Public Rhetorics

For each post, I had to consider my audience when deciding which persuasive methods would be most effective and adjusting my writing style to properly convey the intentions of the post’s.

My first two post’s about animal health and arthritis were grounded in reason, or logos.  For example, “The key to preventing arthritis is starting your pet on a glucosamine supplement,” is persuasive primarily because it is based in reason and demonstrates logically how one thing leads to another. I also used the element of kairos in formulating the statement, “Ideally we want to start treating for arthritis before the symptoms begin to show” as it leans on a sense of urgency. I am also attempting to appeal to the emotions of the audience in the statement, “Arthritis can be painful.  Pets cannot talk and naturally hide pain.  As owners, we have to be their voice.” so I am utilizing pathos as well.  For many families in North America, dogs are considered a member of the family.  I assumed my audience for this post consisted of both members of the veterinary community and any families who have ever had a pet.  Therefore, I tried to cater to the scientific community with logic while appealing to the families with emotion.

In contrast, my post on marriage equality is more heavily grounded in pathos.  I led off with a story to capture the reader’s attention.  The pathos element culminated in the statement, “Their relationship is one of the strongest, most selfless, and genuinely loving bonds I’ve seen.” I then transitioned to logos with the statement, “Amidst the norm of divorce and loveless marriages, how is it possible that so many believe the union of a same-sex couple in love shouldn’t be allowed?”  This rhetorical question was designed to challenge the ethos of the more conservative audience of North American culture.

The review (has not been approved on the website yet):

Our extended family stayed at the Bay Front Luxury Retreat beach house for the past week and absolutely loved it.  This house was truly immaculate and welcoming. The kitchen was well stocked with supplies and condiments.  We immediately felt at home. There was great lighting with several windows and an awesome view of the water. The house was neatly presented with a modern design and awesome features like a hot tub, heated outdoor shower, and a beautiful patio and fire pit. The owners were very personable and friendly and even equipped the house with three cruiser bikes.  We enjoyed sailing, windsurfing, and playing volleyball on the sand court located close by.  The beach was conveniently located only two blocks away and offered great waves for swimming, boogie boarding, and surfing.

Our family enjoys travelling together, and we usually rent homes whenever possible so we can be together for meals and relaxing.  This house is simply our favorite thus far. We had a wonderful experience and would definitely recommend this house to rent.


Public Rhetoric

For my forum posts this week, after much deliberation I decided to write on a thread for something that I was passionate about rather than just a simple hobby. I felt that I would be much better at creating an argument in regards to the situation and shaping it in order to fit my audience. Therefore I chose to research forum threads on Reddit (first time user) for Corporate Social Responsibility, otherwise known as CSR, to make some comments on. I was pleasantly surprised upon finding this blog because some points were made that I had never even thought about, being in favor of CSR, giving me the ability to craft new arguments and try to tailor them to sway the other users on the site. Coincidentally enough, the Reddit that I found this thread on is called Change My View, and states that it is a forum for people who have an opinion on something but accept that they may be wrong or want help changing their view. After I did some research I realized that there is a function in the forum where you can award somebody a “Delta”, or in other words congratulate them for changing your view even on the smallest of points within a subject that is up for debate, along with deletions for off topic or incorrect use of the thread. I found this interesting also as the only forums I have ever seen I steer clear from as they tend to get off topic and fuel passionate discussions down the road of angry arguments instead. After reading the thread that had already been going on for about eight days, I began to build an understanding for the writer of the original CMV question. He was more passionate about personal finance and against big businesses than he was CSR, and tended to present his points in an extremely detailed and logical way to those that opposed him. People that commented on his question with emotional responses got almost condescending replies, as he was only interested in having a lively debate with those that truly understood the situation that he was speaking on. In regards to CSR, it is the career path I would like to take. Along with that I have had some experience with the subject, so I figured that I could try and sway his opinion through a logos argument in which I laid out my experiential learning in the situation along with challenging his point of view through reasoning with his very severe judgement of corporations and the decisions they make in relation to social good models. The main topic the writer proposed:

“I don’t believe that companies should buy into this “give back to the community” corporate social responsibility thing that’s in fashion in my neck of the words. To the extent that I think it’s wrong to do so, rather than just that it’s okay to do so. I believe that society benefits more if these would-be philanthropic companies were to avoid the cost of supporting orphanages etc. and passed the savings on to their customers. Ultimately it is consumers who are in the best position to decide how to use that saved money to benefit society, whether that is through just keeping the savings for themselves (charity starts at home) or through direct donations to the orphanage. Because maybe I’d prefer to donate to the EFF than to an orphanage, because I think that actually helps fix problems rather than just treating symptoms. But all the “socially responsible” companies adopt an orphanage, because that’s the sexy social problem. It makes for good photo opportunities and easy, appeal-to-emotion “look what awesome people we are” ad copy.”

Many people had already taken apart the actual numbers on the saving money aspect with him, and I decided to take a more simple approach of addressing the fact that he had actually used extremely subjective approach to the situation rather than looking at the broader picture of the good that these companies are actually able to produce in comparison to the individual. Usually I would be much more specific in my arguments, but I wanted this point of view to switch to focusing on the bigger picture. I decided it would be best to come at his argument of marketing, branding, and PR from the personal perspective of myself, whom being in this industry feels that these aspects of a company can actually be genuine.

Part of one of my replies:

“If a company is already paying for advertisement and PR, how could aligning their social good model with their branding be a bad thing?

Not only can they do good but they also have the resources, forward momentum, and already established branding that is needed to truly give a social movement campaign the support it needs in being successful. It is becoming less attractive for a company to be selling a product without a purpose.

Not only do social good models, if done right, give a story and show that the company is truly living out it’s values to the customer, but it also creates a pull method to customers that attracts them to the product. And on the flipside the world is also helped in a multitude of ways as people live their everyday lives.

With this business model consumerism meets charity and doing the right thing meets doing the things that you already do. If you are assuming that the money saved will be reinvested personally into charities of choice, then I feel it is safe to assume that the opposite is actually of higher possibility – that these individuals end up investing those few pennies that come back to them in products and services that benefit themselves.

Corporate social responsibility empowers individuals to give back to society through imbedding the act in their everyday lives. They still have the choice where to buy their products and services from, therefore giving them the choice to associate with those companies that they feel they align with in values.”

Another post (in regards to experience):

“I have first-handedly have seen how hard it is to start a nonprofit, and now am first-handedly seeing how a start up for-profit company is run as I now have a position doing public relations and communications for an apparel line that has a strong social good model in line with their values. My biggest takeaway from these two positions is that if for-profit companies can do more good than non-profits, and they are doing good that is true to their company values rather than just as a publicity stunt, why shouldn’t they other than for reasons of personal finance? Which could simply be solved by a customer that does not agree with the practice of CSR not investing their money in the company’s product or service and making the conscious decision to take it somewhere else, therefore saving it from being invested in places that are not of their choice.”

I have yet to receive a reply, but you are able to check out my responses here. My username is cortr100: In regards to the post reviewing a product, I did a review on my new skateboard. Not much going on here, although I do realize that the audience is for people that would be possibly wanting to buy the product, so I decided to focus on Looks like it hasn’t been approved and posted yet, but it will be here when it is.

Discussion boards/Forums

Black, White and Jewishis the book I purchased at and after I read it I posted a review on the book.  Great reading for people who come from racially mixed background and also for people who don’t quite know where they belong in life.  Here’s what caught my attention, “She doesn’t fit into the white world and she doesn’t fit into the black world so she decides that she is a child of the movement.”  I knew right there and then that I had to find out what a child of the movement was.  Rebecca Walker, the author, takes on a journey of finding herself with a black mom and a white dad and then they get divorced and live on opposite sides of the United States.  Her life with her mom involves black and hispanic people.  However Rebecca is a copper color so she is questioned about her belonging there.  Then when she goes to her dad’s house and he has remarried a white woman, she is questioned by everybody if she belongs there.  This story definitely appealed to the Kairos because it is the right timing for such a topic.  More and more people are inter-mixing racially and many kids will wonder what world they belong to.   The audience for this book isn’t just for racially mixed people.  It is for anyone who is coming into their own or who are experiencing peer pressure to do drugs.  Rebecca also lets us in to her account of her early sexual encounters and getting an abortion at the age of fourteen.  This narration is done realistically and insightful as it appeals to the pathos.  Rebecca Walker’s description of not knowing which of her two worlds she belonged to appeals to the ethos of children who are born from two different races.  Rebecca describes in such detail that we feel we are part of a room full of black people listening to poetry being read and then we are part of her dad’s life as she walks down the street in an all white neighborhood holding her little sister’s white hand.

The following is my actual review but you can see it live at:


Verified Purchase
This review is from: Black White & Jewish (Kindle Edition)
“Rebecca grows up being the daughter of a black mother and a white, Jewish father. She has a wonderful family and experiences love all around her. One day her world comes crashing down as she is told by both her parents that they are getting a divorce. Rebecca and her mom move out of their wonderful home and into an apartment. Her life now changes drastically as she begins to notice that she is different from other kids. She doesn’t fit into the white world and she doesn’t fit into the black world so she decides that she is a child of the movement. Her mother lives in San Francisco and her father lives in New York. They decide that she will spend 2 years with one parent and 2 years with the other one. Her life changes drastically and she finds herself alone and lonely. Where does she belong? Is she black? Is she white? Her father marries a white lady and they have a white child. Her mother dates a black man. Rebecca ends up having white friends, black friends, hispanic friends and also finds herself being sexually active at a very young age because she seeks comfort. Her mother leaves her alone at home and she has to fend for herself. Her father ends up being disconnected to Rebecca and so that leaves her not knowing where she belongs. She experiments with drugs and finds herself pregnant at fourteen. When she tells her mother, they both agree that an abortion is the best thing to do. Her struggles to find who she is and where she belongs prevail throughout the book but in the end she says, “I exist somewhere between black and white, family and friend. I am flesh and blood, yes, but I am also either.”
This book is worthwhile reading material. It allows the reader to go back and forth between cultures and races. We identify with Rebecca no matter what our race is. We feel what she feels and we understand what it is like to not know where you belong. Rebecca takes us on a journey to look inside of herself, her life, her love and her soul.”
     After searching through a multitude of discussion boards/forums, I finally settled on one that not only caught my eye, but made me want to be part of it.  It is a site that has over 39 million experiences shared to date.  This is the world’s largest living collection of life experiences, personal stories and it’s about the people who go through these experiences.  There is even an app that anyone can download to their phones for free!  Now that’s what I’m talking about!  The audience for this discussion board/forum is anyone, any age and it’s for, “People who get you.”  There are 24 categories for social conversation.  This site was launched in 2007 and describes itself as, “A comfortable and supportive place for individuals to share and connect.”  Appealing to the ethos, we find out this site has received praise from ABC’s, “Good Morning America,” The San Francisco Chronicle and  Wired Magazine.”
     This site then let’s us know it appeals to the pathos because,”It’s for people who really get it!”  Of course we all want to be that person who gets it.  The question I posted to this site, “When children come from racially mixed parents, are they the dad’s race or the mom’s race?”  The reason for this question is of course because of the book review that I posted on Amazon,  Black, White and Jewish . Within seconds I had twelve replies.  Some were kind, some were intelligent and some were from another world.  My post of experience was, “I am concerned about the obesity epidemic.”  I followed this up by also posting, “Overweight children are now in danger of not living longer than their parents and are at high risk for Type-2 Diabetes.”  The obesity epidemic topic is highly relevant right now and so it appeals to the kairos.   In appealing to the ethos, my one other post was my high interest in the younger generation and technology.  We are accused of never having face to face conversations and that we can’t write because all we do is text and when we text, it’s 2 or 3 letters that stand for entire words.  In appealing to the ethos of this subject, I posted this topic, “Is technology hurting or helping the younger generation?”  That topic quickly snowballed and many young people jumped in to defend our generation.  As expected, some of the people who appeared to be older (moms, dads, business executives etc) defended their position of saying that while the younger generation caught on quicker to the use of technology, that we would not be good communicators face to face with other people.  You can also join this forum and be fascinated by how quickly people respond.  I had this visual in my head that people are sitting in front of their screens, drooling, just waiting for someone to post so they can jump on and comment right back.   Go to:

Week 2

Welcome to week 2.  The writing assignments in week 2 are a bit more difficult because you are going to be moving into some potentially novel rhetorical situations.  On top of that, you will be applying and writing about something that will be new to many of you–rhetoric.  As I will say a few times, rhetoric is the art of persuasive communication.  There are a few definitions of rhetoric as you will see on the PowerPoint I prepared for you; however, the one that I have found most useful is the art of persuasive communication, where “art” actually means “technique” or skill (from the Middle French art, ca. 1000 AD).

For this week, just go to Learning Module 2 at the Schedule and get started.  I would encourage you to get done early–the dates are there as a guide, so don’t feel like you have to wait (in fact, I would strongly suggest that you begin thinking about Essay 2 starting as soon as possible).

As always, email me with any questions you have.

What do others think good writing is?

Firstly, the article that I chose critiquing how to write is actually a letter written by C.S. Lewis in response to a children’s’ fan letter. In 1956, he laid out five points to good writing when she asked him for some professional writing advice. He cites using clear language, plain direct words, concrete nouns, replacing adjectives for words that make the reader feel the adjectives, and words that fit the subject correctly as the five most important ways to make sure that you are writing correctly. I found it interesting because he is a writer that I enjoy due to his connection and emotion that he portrays to the audience. He hooks you with his eloquence and I was not expecting him to say that the most important parts of writing are making sure that you are clear and concise, teaching in his short lesson that less is more.

Secondly, I chose a video that almost in contrast says that Millennial’s brevity of communication in their writing, due to the conditioning of social media, is causing an inability to secure jobs in the professional world. Jeff Dunn, an Intel campus relations manager says, “Writing skills — people don’t write as much as they used to. They’re texting, so they forget to write in complete sentences and articulate their written skills professionally”. From this point of view it seems as though today, generations above the Millenials see the evolution of technology and our frequency of use as an inhabitant towards our ability in writing.!1aZJu


What Do Others Say Good Writing Is?

What do others think good writing is? I immediately reflected on my academic writing career and all the papers I have written for teachers and professors. Starting with my fifth grade English teacher Dr. Dick Duffany and his infamous 700 paged textbook often referred to as “the Bible,” I learned to compose essays following strict rules and principles. I never enjoyed writing these essays; I felt I lost my creativity following rubrics to try and receive the best grade. However, the first day of my senior year, my English professor handed out copies of The Elements of Style that completely changed my approach to writing. Although his book is a set of rules, Strunk connotes that the established rules of grammar can be challenged, and he acknowledges “the fallacy of inflexibility and the danger of doctrine.” Good writing has style that is developed “from attitudes of the mind” and “extends the spirit of a man.” Style allows writers to be creative and to push boundaries to enlighten the reader. Good writing creates an experience between author and reader, and a good writer will know how to challenge the reader’s opinions and how to help guide the reader through his thoughts.
Source: Strunk, William, Jr, and White, E.B. The Elements of Style. New York: Pearson Longman, 2009. Print.
Andrew Fitzgerald’s TedTalk discusses how Twitter’s 140 character limit has created a new frontier for creative experimentation with writing. During the digital age, there has been a renaissance of new mediums and formats to express storytelling. These new mediums give writers more building blocks and structures than traditional writing to create more spontaneous and creative works. For example, Fitzgerald describes the success the New Yorker has had with live storytelling via Twitter. Readers can tune into a live feed of a short story, creating a new experience between the author and reader.
Source: Fitzgerald, A. (2013, July). Andrew Fitzgerald: Adventures in Twitter fiction. Retrieved from: 

What do others say is good writing?

One of the most important and recognized aspects to writing is the audience.  First impressions will be made and you may potentially be overlooked if lacking a clear message.  As supported by Mathew Alanis’s video, “You need to stand out to the reader to ultimately have them commit to completing the rest of the document. Good writing is something that people want to pick up and read”.  (Alanis Business Academy).  Writing should have personality and be similar to how you would speak.  Give your readers an opportunity to relate to the story.

A valid opinion I enjoyed from Ann Handley was, “Every good writing has a good editor”. (Brand Driven Digital).  An outside perspective is essential to a successful story. The layout plays a large role as well.   The sentence structure needs to be clear and easy to read. “Instead of having one large block of information, you can separate the topics by utilizing paragraphs, bullet points, or headings to avoid intimidating the reader” (Alanis Business Academy).  You want to draw the reader’s attention to the things you find important and the message you are seeking to convey.





Blog 3: What Do Others Say is Good WRITING?

I found this excellent video on Youtube, “Why Writing Matters, Even if You Don’t Want to be an English Major.”  It is done by a guy named Fajardo and it starts us off immediately by capturing our attention with a Beatles song, “Paperback Writer.”  How appropriate is that?  He asked people everywhere a very simple question, “How do you use writing in your professional life?”  What he found out is that all positions, jobs, in life require writing.  My favorite quote he had on his video, “Wordsmithing is Everything.”  People write letters, reports, documents, memos, detailed work, notes, outlines, summaries and emails everyday in their life.  He shows people in all walks of life doing all kinds of jobs who use writing.  As the song comes to an end, he leaves us with this quote, “Writing is not just for English majors….Ask anyone.”   <<>>

Patty Limerick, a professor in Colorado who teaches Western American Studies, asks, “In the world of e-mail and texting, is good writing anachronistic?” (chronologically misplaced)  So she set out to find out.  She wrote a newspaper column in the Denver Post where she asked Colorado employers, “Do writing skills matter anymore?”  As a professor, one of her goals is for her students to have the ability to speak and write so that employers will be impressed and hire them.  Her personal link awaits the responses of employers.



What is good writing?

Of course good writing is more than spelling, grammar, subject-verb agreement and syntax.  Good writing tells a story.  A good story has a beginning, a middle and an end.  Good writing will normally find a protagonist who changes at the end of the story.  Good writing might have an antagonist.  Good writing for sure, has a plot and a setting.  You can look for a climax and a conflict.  There can be a theme or a message or even a lesson learned.  Good writing ultimately, makes the reader not want the story to end.  Good writing causes the reader to become part of the story.  Good writing causes the reader to think about the story long after they have finished reading it.  Good writing is all about making the writer and the reader feel good about words.


Greetings to all!  I was a bit lost out in the internet world but I found my way.  Thank you Professor Colby!  I am a bit on the shy side but I love learning and I love books, reading and writing.  I am a Chinese student and one day I hope to be a children’s book author.  I have a passion for reading and I want to pass that passion on to children.  I am here to develop my writing ability as much as I can so I am very grateful to be here and to get advice and critique.  I discovered books when I was three years old and have loved words and the images that words can form inside a person’s mind.  I love expanding my imagination and seeing where it will take me.  I look forward to this class and to all the writing assignments and to growing my writing ability.  I am a wanna-be author and someday I hope that all of you will say, “Oh, I know her.  She used to be in my writing class.”  Thank you again Professor Colby for presenting me with this unique opportunity to grow my writing abilities.  I will not let you down.