Posts Tagged ‘rhetoric’

  • 2006-07 Winner: “Persuasion for a Better Cause” by Ashley Thoreson

    Date: 2008.05.21 | Category: Selected Essays | Response: 0

    “Persuasion for a Better Cause” by Ashley Thoreson PDF

    Alan Gross, professor of rhetoric at the University of Minnesota, proposes two types of rhetoric that authors use to strengthen their arguments: logos and pathos.  These rhetorical strategies can be found in many articles, including those of scientific texts.  While scientific texts are thought to be objective, the presence of these rhetorical strategies is proof that most texts are actually subjective. Logos is an appeal to logic through the use of facts including mathematical, scientific, or statistical data to support an argument. Pathos is an appeal to emotion.  These two rhetorical strategies are effectively used in Peter Piot’s piece in Scientific American titled: “AIDS: A Global Response.”  In the article, Piot argues that there needs to be a shift in focus on research and funding from developed countries to developing countries regarding the HIV/AIDS epidemic currently affecting the entire globe.  This paper will first address how through detailed statistics regarding the spread of the disease, Piot convinces readers that their attention needs to be refocused to stopping the spread of HIV in developing countries.  Then, I will address how through pathos, Piot communicates a sense of urgency to his readers and involves them personally in an issue that they are geographically detached from.  This is significant because it opens up the genre of scientific writing to subjective arguments; the article wields both facts and appeals to emotion in order to reprioritize scientific research.

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  • 2006-07 Winner: “The Manipulation and Exploitation of Nationalism” by Behnum Habibi

    Date: 2008.05.14 | Category: Selected Essays | Response: 0

    “The Manipulation and Exploitation of Nationalism” by Behnum Habibi PDF

    The need to call a place home is a very familiar desire. National citizenship can be thought of as a unique status which offers people unbridled access to this peace of mind.  Because the nation is the source of this comfort, it is not surprising that people take pride in it. But nationalism stems from the abstract, purely ideological form of a nation.  This concrete-less nationalism has been a key facet in the American government’s decisions about the economy, domestic spending, and most notably, foreign policy.  Many, if not most, countries involved in wars during the last century maintained public support through nationalism. However, nationalism not only has arbitrary roots, but in the case of politics, it is often falsely fashioned in the minds of citizens so that governments can forcibly impose political will. The United States is certainly no exception; rather, it is right now, the perfect example.  This paper will explore how what I will call artificial nationalism is encouraged through democratic rhetoric, and how George W. Bush uses artificial nationalism and moralistic rhetoric post 9-11 to legitimize certain foreign policies to the American people.

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