Common Good Project


The Common Good Project helped sharpen my teamwork skills, technological skills in helping create the website, organization, time management, active citizenship writing skills, writing to the audience, and rhetorical writing.  Picking a conflict my partner and I were interested, collecting information, and trying to find a positive solution was very beneficial moving forward in my collegiate career.  The most beneficial part of this is the major focus on writing to your audience.  From the beginning, choosing a target audience you believe your argument will appeal the most to is a very important skill in just about every field.  With that, it was also highly beneficial learning from others projects through their presentations.  Both in learning about the issues and analyzing what audience they are playing to, there use of rhetoric, and their interesting viewpoints.

Common Good Project

common good project final front (1)

common good project back final


For our argument, pathos is the most effective way to play to our audience.  Terrorism and especially school shootings is a very emotional and controversial topic, especially for college students nowadays.  Throughout this generations lives, there has been terrorist acts and school shootings, this has been a fear in our everyday lives.  Our team used pathos as our main strategy learned from our time throughout class to strengthen our argument.  We used pathos through images, quotes, videos, testimonies, and verbiage.

Our group uses pathos with the image on the front panel of our brochure.  The opening image depicts a commonly seen image reminding one of their time in elementry school or preschool.  This brings the viewer in believing and looking into their own memory, but at closer look, the picture also has a bullet.  This represents school shooting incidents that have happened in the United States, this image being made after the Sandy Hook shooting.  This image can strike fear into a viewer, seeing the vulnerability of school shootings and why we are arguing for improved preparedness.

The brochure also includes a quote from a witness and survivor of the Parkland School Shooting in Florida.  The frustration shared by this witness through this quote evokes emotion in the audience.  This desperate call for change and attention to the subject is a solid call for action to the audience.  How this quote aligns with our argument further strengthens it through the use of pathos.  This use of pathos can cause a lot of sympathy from the audience.

Another example of pathos we used can be seen in the political cartoons included in both the brochure and the website.  Political cartoons have been used for a long time to argue points and sway opinions at their targeted audience.  All of the political cartoons we used support our argument that there needs to be more time and energy devoted to preventing both terrorist attacks and school shootings.  The way political figures are depicted in these cartoons can evoke emotion and even simplify arguments in more blaten terms.

In addition, we used pathos in our website by linking YouTube videos to eyewitness and news coverage reports on the homepage. This shows the raw emotion of each person impacted to the audience. It evokes emotion in the audience and makes them want to listen.

Logos is displayed in the website through the statistics given in the “What It Is” section under “What is Terrorism?” It shows many facts about how many school shootings there were in a given year, the most popular places for these events to occur, and the different categories of school shootings (ex: accidental or bullying). This shows factual data that convinces the audience these events are very real and they should not be taken lightly. It is also shown in the graphs located next to the statistics. This also shows factual data to help the audience understand the severity of the issue.

Another way logos is displayed in the website is through the “Factors That Cause School Shootings” page that include “The Media” and “Mental Health.” Both subpages show factual data that tells the audience more about some of the causes of school shootings. In “The Media” subpage, it talks about how the media is heavily involved in copycat school shootings. One of the sections (“Book Influences”) describes the book Rage by Stephan King. His book is from the 1970s and is about a boy who becomes so angry with his school that he decides to shoot one of his teachers and then forces his classmates to talk to him. This exact event was copied by a boy in real life in the 1990s. Because the media reported on it so much and gave so many details, the event was copied four times in the following days after the attack. These are real events that occured in the United States that are described the audience to appeal to their logical reasoning.

In the “Prevention” page of the website, it offers many ways that the audience can help prevent school shootings. Among these are Nightlock door security devices, ALICE training for teachers, and recognizing signs of mental health issues. This appeals to logical reasoning because they are practical ways to prevent these events. They make sense to use.

Lastly, the website shows ethos through our “Resources” page. There, it shows a picture of each of us and the different organizations we are in as well as our sources used throughout the website and brochure. We established our credibility by listing the many different sources we used and who we are real people advocating for real change.