Discussion Exercise: The excuse email
Read the instructions below and reply to this discussion with your response to the following exercise:
I'm a teacher, so I've heard every excuse in the book when it comes to a student being absent. I also used to be a student (whoa!), and most days I really did not want to go to school. I got very good at concocting excuses.
Using rhetoric is kind of like being Spiderman. With great power comes great responsibility. You can use rhetoric for good or evil.
Pretend you've been absent from class, and that you're sending your instructor an email. Respond to this discussion with three excuses for why you were absent: one that relies on ethos, one that relies on pathos, and one that relies on logos.
TYPES OF RHETORICAL PURPOSES:
PERSUADE: A text tries to convince the audience of something—to change their opinion.
INFORM: A text tries to give the audience new information—to teach them something.
ENTERTAIN: A text tries to make the audience happy—to show them a good time.
...and the hidden fourth purpose!...
EXPRESS: A text tries to achieve an artistic purpose—to depict or evoke something without explicitly attempting the above three purposes.
Texts may attempt more than one of these purposes at once—maybe even all of them.
TYPES OF RHETORICAL APPEALS:
These are ways for a rhetor to appeal to an audience—typically, but not always, in a text that seeks to persuade.
-APPEAL TO ETHOS: This type of appeal persuades the audience by appealing to their trust in (or appreciation for) the rhetor.
You like me a lot, so you should go to the dance with me.
You need to vote for me. Look at my track record. Would I lie?
-APPEAL TO PATHOS: This type of appeal persuades the audience by appealing to their emotion.
If you don't go to the dance, you'll regret the missed opportunity and you will be sad forever.
If you don't vote for me, your children will be in danger. Don't you care about them?
-APPEAL TO LOGOS: This type of appeal persuades the audience by appealing to their logic.
I'm popular, so if you go to the dance with me, your social standing will improve.
If you vote for me, I will enact laws to prevent crime and war, and lower taxes. This will save money and lives.
Now that you're familiar with these rhetorical appeals, let's test them out!