I learned about how to properly use rhetoric when persuading others through Jay Heinrich’s book, Thank You For Arguing. These course journals taught me that wording is essentially the keys to the kingdom of writing and convincing others that you are right while the others are wrong. For example, the Thai commercial ran by Pantene, uses both pathos and the use of music to create the perfect, heart wrenching medium to get their advertisement across. This allows for the music to sway an opinion (Heinrichs 293). I also was able to learn that apologizing weakens an argument. I was recently shown this thought in a real world problem. With the end of the semester, English majors are drowning in assignments. When my professor saw me, frantic and bawling my eyes out, in a 30 degree Fahrenheit stairwell, they asked what was wrong and after explaining, I apologized. After the professor offered me a paper extension (which I have happily taken), but before they left me, the professor gave me some advice, “There are two key pieces of advice, as a feminist, I want to give you; don’t apologize, and do not make excuses. Apologizing belittles you and your work.” This is similar to Jay Heinrich’s opinion on apologies, “The problem with an apology is that belittles you without enlarging your audience.” (Heinrichs 272). In some of my other classes I was also able to take what I learned and apply them to my other assignments, especially when it came to literart analysis, I was able to see the ethos, pathos, and logos. I was able to what others posted and see how they interpreted what they took away from the readings as well. I was also able to see how they applied what they learned with a relevant video too. This course not only taught me about active citizenship and rhetoric, but also how to apply them to real life situations. These course journals followed the course leaning outcomes one and two, “engage in the process of citizen leadership by investigating multiple perspectives on important public issues” and “understand the nature of public discourse/debate as determined by purpose, audience, and context” because of its involvement with public opinion and ideas. These journals also allowed me to publish my own thoughts and process, by using multiple sources for examples and information.
Heinrichs, Jay. Thank You for Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us about the Art of Persuasion. Three Rivers Press, 2017.