemed for being smart and powerful can make mistakes, can be a victim of memory failure and that it should be acceptable. We are all unperfect humans at last. Good analysis. Another way to express the argument below:

Pathos is used when politicians are urged to stop “stonewalling” and admit error. The reader is asked to be more understanding of the mistakes of others. Compassion is called for when even the smart and powerful can suffer from failed memory. In the end, to be human is to be imperfect.

And we also find ethos. Memory failures have led to false convictions, and even death sentences, attributed to erroneous witness collection. “This fall the panel (which one of us, Daniel Simons, served on) released a comprehensive report that recommended procedures to minimize the chances of false memory and mistaken identification, including videotaping police lineups and improving jury instructions.” Such initiative injects credibility, as well as trustworthiness, and also shows they care. Thus, people can see that not only them consider that our own memory can betray us, but other sources also do.    Excellent point, though you don’t need to detail the workings of the panel.

The authors’ tone seems to be objective, including facts and reasonable explanations along the text. Yes.

The first comment comes from Mr. Tyson in a try an attempt to render more details of what really happened in such his case. Here, we are linked to a two sides track. In the link containing the interview, he denotes pride, arrogance and self-confidence, while the second link presents a humbler individual acknowledging his mistakes. Good job following the links! The second commenter, tries to demonstrate how that President Bush doesn’t seem as smart as Chabris and Simos proclaimed. And the third commenter, seems to be a more conscious individual who sustains in part Heffernan’s and Chabris and Simons’ articles by saying, “It’s relatively common for people to attribute a negative experience to active malice instead of honest mistake.”  In Heffernan’s article, Comments is King, we see how Anne Applebaum, a prized rewarded writer, declared one of the world’s most sophisticated thinkers, is called “liberal fool.” This commenter is aware of how mean online critics can be, and attends to persuade people to be more tolerant. Again, a very good observation. In the three cases an appeal to emotions exists, therefore, pathos is the rhetorical technique used.

I believe that the NYT’s approach to ranking comments is effective, since ingeniously they placed Mr. Tyson’s comment at the top as a motivation to the readers to comment.  Yes.

Dylan Adams-Martin, Team 2, Assignment #1

Dylan – Most of your analysis of rhetoric is good, though you miss the ethos of C&S. However, you need to more carefully edit the writing to clarify your arguments. Use paragraphs to break up multiple ideas and arguments. Watch your plural/singular forms.

Thesis: Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons, authors of the New York Times article “Why Our Memory Fails Us”, uses use logos, pathos, and ethos throughout the article to help strengthen their messages.

In the article written by Chabris and Simons, you can see the rhetorical triangle being used to spread their message, these two authors mostly used logos and pathos, while ethos was non-existent throughout it. But you said ethos was used in your thesis. The authors used real life events that have happened in our past to support the arguments that are being held up by the support beams that are logos, pathos, and ethos.

You can see that throughout Throughout “Why Our Memory Fails Us” Chabris and Simons They use real life scenarios and stories like with President Bush around the time when 9/11 had happened. With the argument of 9/11 and how apparently Bush knew about the first tower being hit by the plane, Chabris and Simons here are appealing more towards the logos side of the Rhetorical Triangle. The reason why our memory can fail us sometimes because since it is our own memory, the logical reason behind this would be that our memory is correct no matter what, even if the counter arguments point is more valid, we are always going to believe our own no matter what. Chabris and Simons are using logical reasoning to support and strengthen their argument in this article. Throughout the article and in the comment section, you can see an emotional appeal, or pathos, being used for the Bush argument. While reading some of the comments that were made, you can see that some people were for Bush’s standpoint while others were completely opposed to it. The authors here are trying to put our emotions either for or against the arguments that even the highest standard of people can be wrong too, that it is not just lower class people being wrong because of the memory that is there. This should be more than one paragraph. The subject of failed memory is not Bush, but Tyson. The writing would be improved if more concise and to the point (see example below).

Chabris and Simons use logos and pathos to demonstrate that our memories, while influential, can be wrong. They use logos by presenting examples of failed memory, such as Dr. Tyson’s recollection of President Bush’s 9/11 comments. That even so prominent a scientist can suffer the embarrassment of a public error of memory shows the universality of the problem. To err in memory is all too human. We empathize with Dr. Tyson, knowing it could be us. This use of pathos is particularly effective.

Has reading the top reader’s comments, you can notice that the comments are similar to how Heffernan talks about in the article “Comment is King”, how they provide an easier understanding of the article written by Chabris and Simons. That is not Heffernan’s point. Most comments nowadays are just a single sentence that would say something like “Great read! Love your work!”, but these comments were more compelling and useful in trying to understand. Good point. One of the comments from the top reader’s section was from a Dr. Neil Tyson, so you wouldn’t expect nothing anything ordinary about what he had to say. While the New York Times picks were more from normal people like us, that was just written to give the article good ratings instead of a good stance on it. All in all, Chabris and Simons used logos and pathos to help influence and strengthen the argument that would be memory and how it can affect an argument with someone.

Rhetorical Analysis

Nichole Sainz Group 2

Nichole – Overall, quite good. Your analysis of rhetoric in the article is strong. Your writing is good, but you should omit needless words, especially with a 500 word limit. In this class, you can dispense with full names, titles, and quotes from the readings. After repeated readings, the coaches know the material.

Thesis: In the article “Why Our Memory Fails Us” by Christopher F. Chabris and Daniel J. Simons, their choice of credible examples evokes ethos, use logos by implementing logical rhetoric on memory’s unreliability, and presents pathos through chosen syntax. Good.

Ethos is presented throughout the writers’ argument by providing the reader with credible people as examples of false memory. The writers state, “He realized that his memory had conflated his experiences of two memorable and personally significant events…” Including Dr. Neil Tyson, a well-known and reliable scientist, persuades the reader to the likelihood of fallacies in memory. His name is synonymous with the show “Cosmos” that maintains its credibility. The rhetoric used to establish Neil’s credibility is an effect approach of using ethos in their argument. This sentence isn’t clear. Do you mean, “The rhetoric used to establish Tyson’s credibility is an example of ethos” ? This sets a base for the writer to present that demonstrate even credible scientist scientists show evidence of inconsistencies in their memory.

In this article, Chabris and Simons use logos to express their argument through points that reference scientific perspective. An example of this includes the experiment conducted by the psychologist Sir Frederic Charles Bartlett. The logic follows that this experiment was included to support their claim that our memory is not accurate. “The science of memory distortion has become rigorous and reliable enough to help guide public policy.” It is rational to conclude that evidence should be taken into account when judging the inaccuracies of Dr. Tyson’s memory.

There are many instances in which the writers use pathos to persuade the reader to agree with their stance. In this case, the way Dr. Tyson’s “undeniable” error was portrayed to the reader was one that would evoke pity without a reason of doubt. The phrase “coming from a scientist,” was used in reference to emphasize the point that the apology made from a scientist was surprising. The intent was to belittle (?) and continue this tone onto a new paragraph of undermining the validity of memory.

The top three Reader Picks comment, show a reflection on the article from their own perspective of the situation. There is not a regurgitation of information. At first glance, readers will be focused on how Neil responds to his role in this article. His comment was particularly eye-catching to most readers because rather than trying to discredit the writers, he remains firm in previous statements made on the matter. Unlike the “echo-chamber” as stated in Heffernan’s article “Comment Is King”, the top three Reader Picks do not embody this characteristic. Good. Neil chose the rhetorical technique of Ethos and used fairness and professionalism to respond to the statements made in the article.

A tactic one commentator used to reinforce their statement against a point made in the article was by using logos. They used direct quotes that were made by Bush to provide as evidence for their point. This commentator did not make a “100-word synopses”, as stated in Hernan’s article, but rather a few well-chosen excerpts made by Bush. Quotes from the former president lead to logical reasoning by the reader to conclude that their argument contains a valid rebuttal.

The final third comment aimed to present a different perspective on comment Dr. Tyson made. The strategy that was chosen for their position was using pathos. It appealed to the readers’ emotions by offering rhetorical questions that cemented a tone for the rest of their statement. Their past experience was relatable and offered an emotional outlook into the topic. Good analysis of the comments.

Natalie Orta, Assignment​ 1. Team 2

Natalie- Excellent essay. Your analysis of rhetoric is spot on. You’re a good writer, tying your arguments together in a seamless and readable whole. Simons has one m. In this class, no need for formal names or titles of material in the readings. After many semesters, the coaches know the material. With only 500 words, it’s best to get right to the analysis.

Thesis statement: Psychology professors Christopher F. Chabris and Daniel J. Simmons use logos, pathos, and ethos in their article “Why Our Memory Fails Us”. Remember that a thesis must be disputable. Not sure if anyone would disagree with this.

Christopher F. Chabris and Daniel J. Simmons’ New York Times article, “Why Our Memory Fails Us,” Chabris and Simons begin to build their case on the problem of relying on one’s memory with an example of the rhetoric logos. They use the example of Neil Degrasse Tyson and his comment about George Bush as a form of showing the logical response to what Dr. Tyson believed to remember. They use his comment as a rational way of bringing their point across to the readers. 

Chabris and Simmons also use pathos when they, ironically, speak about the emotional response of the readers when confronted with their memories. “But when our 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.” This brings in the readers by invoking sympathy to what is being said. They also use the tactic of resorting to anger the readers so they can relate more closely to what is being written. Very good point, but you don’t need the entire quote.

The writers also use ethos not only in the examples of Neil Degrasse Tyson and George Bush’s statements but also in their use of cases made by the National Academy of Sciences, cognitive psychologists Henry L. Roediger III and K. Andrew DeSoto, as well as the psychologist Sir Frederic Charles Bartlett; among others. These examples provide and offer a look at many reliable, known, and respected sources. The studies made by these sources offer more proof of their use of ethos in this work. Good.

Christopher F. Chabris and Daniel J. Simmons do an excellent job of building their case against memory with a blend of logos, pathos, and ethos. They do tend to rely more heavily on facts and studies than they do on the emotions of the readers, which cause causes their tone as authors to be more serious and studious. Excellent observation.

The top three readers picks comments were found to be convincing because of their blend of the three rhetorical analysis techniques. The comment made by Neil Degrasse Tyson was short and to the point, avoiding any use of pathos to convince the readers. He used his reliability as a well-known scientist as ethos, along with his use of logos in providing external links to where he makes a more detailed explanation of the topic in the article. 

The second comment by Keith Dow left out both pathos and ethos and focused solely on logos. His use of a link and multiple examples of comments made by George Bush offer no chance to feel any emotion and only left room for the logical explanation to back up his argument, “I think your memory of Bush being an intelligent person is faulty.”

The final comment by Jacob Sommer uses a more pathos technique to convince the reader. His explanation of how he sees the best in people instead of assuming they are purposely misleading invites the readers to feel sympathy towards those that may remember incorrectly. Very good analysis of the comments.

I believe the Times approach to ranking comments is effective because it allows the readers to choose whose comment is first seen by others.