Daniel Blanco Blog Post #1: Rhetorical Analysis

Blog Post #1: Rhetorical Analysis of “Why Our Memory Fails Us”

Daniel Blanco, Team 20

Thesis Statement: In their article “Why Our Memory Fails Us,” Chabris and Simmons use ethos, pathos, and logos to explain the problem of relying on a person’s memory and the importance of how one should be treated when their make a mistake based on what they remember. (Very good!)

To strengthen their credibility, Chabris and Simmons include plenty of evidence related to the topic. Their evidence comes from reputable sources, such as: reports from the National Academy of Sciences, papers published by psychologists Henry L. Roediger III, K. Andrew De Soto, experiments conducted by Sir Frederic Charles Bartlett, and evidence of President Bush’s memory mishap documented by memory researcher Daniel Greenberg. They also include a report from a panel that one of the authors contributed to. The authors rely on these heavy facts and studies to prove their argument, and they effectively strengthen their argument, showing readers the proof that back up their claims.

While it is not prevalent in the article, the authors do utilize pathos in order to appeal to the reader’s emotions. After discussing the Dr. Tyson situation, the authors talk about the significance of memory failure. It may seem like an exaggeration, but the authors claim that memory failures have led to wrongful convictions and death sentences. They also claim that the memories that people believe or not believe can change the way we interpret events. The authors’ conversational tone throughout the article makes readers feel comfortable while reading, thinking that they’re talking to them. This example of rhetoric is effective because it brings the reader into the article, and because the best way to convey the message to the reader is to let them know how it affects them. (very good)

The top three Reader’s Picks comments are ranked by the number of readers that recommend the comment. The first ranked comment comes from Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson himself, addressing the issue discussed in the article. Two links to his Facebook page were included: the first was an email exchange between him and Sean Davis of the Federalist concerning the issue, and the second was a post that included an apology for the mishap. This comment showed to be a not so successful attempt at using ethos. The email exchange hurt his credibility, since he could not answer any of Davis’s questions concerning the source of quotes that he mentioned in his talks. The apology, however, does build his credibility a little bit since he admits his mistake and knows he was wrong.

The second comment came from Keith Dow, and he was counterarguing a statement the authors made where they called President Bush an intelligent person. In a similar style of comment mentioned by Heffernan, the comment was written like an itemized list of evidence to prove his counterargument. He included a link to an article and even provided examples of quotes from Bush that were not so intelligent. Dow used logos by providing evidence of why he disagrees with the authors. The third comment comes from Jacob Sommer who defended Dr. Tyson. Sommer claimed that when people’s memory fails, it is usually an honest mistake rather than a result of being angry at a person. They also write that people should stop believing that people’s mistakes are actually them trying to do bad toward you on purpose. Sommer’s use of pathos was an effective way of defending Tyson and getting readers to sympathize with others when the mix up their memories.

Hi Daniel, You make some excellent points. Your post is well-written, clear and concise.  Good sentence structure, good follow through with your paragraphs too. Good job. I enjoyed reading your post and please keep up the good work!



Assignment 1 Joanna Ravachi team 20.


In the article ” Why our memory Fails us” Simons and Chabris tried to explain some ideas about misconceptions made about the memory. They talked about professional studies and historic events and how ethos, logos and pathos are involved. (not a thesis! please review thesis statements!) 

           In the article ” Why our memory Fails us” Simons and Chabris tried to explain some ideas about misconceptions made about the memory. They talked about professional studies and historic events and how ethos, logos and pathos are involved. The characters? what do you mean “characters” use different grammatical words which express a lot of emotions in the context. For example, if they are using some pronouns like “us” and “we”, we can assume that they are personally relating with the topic expressing a lot of emotions making some emphasis too to pathos. I think that the article is really good, interesting, different and adequate (too many adjectives, be concise) because we can realize that when Simons and Chabris are talking everything about the studies, they change their conversation to a more formal tone to gives authority to the authors which is really important in that moment.

       On the other hand, we can see that there are some ethos components in the article. At the end of article, we can see how the author gives their credentials, two psychologists, Cristopher F Chabris professor at Union College and Simons professor at University of Illions. (sp?) Proofread your posts please

         If we focus the article in logos, we can explain one anecdote to understand much better this part. Chabris and Simons started the article with an anecdote telling a kind of comment that Dr. Tyson said about Bush, saying that the memory does not require an article )memory could fail easily.  The authors focus this part in logos supporting the idea that how the memory is not solid or good (good is too vague, be specific) just because of a book of two psychologists called: Henry L Roediger III and K Andrew. At the end they realized that memories can transform with the confidence. please read about articles, ‘the’  I don’t quite understand why you are using them incorrectly. 

           After reading the articles I went to the top 3 comments In the “Readers Pick” and I could realize two appeals to pathos and one appeal to logos. The first comment was by Dr. Tyson when he apologized of his error which caused a lot of interest in the lector because of the importance of the feelings and emotions that the Doctor present.  The second comment is someone believing that Bush is not intelligent so he only use quotes to cover this defect. The third and  last comment  Is linked by pathos  because of the feelings that it presents and  the emphasis in the article of the wrong memory but with good intentions. I think that the top 3 comments are related to logos because each comment include their points of views and personal ideas.

         In my opinion, the New York Times comments is really good because it presents different opinions and ideas  from different people and different points of view, so it can and gives give you one a bigger field of view with more opportunities to study and critique  the topic in different and many ways. Sometimes there is some comments that should not be shared because of their content but in my opinion, they are good because it helps you to think MORE than you know.

“Thinking outside the box allows you to get rewards outside of your reach”

Matshona Dhilwayo

Hi Joanna, Please visit the Writing Center. They will help you in person. Your ideas are rather good, but your writing, sentence structure, and word choice needs improvement. I am sure you will improve with practice and assistance.











Rhetorical Analysis: Why Our Memory Fails Us.

Deyanira Morgado

Thesis Statement: Throughout the article “Why Our Memory Fails Us” published on in the New York Times , psychology professors Christopher F. Chabris and Daniel J. Simmons effectively inform the audience about memory distortion and persuade the audience to consider this phenomenon when judging others’ memory mistakes in the future by utilizing  a mixture of logos, ethos, pathos, imagery and anaphora. (Good!!)

The article begins as informative as Christopher F. Chabris and Daniel J. Simmons  introduce the main topic , (I would consider maybe putting a hypen here) which is the reality of distorted memories and their effect . Throughput the essay, however,  the authors adopt an informal writing style as they state opinions about how people should react to false memories by using words such as “we”, “our” and “us”. The informal  and simplified writing is also utilized by the authors in  order to expand their audience and  effectively communicate  their opinions and ideas. For example the authors state, “Our memories tend to morph to match our beliefs about ourselves and our world” (Chabris and Simons, 2014) as to show the audience that this happens to everyone even phycologists that are aware of distortion of memory. 

 The authors use ethos throughout the essay to prove the ideas of  false memories and distortion of memory  when briefly describing the findings of the National Academy of Sciences on false memory and the application of these findings on legal processes, as well as several research studies conducted by psychologists Henry L. Roediger and K. Andrew DeSoto,  and Sir Frederic Charles Bartlett. Moreover,  when describing the findings of psychologist Frederic Charles, the authors include imagery and logos  by describing the experiment with the analogy of the telephone game to visualize and understand how memories are distorted  in a logical way.  Moreover,  the authors aim to increase their ethos by presenting the events in which former president Bush  and politician Hillary Rodham Clinton experienced distortion of memory .

Additionally, the authors appeal to the emotions of the audience (pathos) when incorporating the 9/11 event  and what Bush mistakenly said about the event to prove that the effects of memory distortion can be drastic and can even lead to conspiracy theories and harmful critics . For example the authors used imagery  once again to show distortion of memory  when they mentioned, “ …on  more than one occasion Mr. Bush recollected having seen the first plane hit the north tower of the World Trade Center before he entered a classroom in Florida” (Chabris and Simons, 2014) .  This statement also appeals to higher emotions of those who  know about the event , especially the audience that was affected by it. Then,  the authors show the result of Bush’s public mistake by stating , “ … some Bush critics concluded that he was inadvertently leaking the truth, and must have known about the attacks in advance”  (Chabris and Simons, 2014). Lastly,  Chabris and Simmons highlight the importance of understanding false memories,  and persuade the  audience to apologize when their memory fails and forgive others when this happens by using   anaphora and concluding the article with the following statement : “ We should be more understanding of mistakes by others, and credit them when they admit they were wrong. We are all fabulists, and we must all get used to it”.

The authors  of the top three comments were chosen by the readers because they are constructive and supported by evidence and quotes(logos) , as well as personal experiences with false me memories(pathos).


Chabris, C. and Simons, D. (2014). Opinion | Why Our Memory Fails Us.  

Hi Deyanira, You make excellent points and have a good grasp of the material. I enjoyed reading your post. Keep up the good work. Nice thesis too!