Inventing Argument: Rhetorical Analysis Term Paper

Pages: 3 (958 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Black Studies - Philosophy

Inventing Argument: Rhetorical Analysis

For this essay, I have chosen to analyze the rhetorical devices used by Noam Chomsky in his article, "Selective Memory and a Dishonest Doctrine" found in Inventing arguments. Chomsky is a very well-known and highly regarded name in the field of political theories, linguistics and language. The first thing that strikes a reader about his work is his name. The fact that Chomsky has a reputation for being objective and deep, automatically lends credibility to his work. So whatever he says would usually be acceptable without much questioning or argument. This goes in his favor and thus we can say that Chomsky effectively used the device of ethos. Aristotle knew that ethos was an integral component of persuasive rhetoric. Ethos refers to the credibility and reputation of the author. Aristotle clearly indicated that, "Ethos is appeal based on the character of the speaker. An ethos-driven document relies on the reputation of the author." If the author were seen as an authority on a subject, people would not disregard his argument or question the validity of what he says. In the very beginning of the article, the one thing that reader is most concerned about is who the author is and how much he knows about the subject. This can largely determine whether he will disagree or agree with author's viewpoint. Having settled this, the reader moves on to see how else the author tries to win him over to his side.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Term Paper on Inventing Argument: Rhetorical Analysis for This Essay, Assignment

It would be wrong to assume that Chomsky only rests on his reputation and doesn't really say anything credible. Of course a good argument is composed of more than just the author's name and thus Chomsky incorporates other rhetorical devices as well to make a sound argument. Chomsky effectively used logos to appeal to reader's logic. He does this with the help of facts, which are presented in easy-to-grasp manner. Chomsky tells us that, these facts as, important as they are to us, are usually ignored by the government as "boring, stale stuff" (Chomsky 18). Here the author is first building the ground for logic. He knows that people would trust what he is about to say because of a) his reputation and b) because of his objective stance against administration's policies and c) because of general resentment against Bush administration. Thus he doesn't only tell us what is wrong with the government and the numerous mistakes it has already made, but backs this up with logical facts. For example he informs the readers that, "As the State Department official responsible for Asian affairs under Regan, Wolfowitz oversaw support for the murderous dictators Chun of South Korea and Marcos of the Philippines. All of this is irrelevant because of the convenient doctrine or change of course." (Chomsky 18)

The author's use of logos and pathos is clear from the way he attacks the government… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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