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York University
EN 1700

Professional Writing: Process and Practice EN 1700 – Fall/Winter 2009/2010 – Jan Rehner Lecture 15 – Orwell and Swift – Feb 1 Critical Argument - Critical argument: prove your thesis (main view) o Exploration. o Inquiry 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. Rhetorical Triangle: - Top: logos, bottom: ethos, pathos. - Logos 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). - Pathos 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. - Ethos 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 experience.  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 style.  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 - Audience
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