Professional Writing: Process and Practice
EN 1700 – Fall/Winter 2009/2010 – Jan Rehner
Lecture 15 – Orwell and Swift – Feb 1
- Critical argument: prove your thesis (main view)
o Try to discover as many points of view as you can, instead of forcing one
point of view.
o Seeking knowledge, meaning.
o Offering a position.
o When thinking of it as an aggressive act, insisting on one point of view.
o Critically: offering your take on something.
- Top: logos, bottom: ethos, pathos.
o Heavy emphasize on claims, facts, and proofs. Appeal that you make to a
person’s reason and logical thinking.
o Basic case.
o In academic writing, this is evident (claim, evidence and proof).
o Appeal to notions, values or beliefs, sympathies.
o Appeal to the audience’s self-interest.
o Purpose of the audience not just yourself.
o Give them a self-interested reason.
o The character of the rattors (when you are writing).
o Ethos credibility and fairness in handling material and making judgments.
o Extrinsic ethos: reputation, expertise, professional qualification, relevant
Example: relevant personal experience.
Intrinsic ethos: the constructed identity on the page
• Impression that the reader gets of the person writing.
• How has the writer constructed themselves to the reader?
• Who are you on the page?
• What sort of subjectivity on the page?
• Person is open-minded or generous?
• Arrogant or narrow minded?
• You create yourself on the page through: diction, tone or
Foundation • Location and position that the person is speaking or writing.
• Claim the position.
• Do not imitate the center.
• Do not use a language or a voice that is foreign.
• Do not try and identify yourself.
The Rhetorical Situation of an Argument