Laura Carroll, “Backpacks vs. Briefcases: Steps toward Rhetorical Analysis”

It is not an exaggeration to say that rhetoric, or a persuasive skill to appeal an audience, determines a good writing. Laura Bolin Carroll explicates three important components of rhetoric that Aristotle has introduced: logos, pathos, and ethos. Read the following passage from Carroll’s “Backpacks vs. Briefcases: Steps toward Rhetorical Analysis” and indicate what kinds of rhetorical skills Frederick Douglass use in his narrative.

* You can access the full version of Carroll’s essay here: Carroll: “Backpacks vs. Briefcases_Steps Toward Rhetorical Analysis

Aristotle articulated three “artistic appeals” that a rhetor could draw on to make a case—logos, pathos, and ethos. Logos is commonly defined as argument from reason, and it usually appeals to an audience’s intellectual side. As audiences we want to know the “facts of the matter,” and logos helps present these—statistics, data, and logical statements.

(…) Few of us are persuaded only with our mind, though. Even if we intellectually agree with something, it is difficult to get us to act unless we are also persuaded in our heart. This kind of appeal to emotion is called pathos. Pathetic appeals (as rhetoric that draws on pathos is called) used alone without logos and ethos can come across as emotionally manipulative or overly sentimental, but are very powerful when used in conjunction with the other two appeals. (…) Emotional appeals can come in many forms—an anecdote or narrative, an image such as a photograph, or even humor.

(…) Ethos refers to the credibility of the rhetor—which can be a person or an organization. A rhetor can develop credibility in many ways. The tone of the writing and whether that tone is appropriate for the context helps build a writer’s ethos, as does the accuracy of the information or the visual presentation of the rhetoric. (52-54)

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Analysis Essay

Analysis Essay

Here is the Prezi on the genre conventions and writing process of an analysis essay


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Review: Gerne Conventions

Here is the Prezi presentation on the genre conventions of review essays.

Genre conventions_Review

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Conference Week: 3/2 – 3/6


  • Venue: Clemens 536
  • Time: The conference will run just shy of 15-20 minutes but it might be less or more than that on occasions.
  • All regular meetings are canceled during the conference week.
  • Double check your conference time and prepare what you want to discuss with me including the following:
  1. ideas about your personal review blog: theme, design, format, audience, etc.
  2. any questions concerning your writing in general
  3. any questions concerning this class
3/2 Monday 3/4Wednesday
10:00-10:20 10:00-10:20
10:20-10:40 10:20-10:40
10:40-11:00 10:40-11:00  Gregory Kim
12:00-12:20 Christian Veress 12:00-12:20 Tommy Dang
12:20-12:40 Liz Meyer 12:20-12:40 Ann Chen
12:40-1:00 Rachel Reagan 12:40-1:00 Woser Paden
1:30-1:50 Gunho Ko 1:30-1:50 Jason Kim
3/5Thursday 3/6 Friday
10:00-10:20 10:00-10:20  Thomas Meehan
10:20-10:40 10:20-10:40  Dan Lee
10:40-11:00  Eric Kim 10:40-11:00  Aidan O’Brien
12:00-12:20 Sangyeob Kim 12:00-12:20 Hui Lin Fan
12:20-12:40 Der Shen Tan 12:20-12:40 Bohdan Trocki
12:40-1:00 12:40-1:00 Giovanni Almonte
1:30-1:50 Danielle Kim 1:30-1:50 Fatoumata Balde
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Personal Blog URL

Share your personal blog address here!


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Proposal Essay

Here is a copy of the Prezi presentaion on the Proposal Essay genre conventions and the writing process.

Proposal Essay_conventions and the writing process

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Writing Process: Reflective Essay

Writing Process_reflection essay

The Prezi on the writing process of reflective essays.

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