Rhetorical analysis

TaCorya Goss
How We Know What We Know
Professor Pearson
3 September 2018

Rhetorical Analysis

Please put your Team number on all future posts. Your word count is considerably under the 500 word limit.  I would like to have seen more analysis and less summarizing of the readings.

Chabris and Simons starts off begin their argument with Dr. Neil Degrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist and host of TV series “Cosmos”, implied implying that President George W. Bush was prejudiced against Islam to make a point about scientific awareness. However, Bush said nothing about stars in his post 9/11 speech. In 2003, Bush in tribute to the astronaut’s lot in the Columbia space shuttle explosion, said that “the same creator who names the stars also knows the names of the seven souls we mourn today”. Chabris and Simons used Ethos by providing evidence of what Bush’s speeches, therefor giving him credibility.
Rather then relying on the emotions of their audience, Chabris and Simons uses Logos or facts and studies from the National Academy of Sciences where they convened an expert panel to review the research on memory failure. They use the fact that just because you are confident in your memory does not automatically mean that the memory is accurate. They used studies from psychologists Henry L. Roediger III and K. Andrew DeSoto, who tested how well people could recall words from lists they had studied, and how measured they were in their recollections. By using facts and studies Chabris and Simons uses Logos to persuade their audience.
Another use of Ethos was the mention of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. On her trip to Bosnia as first lady, she said she had to skip a greeting ceremony and run from her plane under sniper fire. The real story was that she was greeted by children and not bullets. Chabris and Simons make the argument that our beliefs tend to morph to match our memories about ourselves and our world.
The tone Chabris and Simons used in this article was formal. The tone was confident and concise without being pretentious. The diction they used let the readers know that they are informed and knowledgeable about the topic they are writing about. Chabris and Simons used Ethos and Logos to persuade their readers on the argument that memory fails us whether we are confident in it or not.


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

You MUST put your name and team number on top.


You went considerably over the 500 word limit.  Remove unnecessary words. Write clear and concise sentences.  More analysis.

The article, “Why Our Memory Fails Us,” by Chabris and Simons is filled with rhetorical appeals. For instance, they use a tremendous amount of ethos by mentioning astrophysicists, scientists, psychologists, and politicians which give the reader plenty of reliable sources. Also, pathos is seen when the authors are speaking to the reader on how we should be more understanding of the mistakes on memory distortion of others or even ourselves. And last but not least, logos are spotted throughout the whole article as facts and logical reasoning by the authors. Chabris and Simons fully convinced me with this article on how our memory can fail us through their great use of rhetorical appeals.

To begin with, Chabris and Simons build their case around real occurrences and events that depict the way memory can be distorted in real life situations. This proves that there is a big problem in being overly confident in one’s own memory. For example, in the beginning of the article, they mention the development of events in which Dr. Tyson demonstrates this phenomenon. He confidently “repeated” a section of president Bush’s speech to congress after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, “Our God is the God who named the stars.” Dr. Tyson implied that president Bush was prejudiced against Islam. But in fact, it was Tyson who was making the mistake. President Bush never said that sentence as it is, Dr. Tyson fused two memories of president Bush’s speeches and made himself believe that he in fact said this erroneous sentence. This is proof that even the most educated and intelligent people have gaps in memory, or better said, distortions.

Moreover, I believe that throughout the article there was a balance between emotions and actual facts and studies. Chabris and Simons continuously used logos to support their opinion on why our memory could fail us. In particular, it was stated “Nearly a century ago, the psychologist Sir Frederic Charles Bartlett conducted a series of experiments that mimicked the “telephone” game…” Not only are Chabris and Simons giving the reader logos, a well into depth explanation of how the game works. But also, a reliable source, in other words ethos, the psychologist named Sir Frederic Charles Bartlett.

Furthermore, Chabris and Simons speak to the reader with pathos. At the end of the article, they referenced Dr. Tyson’s case, Dr. Tyson completely understood and afterwards, was aware of the error he had made. It was stated that he realized his memory had conflated two separate memories of president Bush’s speeches and because of that, publicly apologized. Chabris and Simons idea of applying pathos invokes feelings of guilt for all the times the reader didn’t admit fault. And invites feelings of humbleness, to accept that our memory does in fact, fail us. 

To conclude, in the article, “Why Our Memory Fails us,” Chabris and Simons tone had its share between informal and formal. The two authors spoke to the readers as if they were friends but also had some serious facts and history to support their opinion on memory. The article was infused with plenty of rhetorical appeals which made it not only more resourceful but authentic. Their way of using logos, pathos, and ethos helped not only me as a student but all readers grasp what they were trying to convey that our memory is indubitably imperfect.

Rhetorical Analysis

Sergio Meso            Team#13

Please stay to the 500 word limit. Remove redundant and/or unnecessary words.  Good job!

The human memory is such an amazing resource, yet so tricky at times. Politicians, public advocates, scientists and public figures in general often use their memories as part of in their speeches. The use of ethos, logos and or pathos while delivering a message is fundamental when connecting with audiences. Ethos, is used, (no commas needed) to convince an audience of the author’s credibility or character. An example could be “One of our mantras in science is that the absence of evidence is not the same as evidence of absence.” words by Dr. Tyson to connect with his audience while using his knowledge as credibility.  Implementing pathos in an individual’s message is synonym of persuading an audience by appealing to their emotions by either saying something they remember from their past, using someone else’s anecdotes or visual aids. “Our God is the God who named the stars.” mentioning God while trying to get a message across is always going to be attributed to pathos.  Convincing a group of people by the use of logic or reason is the perfect example of logos. When adding strong statements to what one is trying to say such as ” It’s no accident that Oprah Winfrey’s latest best seller is called “What I Know For Sure,” rather than “Some Things That Might Be True.”” is a great use of the source. Examples of when the human memory can put anyone in serious situations include, when both Dr. Tyson and former president George W. Bush misremembered what Mr. Bush said on a speech regarding the 9/11 terrorist attack; “Years before he misremembered what Mr. Bush said about 9/11, Mr. Bush himself misremembered what he had seen on 9/11.” Also, another great illustration provided in the article was “Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign was momentarily sidetracked by her own false memory of a time when, on a trip to Bosnia as first lady, she had to skip a greeting ceremony and run from her plane under sniper fire. As often happens, her memory was an embellishment of a real event, a hooked fish that got bigger in the retelling — there was fighting in the region, but not close enough to be a threat. Our memories tend to morph to match our beliefs about ourselves and our world. Mrs. Clinton did go to dangerous places, but on the tarmac in Bosnia she was met by children, not bullets.”

Is it that every single person misremembers what they say, hear, including stories and anecdotes from their lives? There are no doubts that Dr. Tyson, Mr. Bush and Mrs. Clinton are intellectual, intelligent and educated people. “Ordinary memory failures say nothing about a person’s honesty or competence. But how we respond to these events can be telling.” Politicians, public advocates, scientists and public figures, in general, should respond just like Dr. Tyson did by admitting their errors, realize that things like this happen all the time, give an apology and move on.

To conclude, the fact that someone who misremembers something must be lying should be reconsidered by all citizens. We should understand that we all make mistakes and give individuals credit when that realize and admit that they are wrong.

Accepting memory


You are considerably under the 500 word limit.  I highlighted words I don’t know what you meant.  sir is Sir  Needs more analysis. Too much summarizing.


Thesis: In the Article “why our Memory Fails” by Christopher F. Chabris and Daniel J. Simmons give forte, to this article by using different examples with the Rhetorical system composed of Logos, Pathos, and Ethos to let the reader know we should accept and forgive when we are wrong because our memory is not always accurate.

The use of logos for example we could see it when Psychologist sir Frederic Charles  Bartlett studies find that even our “flashbulbs memories” is like taking a photo in our memory in one of the experiment  a mimicked game in which the game play by a group called the telephone  game were each other tell a sentence and it was passed from person to person and at the end the more it was past the more it got distorted and the actual Storie it was all twisted. this shows how in coccataion this can happen to anyone because our memory.

Moreover, the use of  Ethos was use for example when Dr.Tyson was crushed by misconstructions. Also when president George W. Bush on 9/11 refer to something  that was false in the  9/11 this mistake cause nationwide confusion because it was  coming from a well  respected with a high position person. this shows us how even the memories of this high position,  intellectual and  credible people also make mistakes.  The authors also use Ethos by using facts, studies and  examples like different articles of well intellectual people to provide credibility and to convince the readers of what is being said.

Pathos is not very present throughout the article but we can implied that the authors uses pathos to urgent request to the  public and important figures to accept when they have a memory lost episode  and to learn to forgive them too. he also uses links  articles like  “The 40 dumbest George W. Bush quotes of all times” . At  theend  people most of the time only want to remember what is more important for them.

At  the  end of the Day, the authors of the article and the use of  the rhetorical system with examples and studies. they wanted people to be  more understanding  and accept when making a mistake and that memory loss does not only happen to intellectual people but it could happen too anyone including our selfs .