Ursula Muñoz – Team 22 – Assignment 1

Thesis: Of the three rhetorical appeals that Chabris and Simons’ article uses, pathos makes the biggest impression, although the same is not always true for the comments they received in response.

While the article isn’t particularly heartfelt or sentimental but rather dry, therein lies one of a number of ways in which the authors use pathos to connect with the reader. Though this is perhaps not obvious at a first glance, there’s some humor to the way they sift through the stories of public figures who are no better than the rest of us at forgetting things and how we go about that. You can practically read a smirk through their writing when they recount the mistakes of Neil DeGrasse Tyson and George W. Bush. “There’s a further twist to Dr. Tyson’s tale,” it reads sardonically. “Years before he misremembered what Mr. Bush said about 9/11, Mr. Bush himself misremembered what he had seen on 9/11.” The playful tone serves as a way of making the story engaging to the reader, and while this is a tool that can sometimes be alienating (this could easily have sounded condescending), the topic of this article—how we forget things and what makes this normal—says otherwise. Bush, Tyson, and Hillary Clinton are merely humans who make the same mistakes we do. It’s all summed up in a powerful conclusion meant to inspire anyone who makes the same mistakes. “Stop stonewalling, admit error… apologize and move on,” the article reads. “But the rest of us aren’t off the hook… We are all fabulists, and we must all get used to it.”

Although cases can be made for the use of the other two rhetorical appeals in Chabris and Simons’ article, they fall short next to pathos. While a good chunk of the article goes over various studies by renowned doctors and scientific explanations to explain why our brain does the things that it does, the fact remains that the heart of the article is the lesson at its heart. Ethos and logos are most definitely used but they are for the overshadowed. (I don’t understand what you mean here?)

Of the top three comments picked by readers in the comments section of this article, the first was actually from Tyson himself. A reputable public figure, Tyson’s comment uses ethos as its main appeal. It He relies on his reputation as a significant cultural and scientific icon for the reader to take the link to his notes of his that provide further context to the quotes that the Times uses. User Keith Dow uses pathos in the form of humor and logos in the form of evidence to make his point that the Times should have referred to a public other than Bush to better suit their argument. “I think your memory of Bush being an intelligent person is faulty. Here are verifiable quotes from Bush,” he begins. Last but not least, the third comment by Jacob Sommers relies perhaps almost entirely on pathos. His tone is sympathetic and approachable, and by speaking from his own experiences he joins the discussion posed by the article and teach a similar lesson. Because the comments were so constructive, I like the Time’s approach to ranking.

Hi Ursula, you make some good points but I would like you to write as concisely and clearly as possible. Be succinct! Be sure that each sentence follows appropriately the one before it. Overall good work.

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Rhetorical Analysis by Paula Rivera Team 22

Thesis: In “Why Our Memory Fails Us,” a New York Times article written by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons, they are able to use each aspect of the rhetorical triangle: ethos, pathos and logos, to convey their message.

Chabris and Simons are able to use ethos throughout their article by showing reliable sources. A prime example would be the participation of Daniel Simons on the National Academy of Sciences panel, to make a reporting on recommending procedures to minimize the chances of false memory and mistaken identification. Another example is the paper published by psychologist Henry Roediger III and K. Andrew DeSoto on the confidence of people’s memories in relation to their accuracy. Both examples make Chabris and Simons arguments more credible since they are outside sources. (good)

Chabris and Simons are able to use logos as a way to back up their argument. The article states “… the content of our memories can easily change overtime,” they are logically proving that although we may keep the most important parts of the story, we forget the insignificant parts making our memories change overtime. Further explained with the experiment Sir Frederic Charles Bartlett further explained in an experiment he  conducted with a procedure that mimicked the telephone game. Therefore, making Chabris and Simons point logical by providing a statement backed up by experiments.

Lastly, pathos is used by Chabris and Simons to tie in the audience by their emotions. “We should be more understanding of mistakes by others, and credit them when they admit they were wrong.” Here the authors are stating that we must understand that it is wrong to say misremembrance is equate to lying and must learn to stop defending false memories when there is contradictory evidence. Politicians and the rest of the world alike should respond as Dr. Tyson did when he realized the evidence pointed against him. Effectively tying in the audience’s emotions of guilt and belief of fairness. (not a complete sentence!)

The authors are able to combine the use of play on emotions, facts and studies to convey their message about the fallibility of our memory. They relied more on the pathos side of the argument more than the logical or ethical side and have an active tone throughout the article.

The top three reader’s comments we’re important to other readers because they were complex enough to discontinue the “echo chamber effect” mentioned in Virginia Heffernan’s article “Comment Is King.” Each comment makes a specific point that delves further than most other people’s comments. The first comment was from Dr. Neil Tyson being civil and professional while giving more information on the topic. The second comment, by Keith Dow, was an emotional response to the article trying to bash on former President Bush. Whereas the third commentator, Jacob Sommer, reinforces the article by giving his own experiences with memories.

The New York Times ranks their comments by however many people recommended that person. It is effective for the audience who want to know what the most popular thought are but it lacks revision. Throughout the 257 comments left on this page, there could’ve been multiple professionals commenting on the accuracy or falsehood of this article but that wouldn’t be seen because people typically do not have the patience to go through all of the comments.

Overall quite good. You make some very good points and your writing style is fairly clear and concise. Proofread everything you post and it never hurts to have someone else read your assignments.

Chabelis Leal Team 22

Thesis statement: A rhetorical analysis of the New York Times article “Why Our Memory Fails Us” by Christopher F Chabris and Daniel J Simons. (this is not a thesis statement)

The article, “Why Our Memory Fails Us” uses all of Aristotle’s three appeals. Chabris and Simons start by using ethical appeal, or ethos. They mention Neil Degrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist and TV host. Someone most people would consider a reliable source. (this is not a complete sentence!)Then they go on to show that even a reliable source such as Dr. Tyson misremembers things.

Please consider using different language “They then” can be replaced. They then use pathos in an attempt to appeal to the beliefs and feelings of the reader. Mentioning that memory failures similar to Dr. Tysons “have led to false convictions, and even death sentences”.(this is not a complete sentence!) This appeals to the audience’s belief in fairness which will in turn persuade them to continue reading in order to find a solution.

The majority of their case, in my opinion, is built by using logos. Statistics, experiments, analogies, and anecdotes all attract logical reasoning, and the article has various examples these. Anecdotes from president George W Bush. Tests done by cognitive psychologist Henry L Roediger III and K. Andrew DeSoto. An experiment conducted by Sir Frederic Charles Barlett mimicking the “telephone” game. (this is not a complete sentence!) Chabris and Simons mention a comprehensive report released by the National Academy of Science which recommends procedures to “minimize the chance of false memory and mistaken identification” their use of logic and facts is logos. The article comes to a close with some more pathos. The authors closing argument being “we should be more understanding of mistakes by others, and credit them when they admit they are wrong”.

Moreover, Chabris and Simons use all three rhetorical appeals to build their case. Logos being the main one as they state various facts, experiments, and anecdotes. Pathos in order to appeal to the beliefs and emotions of the readers. And finally, ethos, by mentioning reliable sources. .(this is not a complete sentence!

The reader picks comments also demonstrate examples of all three rhetorical appeals. The first comment by Neil Degrasse Tyson is an example of ethos since he is a credible source and is giving links to his personal Facebook where he discusses the issue mentioned in the article. Dr. Tyson taking his time to comment and making sure readers have all the information is something many might view as ethical. Keith Dow is the author of the second comment which in my opinion reflects logos. He uses quotes from Mr. Bush mentioning the time and place they were said. Lastly, Jacob Sommer’s comments on his belief that most people don’t mean harm and just make “honest mistakes”. This is an example of pathos since he is looking at things from a more emotional side. I do belief we should all try to be more like Mr. Sommer. Seeing the good in people takes less time and effort than assuming the whole world is out to get you. Reading through these comments was insightful and gave me a consensus of what many readers thought while reading the article.

Chabelis, Your post needs work. You are not writing in complete sentences.  All sentences need to have a subject and verb and a complete thought. There is a lack of analysis in this post. I do not see cogent, concise, and clear writing style. I would strongly advise visiting the Writing Center! I would like to see you improve your writing and do well in this course; however, without serious and prolonged effort I am concerned you have a lot to accomplish. I am willing to help you but you definitely need to see a writing tutor to learn the basics first.

Andrea Vacca Rhetorical Analysis

Hi Andrea, Please use a larger font.

Thesis: In order for a piece of writing to be effective, the author must use rhetoric to influence the audience. In the New York Times article “Why Our Memory Fails Us”, Christopher F. Chabris and Daniel J. Simons use logos through case studies and logical reasoning to explain memory, pathos through the messages and critics of the speakers, and ethos by revealing daily real-life experiences. 

In the Article “Why our Memory Fails Us”, Chabris and Simons portray the message that our biases and confidence can blind the accuracy of our own memory. To construct their argument the writers stated, “we recall events easily and often, at least if they are important to us, but only rarely do we find our memories contradicted by evidence, much less take the initiative to check if they are right”. The use of logos through logical reasoning influences the reader to think of their memories and analyze how their confidence can alter their accuracy. Chabris and Simons also provide case studies of psychologists Henry Roediger, K. Andrew Desoto, and Barlett to demonstrate the correlation between high confidence and false memory. The article was also reinforced through the use of ethos by providing real life examples that enhance the credibility mentioned by Barlett. Such experiments related to the “telephone game” express how repeated memories can often become distorted extracting facts and consisting more of new details. 

Chabris and Simons also use pathos to appeal to the readers emotions by setting examples of “higher figures of society” who have been affected by memory failures. Questions such as “do our heroes have memories of clay?” allow the audience to feel compassionate even to public figures who are not to blame for their memory failures. The overall message of the authors is to make people understand that these memory failures do not determine a person’s honesty. “We should be more understanding of mistakes by others, and credit them when they admit they were wrong. We are all fabulists- we must all get used to it” is mentioned to provide the objective that we are all dishonest unconsciously when it comes to memories. However, the authors objective is to make readers acknowledge their error and halt it from expanding into what may become a bigger problem.

In conclusion, the authors have a dignified tone in the article. Through the use of logos, ethos, and pathos they successfully established more credibility and effectiveness on the topic. The authors pivot more of an emotional appeal established by “higher confidence” through the article rather than logical facts and statistics. (good)

The top readers’ comments were convincing through the use of rhetorical logos, pathos, and ethos. Ethos is demonstrated through Neil Degrasse Tyson’s comment as he establishes credibility by providing where exact quotations and facts were found. Tyson also demonstrates a sense of trustworthiness when he admits his errors in his publications. The second response from Keith Dow provides the readers with pathos and logos through the use of mockery and facts when providing verifiable quotes from Bush. The last comment by Jacob Summer is enhanced through pathos when he mentions his thoughts about memory mistakes. These comments oppose the “echo-chamber effect” by providing clearer voices as mentioned in the article “Comment is King” by Virginia Heffernan. I believe that the NYT ranking of comments is effective especially with the tab readers picks which provide the readers with relevant discussions. 

Very good writing style, good analysis. You made many excellent points.

Rhetorical Analysis by Emily Bustamante – Team 22 (IDS3309)

Thesis Statement: The article, audience feedback, and commentary silhouette and interact with rhetorical methods to persuade the reader’s standpoint. (I’m not clear about your thesis?) (Please reread how to write a thesis statement and what it should contain)

There is an ample amount of rhetorical arguments presented both by Chabris and Simmons. They begin to build their case from an ethos perspective. They are proving their point by using a notable and experienced figure in the scientific field whose story relates to the matter being spoken of in the article.  The introduction of the article begins by proving the expertise of Dr. Neil Degrasse Tyson. This way they can catch the reader’s attention and have a sense of credibility to it. I believe an ethos point of view falls into play at the end of the article. They leave the reader with a thought that we should sympathize and accept the fact that mistakes occur and that we should credit those who admit were wrong. The reader then analyzes the whole article based on that rhetoric. Rhetorical devices used in this article were asyndeton and chiasmus. These methods were used to persuade the reader and prove why memory tends to fail us. The tone of the authors are very poised and urging.

I believe the Times approach in ranking comments is effective. I assume they have a team of trained individuals that read these comments and determine if they are in fact worthy of being placed at a certain rank. For example, in Comment is King by Virgina Heffernan, she mentions that Applebaum’s commentary section on the Washington post site is freely accessible and ran on its own uncertain logic. This proves the ineffectiveness a non-ranking system has. Ranking the top comments gives the reader the option to have multiple selections and outlook on how to further evaluate the article. In the reader’s comments, I do not believe it lacks in any aspects. The top three comments held actual basis and imposed further judgments on the reader. The comments I believe is in fact worthy enough would be the first and second comment.  They both provide a bigger picture and prove their point of views. Heffernan stated that online commentary is a bête noire for journalists and readers alike. I disagree. If analyzed and written by thorough people, online commentary is a great opportunity to voice your opinion and provide the reader with more to think of… a bigger picture. 

The top three comments shown on Chabris’s and Simmons’s article are eye-opening. The first comment by Dr. Tyson specifically shows Sean Davis approaching Dr. Tyson from a logos perspective. Davis fact checks proclamations Dr. Tyson makes. Davis is appealing to logic and persuading the audience with reason, not on emotion or credibility. The second comment made by Keith Dow uses both a logos and ethos standpoint. He provides quoted testimonials made by Mr. Bush via web which contradicts what Dr. Tyson mentioned of him being an intellectual being. This leaves the reader with queries. It does not base his analysis on the authority or credibility of the speaker. The third comment made by Jacob Sommer uses pathos rhetoric. He ends his comment by telling us what we should do in which poses a moral question for the reader. This causes an emotional rejoinder.

Interesting post Emily. I like your writing style and your analysis is quite good. Perhaps a bit overuse of first person and I would advise to write not using it. Just for practice, try writing this without the use of first person and then compare the two. I think it would be good practice for you. Overall good work!