Course Journal

For English 400, we composed many journal entries that followed the curriculum of the course. These journal entries were designed to help us prepare for upcoming assignments, as well as being able to dive deeper into the assignment. The journal entry that impacted my writing the most was the entry on the rhetorical situation. This entry made it easier for me to write my final paper on President Barrack Obama’s speech for victims of the Boston bombing. Having these examples and doing the work previously before completing the paper made it significantly easier. Furthermore, being apple to identify the message, context and audience followed the criteria of the rhetorical situation. The rhetorical tool that best-provided support for my future writing was identifying the audience before writing a paper. This is significant because it made me think about what audience I am directing my paper too. However, the journal entry that caused me difficulty was the entry on “Rhetoric of Hitler’s Battle”. This one was difficult for me personally because I had to analyze the material given and provide the rationale, argument, and explore the reading.

Journal Entry on the Rhetorical Situation

Obama’s speech for victims of Boston bombing

Writers/speaker/rhetor- Barack Obama-

  • The 44th president of the United States
  • Previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois
  • First African American president to be elected
  • Served January 20, 2009- January 20, 2017

Message- That the president of the United States stands with the people of Boston. Ensure the American people that they will find who carried out this act, along with giving the citizens of Boston hope.

Context- Barack Obama gave the speech about the Boston Marathon bombings on April 18, 2013.


  • The people of Boston
  • The individuals in the room with Barack Obama
  • Members of Congress
  • Firefighters, police, troops, doctors, nurses, and police
  • New stations and journalists
  • Marathon participates and spectators
  • The families that lost loved ones
  • The victims fighting for their lives in the hospital


  • To inform the citizens of Boston that the president stands with them
  • To send the president’s condolences to the families that lost loved ones, that are still recovering from the bombing
  • To speak on behalf of the American people that everyone is with Boston
  • To emphases that Boston is one of America’s iconic cities and that everyone lost something that day
  • To let the American citizens know who is still fighting in the hospital l along with giving with remembering the individuals that were lost that day
  • To thank you EMT’s, police, runners, troops, firefighters, doctors, nurses, and police.
  • To give hope that Boston will rebuild and will rebuild stronger than they were before


Journal Entry on “Rhetoric of Hitler’s Battle

  1. Burke’s rationale behind analyzing Hitler’s Mein Kampf is to discover why so many people followed Hitler and what appeal Hitler used to get these individuals to obey him.
  2. Burke’s overall argument about Hitler’s rhetoric is that people obeyed him because of the fact that Hitler found a panacea, which is described as a “cure for what ails you” a “snakecoil” (192). Hitler was very open and honest about wanting to eliminate all the Jews and with this appeal, this was a very crude way of persuading individuals, but it was effective for Hitler.
  3. The four important features of the unification device are first the Inborn dignity, which is thought of as a “natural born” man by right thinking and right living (202). The second one is a Projection device, which is the curative process. This feature is where you could cleanse yourself of sins if you dissociated yourself with other groups of people (202). Thirdly, Symbolic rebirth. This aspect was focused more on religion and the views of Hitler, but in a reverse contexts (203). Forth, is commercial use, this is where Hitler moved the attention of others by using “Jew finance” instead of the actual “finance” (204). Hitler followed these four features throughout the book along within his life. The formula was very important in the aspect of Hitler controlling so many individuals.
  4. Burke’s action items in the conclusion are explained to the American people that we need to recognize the appeal that Hitler condoned, along with the persuasive attributes that he used to unify many people.


Journal Entry on Identifying the Appeals and Fallacies

Unqualified Generalization

  • Every one of us have been touched by this attack
  • Every one of us stands with you
  • We will choose friend. We’ll choose love
  • We will find you. We will hold you accountable

Appeal to Pity

  • Krystle was always smiling. Those who knew her said that with her red hair and her freckles and her ever-eager willingness to speak her mind, she was beautiful, sometimes she could be a little noisy, and everybody loved her for it. She would have turned 30 next month. As her mother said, through her tears, this doesn’t make any sense.
  • The runner in the orange tank top who we all saw get knocked down by the blast, we may be momentarily knocked off our feed- but well pick ourselves up
  • Dick Hoyt, who has pushed his disabled son Rick in 31 Boston marathons, we can’t let something like this stop us.

Ad Populem

  • You will run again. You will run again because that’s what the people of Boston are made of.
  • This time next year on the third Monday in April, the world will return to this great American city to run harder than ever and to cheer even louder for the 118thBoston Marathon.


  • Because Scripture teaches us God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidly, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
  • Scripture tells us to run with endurance the race that is set before us. As we do, may God hold close those who been taken from us too soon, may he comfort their families and may he continue to watch over these United States of America
  • For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but one of power and love and self- discipline


  • Like you, Michelle and I have walked these streets. Like you, we know these neighborhoods.


  • Our prayers are with the injured, so many wounded, some gravely.
  • Our prayers are with the Lu family of China, who sent their daughter Lingzi to BU so that she could experience all that this city has to offer.
  • And our hearts are broken for 8-year-old Martin with his big smile and bright eyes. His last hours were as perfect as an 8- year-old boy could hope for, with his family, eating ice cream at a sporting event And were left with two enduring images of this little boy, forever smiling for his beloved Bruins and forever expressing a wish he made on a blue poster board. No more hurting people. Peace. No more hurting peace.
  • When doctors and nurses, police and firefighters and EMTs and Guardsmen run towards an explosion to treat the wounded.
  • When Bostonians carry victims in their arms, deliver water and blankets, line up to give blood, open their homes to tall strangers, give them rides back to reunite with their families, that’s love.


  • But we also come together today to reclaim that state of grace, to reaffirm that the spirit of this city is undaunted and the spirit of the country shall remain undimmed
  • We come together to celebrate life and to walk our cities and to cheer for our teams

Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience

  • Why would Thoreau’s essay be called “Civil Disobedience”?

-Thoreau’s essay would be called Civil Disobedience because he believes that it is people’s obligation to do what they believe is right even if it means going against the government. It is the citizen’s obligation to take a stand on things that are morally wrong.

  • According to Thoreau, what is the definition of a government?

-The government is best which governs least. He explains that government shows “thus how successfully men can be imposed on, even impose on themselves, for their own advantage.”

  • Thoreau suggests that “We should be menfirst, and subjects ” What is the difference between the two? Why do you think Thoreau makes this suggestion?

-Thoreau suggests that we should be men first and subjects afterward meaning that we should know our worth, objectives and civil duties because following the rules of the government. He makes this suggestion to stand up for what you believe in, instead of following the government in every situation.

  • Do you think Thoreau looks down on soldiers, captains, generals, etc? Support your answer with textual evidence (from what he actually says in his essay).

-He respects what these men are doing, but would rather see them take a stand in something that believes in for themselves. He explains this by saying “It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right.”

  • What examples does he cite of conscientious men that were made the enemies of society (but were later vindicated and are now held in high esteem)?

-His examples are  Christ, Copernicus, Luther, and Washington.

6) How does Thoreau exercise “civil disobedience”? What happens as a result? Does his action fit in with your view of active citizenship? What else would you have done if you were in his shoes during his time period?

– He exercises civil disobedience by taking a stand from the government and standing up for what he believed in. This choice resulted in him staying a night in jail for refusing to pay taxes. I would rally together a group and protest the government if I was in his shoes during this time period.