Emily Morales Rhetoric Essay Team 18

Thesis: Both authors use the same rhetorical methods to prove their arguments in articles that show how our society is changing how people are interacting with one another. 

Your thesis is somewhat incomplete. I would not begin with “Both authors” too vague; however, the last part is quite good. Needs some work.

Chabris and Simons justify Neil Degrasse Tyson’s inaccurate recollection of Bush’s speech through a rational(logos) and emotional (pathos) approach. Immediately, the authors begin to describe their argument through a logos tactic; throughout the article, we are given multiple research studies and facts that explain why humans produce faulty memories, the research rationalizes the common inaccuracy in our memories and reminds the audience that “humans aren’t perfect” and here’s the proof. In addition, the authors begin to tap into the audience’s compassionate and understanding side by comparing other prestigious public figures’ mistakes to justify that yes, even the elite have inaccurate memories at times. By doing so, Chabris and Simons have the audience sympathize with Tyson, almost taking pity to him, and how we should take notice of his human mistakes and how we too, sometimes are at fault. (true!) But unlike most, Tyson realizes his mistakes and addresses them, like every human should do because it is telling of their character. The authors then close their argument by circling back to their logos approach by using Tyson’s job status as a justification on how he is accustomed to error in his field and how this is telling of his ability to accept fault.

In the second article, Heffernan uses a rational(logos) ethical (ethos) and emotional approach (pathos) to prove her points to the audience. Heffernan starts off the article telling us Anne Applebaum’s profession(s), using an ethos representation, making it seem that she is indeed of higher authority and that she should be seen as reliable source due to her years as a prime minister and her accomplishments with the Pulitzer committee. Although the author clearly gives Anne a respectable status, her argument begins unraveling itself through an emotional means. She describes the toxicity of commenters and how they “acidly patronize” Anne, often referring to her as “sweetie” or “dear”. In doing so, the author is reaching out to the female community, women who have experienced any form patronizing by the same/opposite sex can relate to this and can sympathize with the disrespect that commenters are giving Anne due to her gender, as if her gender determines her ability to work. The author then begins to patronize commenters, in fact, using and ethos and logos approach but not in justifying the commenters factual reliability but to do the just the opposite. She refers comments as “automatic, churning out 100-word synopsis of one stock ideological position” stating that these commenters lack originality, often regurgitating facts seen from other media outlets, making it difficult to feel that these commenters are as competent as Anne Applebaum who in fact has had her share in the political world as the author of the article stated at the beginning of her argument. At the end of the article the audience is left feeling like they too have seen their share of commenters described in the article and to be aware of these individuals in the future. To conclude, both articles use the same rhetoric’s but in distinctive methods to and to successfully make their arguments justifiable.


Hi Emily, Overall very good. Well-written and you make good points. I liked many of your word choices and style of writing. Keep up the good work.

Rhetorical Analysis By: Richard R. Thomas IDS 3309 Team 18


Your post is cogent, incisive and displays the kind of critical analysis I am looking for. Well-written, excellent use of language, punctuation, sentence and paragraph structure. Well-done!

Thesis Statement: In the New York Times article, “Why Our Memory Fails Us” by Christopher F. Chabris and Daniel J. Simmons, both psychology professors, use logos in logical explanations regarding memory, pathos through rhetorical questioning, and ethos through real-life examples to construct their arguments.

Logos is one way Chabris and Simmons construct their argument. The quintessential case of this is when the writers state that, “[w]e rely on confidence as a signal of accuracy — in ourselves and in others”. Here, the point made is rational and justified as it is the our “overconfidence” quotidianly in what we see and do as most important leading us to remembering only what is significant and forgetting the insignificant. Thus, the argument Chabris and Simmons make in this point is consequently logical.

Chabris and Simmons also use pathos in the construction of their arguments. An instance of this is through rhetorical questioning to the readers when they pose, “Do our heroes have memories of clay?” This question gets the reader to think and question the memory of leaders in the country rendering readers somewhat pitiful in even the highest members of society. So,we see that even those who are esteemed for knowledge or lead the country are wrong in their memory too.

Chabris and Simmons use ethos to persuade their points to us on the fallacies of memory. One great example of ethos is through the case of Simmons in a jury, “…a comprehensive report that recommended procedures to minimize the chances of false memory and mistaken identification, including videotaping police lineups and improving jury instructions.” Here, an outside source, i.e. the report, besides that of the views of Chabris and Simmons renders their arguments more credible.

In summary, Charbris and Simmons construct their arguments using the three rhetorical appeals and rely more on the emotional playing of their audience compared to facts and statistics. Overall, these authors have an active tone in the article.

The top three reader’s comments were so convincing to many other readers because they demonstrated “originality and brevity” as stated in Heffernan’s article “Comment Is King”. These comments expanded on viewpoints and engagements in discussion, with the first pick i.e. a comment from Dr. Neil Tyson, also being civil, professional, open-minded to the ides of others, and complex enough to not allow the continuation of the “echo-chamber effect” as stated in Heffernan’s article “Comment Is King”, since various points are made in these three comments rather than a general broad comment many people can agree on and spread throughout the Internet.

In comparison to the NYT Picks, the Top Three Reader’s Picks are a better way to exchange opinions and ideas on the topic. An remarkable finding on the differences between the NYT Picks and the Top Three Reader’s Picks is: the fact that Dr. Neil Tyson’s comment was first on Top Three Reader’s Picks while it wasn’t first on the NYT Picks. From this observation, we can deduce that ordinary people’s comments may be more valued than that of accredited professionals. Although the NYT Picks comments are not short, they are based more on a position or stance in the matter and less on engaging discussion and exchanging ideas. (Every paragraph makes a good point. I enjoyed reading this)


Erin Keenan

Erin, in the future please put your name and team # on top of all your posts! See below for comments.

The three types of rhetoric are ethos, logos, and pathos. These three forms of rhetoric help writers and speakers influence and initially persuade an audience with a certain message. In the readings this week, the authors use rhetoric to benefit their message and some lacked in some areas. In the article, “Why Our Memory Fails Us” by authors, Chabris and Simons mostly uses logos in order to get the message across, along however he also employs some use with an the aid  of pathos.

Chabris and Simons’ message in “Why Our Memory Fails” was that our memory is usually conflicted with our own experiences and tends to become biased towards our specific moment of thought. In order to reach this idea to people, the authors cited events that have happened throughout history to back up their argument. Explaining these events is the use of logos. Logically, the examples involve well-know (hyphen please!)  examples and people. Specifically, the authors use stories and examples with of President Bush and the 9/11 attack, and also with of Hillary Clinton and her 2008 presidential campaign. One of the most interesting supporting details was found by Daniel Greenberg. His evidence stated that Bush stated he saw the first plane crash into the north tower on 9/11 before going into a classroom in Florida. When people first heard or read this information from the article in sparks logical reasoning in our minds. This is where the conspiracy theories started and assumed Bush was apart? (wrong use of word I think?)of the 9/11 attack. Going back to the argument, people always believe their memories are correct, in this instance Bush may have been experiencing the same thing but the circumstances and events taking place took over. In this same article, the use of pathos is shown throughout the writing and storytelling. With the choice of people chosen to back up the message in this article it sparks a certain feeling. in someone. The reader is instantly in favor for or against Bush. In some of the comments, people reacted with higher emotions and some with lower emotions. Some people reacted in a way that seemed as if they were happy the author was pointing out Bush’s mistake. However, numerous people reacted as if this was a mistake and supported the idea that our memory will in fact fail us from time to time regardless of the situation or person. (good point!)

In the comment section a similarity of very abusive and critical comments are found first. These comments point out the “problems” Bush and Hillary made throughout history. The lower (I would use a different word that lower, perhaps ‘base’ (look it up!) emotion comments definitely show their opinions of the author’s word choices and examples. However, the New York Times picks are highly critical but have the mindset and argument of the authors. There Their? points of views are elaborated. In the view of the fact, the positions stated by these commenters, the use of ethos shows through the arguments each individual is trying to make. This article was interesting because it use the rhetorical triangle in different ways. Depending your view or influence on the argument, you can identify the rhetoric the author’s used to portray the argument of memory failure. (rather well-written Erin!) (good use of interpretative analysis, overall good job, but do watch your sentence structure and I am certain you will improve greatly)(remember, be succinct and concise, remove unnecessary words)