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Speaker- Willia… November 10, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — hvandolsen @ 2:04 pm

Speaker- William F. Buckley Jr. “one of the leading voices of conservative politics” who has had several contributions to magazines and books.
Occasion- Buckley begins by describing a situation on a train ride home and how no one on the train spoke up about the uncomfortable temperatures on the train. This leads into his greater discussion of how people in American society no longer stand up for what they believe in even in the smallest of ways.
Audience- It seems that Buckley would be addressing the American public in general and his dismay at how things have changed. However, I would say that he is speaking more to a well off or wealthy audience because some of the inconveniences he describes may seem small or petty.
Purpose- Buckley’s purpose is to address the audience on something that has come to his attention that other people may not necessarily realize.
Subject- Buckley’s subject is the increasing complacent attitudes of the American public.
Tone- Buckley’s tone is not degrading or superior. It is really well written and articulated.


Fallacious Argument November 9, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — hvandolsen @ 2:06 am

Why global warming isn’t true…I’ve seen it myself!

I don’t notice it getting any warmer so there can’t be global warming. After all we just had snow in October! Snow is really cold, so there can’t be global warming. Last year we have 7 snow days…how many will we have this year? There can’t be any thing close to global warming if we’ve had enough snow for 7 whole days off of school. I’ve never seen the ozone layer before, the sky still looks the way it always has. I was flying in a plane the other day and the sky looked pretty and completely fine. There also can’t be global warming because I read an article by a scientist who said that global warming is just people panicing. Panicy people are always irrational so he must be right. People say that because of global warming penguins and polar bears are dying BUT I saw a penguin and a polar bear at the zoo the other day. See, there can’t be global warming…still plenty of polar bears and penguins. Not to mention that the penguins and polar bears seem to be doing just fine, hanging out in their igloos and stuff.


Analysis of Op-Ed article November 7, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — hvandolsen @ 1:09 am


The article that I chose to write about is by Nicholas Kristof entitled “His Libraries, 12,000 So Far, Change Lives.” To give a brief summary, in this article Kristof discusess John Wood’s charity “Room to Read.” Wood had worked for years at Microsoft until one day he came across a school in Nepal which had no books. He quickly realized how desperately books were needed and how something so inexpensive and simple could truly change lives. His charity focuses on the importance of reading and education to success and growth.

One of the major rhetorical devices that Kristof employs is logos. Kristof uses specific statistics and facts in order to strengthen his argument. One such example states, “Room to Read is one of America’s fastest-growing charities and is now opening new libraries at an astonishing clip of six a day. In contrast, McDonald’s opens one new outlet every 1.08 days.” This statistic gives the strength of Wood’s charity some perspective. However, Kristof does not simply throw out a statistic, he provides a comparision in order to further emphasize the success of Room to Read. What is important to remember is that by giving a statistic or number some meaning, Kristof is making it more relatable and logical for the audience to understand.

Kristof also uses pathos in his argument. Pathos and logos work seamlessly together to demonstrate Kristof’s argument thoughtfully. One example of pathos is when Kristof states, “In a remote nook of the Mekong Delta, reachable only by boat, I met one of these girls, a 10th grader named Le Thi My Duyen. Her family, displaced by flooding, lives in a shabby tent on a dike. When Duyen was in seventh grade, she dropped out of school to help her family out. ‘I thought education was not so necessary for girls,’ Duyen recalled.” Kristof brings his argument into the lense of one specific girl who benefitted from this charity. By making his argument more relatable and by playing to the emotions of the audience, Kristof is successful. As the reader makes his way through the article his emotions are felt because of the inspirational work of Wood. However, it is not until Kristof gives us this picture of this young girl and how much adversity she faced, that this charity becomes immediate or emotional.



Argument November 2, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — hvandolsen @ 2:16 am

What makes an argument compelling? What persuasive devices or tools are available to writers of arguments? In order to be compelling, what must such writers always keep in mind?

A writer should perhaps first state the opposing sides and then develop his reasoning as to why his argument is the correct one. By stating the opposing viewpoints, the author is making his argument stronger. I believe that what makes an argument compelling is facts or details which help to prove the point. Arguments are a lot easier to make with actual supporting evidence or reasoning. When a writer has not fully thought out his argument it can be a lot less persuasive. A well organized and thoughtful argument is very important. In addition, a passionate voice or opinion can help to enhance an argument and catch the audience or reader’s attention. I personally am a lot more likely to listen or try and understand an argument when it seems that a writer is passionate about what he is saying and trying to prove. Writers must always keep in mind who their audience is…that is the key to success. Often times if a writer loses sight of who he is addressing in his argument, the power or support for his argument can be lost. Some tools writers can use to develop their arguments are research or specific data or knowledge including statistics or quotations.