Rhetorical Analysis

Ashley Sondon

 

Please put your team number on future posts as well as your name. Thanks.

You went considerably over the word count, so please watch that in future posts. Remove unnecessary words. Re-read your essay and see what words can be removed; don’t be redundant.  I made some corrections in red regarding this, so keep note of them. Otherwise, well-done.

How We Know What We Know

Rhetorical Analysis

 

Chabris and Simons make a compelling argument in their opinion piece, “Why our Memories Fail Us”, to say the least. Not many—until this article—had really sat down and processed the fact that our  memories, even the ones we hold nearest and dearest to our hearts, may be fallible. The main example that Chabris and Simons use in their argument is the example remarks made of President George W. Bush and the tragedy of 9-11 by Doctor Tyson. In short, Doctor Tyson accused President George W. Bush of making a racist remark when he stated: “Our God is the God who named the stars.” Doctor Tyson then stated that he believes this was a racist remark on George W. Bush’s behalf because he most likely knew the fact that 2/3 of the stars posess Arabic names. Later on, Dr. Tyson issued an apology for his blunder. This example goes to show shows why it is important to dig deep because many believed Dr. Tyson due to ethos, because he was a respected astrophysicist and a television host of a show that dealt with topics of that nature, when he assumed rather than really doing his research on the meaning behind the single quote from George W. Bush. (long sentence, break it up into short points)  A lot of  Many viewers also believed him do to pathos, Dr. Tyson appealed to many American’s emotions by claiming our President was being racist during a very sensitive time that hit home, and unity was needed.

 

Now because Chabris and Simons presented this case, I do not believe they are playing on the emotions of their readers, but instead stating insightful facts and a concrete argument. I believe that their tone as authors is refreshing, because they do not appear to be overly biased, meaning they have viewed this argument from many perspectives, and present their findings and beliefs eloquently and very well explained.

 

After reading the first comment, under “Reader Picks”, by Neil deGrasse Tyson also known as the man whom this op-ed is based on, I could understand why his comment was the number one by readers…I know it was based on ethos, because it came straight from the “star” of the op-ed himself, making him the best source. I read through the two Facebook Note links he left and interestingly enough it helped explain his side of the story, as well as confirm Chabris and Simons argument on how our memories deceive us even more. The second comment, I personally found to be extremely bias, rather than being someone who viewed all perspectives this reader, Keith Dow, was only truly commenting to speak negatively of George W. Bush, which I did not see necessary since the op-ed was not focused on George W. Bush as a man or president even but using how he was misquoted as an example. Dow tried appealing to readers with logos by citing actual quotes via George W. Bush, but it just seemed irrelevant to the overall picture. The third commenter, Jacob Sommer, appealed to readers by pathos. Sommer appealed to our human-side by pointing out we are all people who makes mistakes, but that does not make us any less of a person. I do believe after reviewing these three comments that the Times way of ranking comments is effective because it really gave me as a reader ,different perspectives of reactions to this op-ed, and I believe it is necessary to provide readers with a simple way to be able to gain the different perspectives versus just seeing their side.

 

Thesis: If Chabris and Simons argument is correct based on facts, then it is proof that our memories are fallible.

Citations:

Chabris, C. F., & Simons, D. J. (2014, December 01). Why Our Memory Fails Us. Retrieved September 05, 2018, from https://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/02/opinion/why-our-memory-fails-us.html#commentsContainer

Advertisements

Assignment 1

I will grade this when your name and team number are on the post.

 

Thesis: Today, the internet is a hub of almost everything. Information is posted online and the opinionated flock like birds of a feather. Some with negative, positive, or genuinely inquisitive remarks. The information at hand is an article on the importance of not relying solely on memory to make public address. In the following analysis I make claims to the type of appeals the authors and respondents hoped to achieve by posting their point of view online.

The opinion piece Why our memory fails us is written more objective than most opinion pieces I have read to date. The authors maintain a tone of objectivity genuinely rooted in informing the public about the dangers of relying solely on memory, even that of notable figures. The authors build their case by aligning the facts at hand in a basic coherent manner that could be comprehended easily leaving little for interpretation. This method of storytelling can prove a point and/or imply the existence of an error. These authors do very little if at all to play on the emotions of the reader but rather have their appeals rooted in logical reasoning (Logos) and credibility (Ethos) to back the logical unraveling of a real problem. The story does not once bash Dr. Tyson but rather emphasize his error and its correction; in publicizing both of these important elements, the authors establish fairness- an even deeper dive into an ethical appeal. The authors maintain this fairness as they highlight the error again in Hillary Clinton’s poor recollection of events. The authors do not accuse them of lying but rather use their mistakes as a reflection of the much greater issue at hand.

Next, the article being published online makes it public forum for people across the globe to give their two-cents and chime in on the issue addressed. One of the respondents being Neil deGrasse Tyson himself. In his comment he shares links to Facebook notes where he publicly apologizes to the President for his error and sheds light on the scrutiny he has faced because of his mistake. This hits readers as an appeal to logos and ethos. By sharing the links Dr. Tyson establishes his authority on the matter and shows readers that he is in fact trust worthy but made a mistake as we all do.

Respondent Keith Dow made the #2 comment. He bases his statements on his personal beliefs and feelings towards President Bush’s intelligence or lack there of. This is an appeal to pathos but he reinforces his statement with a link to quotes made by Bush, this gives the respondent a sense of competence and credibility. It’s no longer just an opinionated statement but an argument backed with sources. The tone of this comment is humorous and appeals emotionally in that way too. Getting a laugh out of people is one method to having them accept and share this respondents perspective.

Lastly, the #3 comment can be regarded as an ethical appeal that insinuates we all make mistakes and advanced scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson is no exception. This respondent’s appeal could also be to pathos as he hints we should be empathetic towards the human error that Dr. Tyson makes. The respondent uses real world examples to make his argument more relatable, like ordering a burger and having it come burnt or noticing a lower than usual tire pressure in your car. These are things that cannot be for sure tied to acts of malice but if we interpret them as so we would probably be stressing out way more than necessary. Overall his point is that we must accept the errors of humanity and keep moving rather than bask in the potential mal intent, it’s just not healthy.

So, is NY Times effective in the way they rank commentary on posts? I believe the Time’s algorithm is to bump up commentary that receives the most Recommends by the public. We naturally assume the general public is sane, therefore what is a top comment is probably accurate or likeable or relatable enough for a majority to agree. I believe this method is effective because it allows what is Recommended most to be a top-ranking post, this leaves the power in the hands of public consensus.

Rhetorical Analysis 1 – reposted

I will grade this when your name and team number are listed before your post.

 

Thesis: Today, the internet is a hub of almost everything. Information is posted online and the opinionated flock like birds of a feather. Some with negative, positive, or genuinely inquisitive remarks. The information at hand is an article on the importance of not relying solely on memory to make public address. In the following analysis I make claims to the type of appeals the authors and respondents hoped to achieve by posting their point of view online.

The opinion piece Why our memory fails us is written more objective than most opinion pieces I have read to date. The authors maintain a tone of objectivity genuinely rooted in informing the public about the dangers of relying solely on memory, even that of notable figures. The authors build their case by aligning the facts at hand in a basic coherent manner that could be comprehended easily leaving little for interpretation. This method of storytelling can prove a point and/or imply the existence of an error. These authors do very little if at all to play on the emotions of the reader but rather have their appeals rooted in logical reasoning (Logos) and credibility (Ethos) to back the logical unraveling of a real problem. The story does not once bash Dr. Tyson but rather emphasize his error and its correction; in publicizing both of these important elements, the authors establish fairness- an even deeper dive into an ethical appeal. The authors maintain this fairness as they highlight the error again in Hillary Clinton’s poor recollection of events. The authors do not accuse them of lying but rather use their mistakes as a reflection of the much greater issue at hand.

Next, the article being published online makes it public forum for people across the globe to give their two-cents and chime in on the issue addressed. One of the respondents being Neil deGrasse Tyson himself. In his comment he shares links to Facebook notes where he publicly apologizes to the President for his error and sheds light on the scrutiny he has faced because of his mistake. This hits readers as an appeal to logos and ethos. By sharing the links Dr. Tyson establishes his authority on the matter and shows readers that he is in fact trust worthy but made a mistake as we all do.

Respondent Keith Dow made the #2 comment. He bases his statements on his personal beliefs and feelings towards President Bush’s intelligence or lack there of. This is an appeal to pathos but he reinforces his statement with a link to quotes made by Bush, this gives the respondent a sense of competence and credibility. It’s no longer just an opinionated statement but an argument backed with sources. The tone of this comment is humorous and appeals emotionally in that way too. Getting a laugh out of people is one method to having them accept and share this respondents perspective.

Lastly, the #3 comment can be regarded as an ethical appeal that insinuates we all make mistakes and advanced scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson is no exception. This respondent’s appeal could also be to pathos as he hints we should be empathetic towards the human error that Dr. Tyson makes. The respondent uses real world examples to make his argument more relatable, like ordering a burger and having it come burnt or noticing a lower than usual tire pressure in your car. These are things that cannot be for sure tied to acts of malice but if we interpret them as so we would probably be stressing out way more than necessary. Overall his point is that we must accept the errors of humanity and keep moving rather than bask in the potential mal intent, it’s just not healthy.

So, is NY Times effective in the way they rank commentary on posts? I believe the Time’s algorithm is to bump up commentary that receives the most Recommends by the public. We naturally assume the general public is sane, therefore what is a top comment is probably accurate or likeable or relatable enough for a majority to agree. I believe this method is effective because it allows what is Recommended most to be a top-ranking post, this leaves the power in the hands of public consensus.

 

Rhetorical Analysis #1

Excellent work Vanessa.  You are one of the few who have put their name and team number on their post.  Good analysis. A pleasure to read your post!  Keep up the good work. I seem to be missing your name from the grade book but I will ask Professor Pearson about this. No worries. Your grade is sound.

 

Thesis: The use of logos, ethos, and pathos in the article by Chabris and Simons is extremely effective. They aim to convince the reader of the fallibility of the human memory by strategically incorporating said elements to target multiple audiences with different appeals.

Vanessa Duque
Team 12

“Why Our Memory Fails Us” by Chabris and Simons is effective in presenting valid points to convince the readers of the fallibility of the human memory. In the beginning of the article, the writers do not introduce their idea; instead, they begin with introducing Neil Degrasse Tyson and the instance when he completely misunderstood what President Bush had said about Muslim people. Chabris and Simons here successfully appeal to the ethically-affected readers. By questioning the credibility and reliability of the astrophysicist’s memory, they initiate their argument on how anyone can be “fooled by the accuracy of [their] own memory.”

Chabris and Simons explain how the human memory can fail in important situations such as the testifying to crimes by eyewitnesses. They make sure that the emotional side of their audience understands that the death sentence has been handed out solely based off of people’s memories. Here, the writers appeal to the readers’ sense of fairness (pathos). This sensitive claim is then supported their embedding of the National Academy of Sciences’ doubt on how reliable these testimonies really are.

Chabris and Simons expand upon the academy recommending the improvement of how memory is relied on and mention that Daniel Simons served on this panel, allowing the information to be regarded as trustworthy (ethos) to the reader. The writers also make sure to use logos in the form of case studies to further strengthen their claims. Chabris and Simons effectively present that memories are changed every time they are recalled. To support this, they discuss how case studies show that “flashbulb memories,” or memories charged with emotion and held on to with confidence, can be unreliable and far from the actual occurrence of the event. Logos through the use of scientific reason is highlighted with the mentioning of papers written by Henry L. Roediger III and K. Andrew DeSoto, two reliable psychologists. These papers are effective in establishing the facts of the case they are making. By writing that Roediger III and DeSoto are cognitive scientists, they establish their credibility in the subject.

Toward the end of the article, Charbis and Simons end with a notable use of pathos. They want people to be forgiving towards each other for their memory lapses and “note that such things happen.”

Rhetorical Analysis Essay

You must include your name and team number on every post!!!  I will deduct points if this is not done. You also went over the word limit.  Look more carefully at your sentence structure.   Simplify your sentences.  Use clear and concise language.

 

Thesis Statement: The article’s, Why Our Memory Fails Us, rhetorical appeal of logos is supported through the extensive use of facts, statistics and research.

 

Although our memory might fail us, the facts surely do not. Logos, according to the rhetorical appeals triangle discussed in class, is the art of persuasion through the means of logic or reason. Logos often uses facts, statistics and research for the purpose of persuading the audience to buy into the author’s claim. In the article Why Our Memory Fails Us, authors Christopher F. Chabris and Daniel J. Simons provided factual stories, research evidence and scientific experiments to express to their audience the dangers of relying on one’s memory. Chabris and Simons profusely used the rhetorical approach of Logos throughout their article. Astutely, they incorporated the ethos approach to give credibility to the facts and research provided in the article.

The occurrence between Dr. Degrasse Tyson and his failing memory so evidently expressed that our memories are unreliable sources of information. While the extent of Tyson’s statement might invoke a shocking emotion from readers, the story ultimately expressed factual evidence from an incident that took place during a monumental time in history, the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Confidence doesn’t prove to ensure factuality.??? This is expressed in the study done by phycologists Henry l. Roediger III and K. Andrew DeSoto. The study proved that the amount of one’s confidence in the recollection of their memories does not necessarily lead to accuracy. The study, along with its results provide readers with evidence to support the authors claim about one’s unreliable memory. Informing the readers of these facts establishes the logos approach. Disclosing the profession of Roediger and DeSoto confirms the credibility of these facts, thus enforcing the ethos approach.

The article continues to express its logos and ethos approach using factual events in history that involve important political figures. The approach, undeniably, informs readers that memories must be investigated before they are absorbed (this word choice is wrong) as facts. The conclusion of the article sets the authors’ tone as understanding and forgiving of the mistakes made due to the unreliability of one’s memories.

The top comment in the reader’s pick section of this article was posted by Dr. Degrasse Tyson himself. In Tyson’s comment, he posts a link to his personal Facebook page, where he further discusses his involvement in the article. Tyson’s comment, along with the link, exposes Tyson’s credibility and the credibility of the authors of the article. The comment appeals to the ethos approach of persuading the readers to trust the authors and their sources.

The second is clearly a biased comment against George W. Bush. The commentator used compromising quotes by Bush to emphasize her negative opinion about the candidate. The commentator’s approach to this comment was of the logos appeal. This is proven through the factual quotes from an evident point in time.

The third commentator comments on the importance of understanding the moments of memory failure as mistakes. The commentator’s desire for promoting forgiveness and understanding within his comment appeal to a pathos approach of persuasion.