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ENG 112 Howard University The Power of Persuasion in Rhetorical Appeals Discussion

ENG 112 Howard University The Power of Persuasion in Rhetorical Appeals Discussion

Section 1

1.2 Discussion: Where I’m From poem and recording

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where I'm from.jpg


By completing the following assignment, you will introduce yourselves to your peers and your instructor in order to create a learning community. During this course, you will be writing papers that will be read by members of the class. If you know more about your audience, it will be easier to write for that audience.


1. Read and Listen to “Where I’m From” by George Ella Lyon.Youtube video of poem reading (Links to an external site.)

Where I’m From by George Ella Lyon (1993)

I am from clothespins,
from Clorox and carbon-tetrachloride.
I am from the dirt under the back porch.
(Black, glistening
it tasted like beets.)
I am from the forsythia bush,
the Dutch elm
whose long gone limbs I remember
as if they were my own.
I am from fudge and eyeglasses,
from Imogene and Alafair.
I’m from the know- it-alls
and the pass- it-ons,
from perk up and pipe down.
I’m from He restoreth my soul
with cottonball lamb
and ten verses I can say myself.
I’m from Artemus and Billie’s Branch,
fried corn and strong coffee.
From the finger my grandfather lost
to the auger
the eye my father shut to keep his sight.
Under my bed was a dress box
spilling old pictures.
a sift of lost faces
to drift beneath my dreams.
I am from those moments —
snapped before I budded —
leaf- fall from the family tree.

2. Brainstorm

List specific details related to your life. The key is to make this exercise as specific and personal as possible. Use nicknames or words that only you or your family use. Use items and places that are specific to your life, memories, and experiences. Don’t worry about readers not knowing what you’re talking about. This is own your personal poem. When you put it all together, you will see that it conveys a deep sense about you. Some details you might consider are:

          • Parents and relatives
          • Food and meals
          • Family games or activities
          • Songs
          • Children’s stories, books, or poetry you still remember
          • Family sayings that were often repeated
          • Great advice you received from older family members
          • Ordinary household items
          • Traditions or family traits
          • Religious experiences or symbols
          • Accidents or traumatic experiences
          • Joys and losses

3. Write your own “Where I’m From” poem

Open a Google Doc or other software. Using the list you created, write your own “Where I’m From” poem. Don’t worry about naming a specific place – follow the poem’s spirit of giving a sense of place through personal details. Use as many of the items on your list as you like. Don’t worry about form or structure. Write your poem however you like.

Click on this link to see two sample Where I’m From student poems (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)

4. Post your poem

Copy and paste your poem into the discussion by clicking on “Reply” below. Insert a picture of yourself or a picture of something that reflects your poem.

5. Record Yourself

Use the Studio tool in Canvas to record yourself reading your poem, either as an video file or an audio file. Post your recording with your written poem in the discussion. Here are instructions (Links to an external site.) of how to create a Studio recording.

You can record on your computer using your webcam and microphone, or headphones. You can also record on your cell phone using the Canvas Student App (Links to an external site.) canvas app.png

6. Read and reply

Read, watch, and/or listen to your classmates’ poems and respond to at least two of your peers, commenting on what struck you the most.

Section 2

1.3 Discussion: How to Succeed in Eng 112 — Your Comments and Peer Replies

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The purpose of this discussion is to plan now how to succeed in this course, taking into account time management, procrastination, plagiarism, and your writing process. We will also continue to get to know each other by sharing ideas and motivating each other to succeed in this learning community.



Most of these materials are found in Module 1 Learning Materials. Please consider these questions as you are preparing your comments for Discussion 1.3. Where appropriate, we link back out to materials to make preparing for 1.3 Discussion easier.

  1. Time Management: Plan your schedule including work hours, class time, study time, reading and writing time. How will you schedule your time to succeed in this and all of your classes this semester? Plan 6-10 hours per week on this class alone.
  2. Procrastination: Watch this Ted Talk by Tim Urban on procrastination (Links to an external site.), instant gratification, and its affects, not just in your college courses but with your long-term goals. How does this information motivate you to combat procrastination?
  3. Plagiarism: Read the website called The Thirteen Types of Plagiarism (Links to an external site.). Think about each type of plagiarism and whether or not you have committed that type in the past. How will you avoid plagiarism in this course based your understanding of each of these types?
  4. Process: Read Betty Flowers article, Madman, Architect, Carpenter, Judge (Links to an external site.) How will you experiment with your writing process this semester? Will you separate madman and judge to stop “writer’s block”?


  1. Write four paragraphs (about 100 words each for a total of 400 words) one on each of these four topics: Time Management, Procrastination, Plagiarism, and Process. Explain how you will use what you have learned to succeed in this course.

Post Your Comments

  1. Post your paragraphs by clicking on “Reply” below.

Peer Replies

  1. Reply to two of your peers. Write about their goals and how they are similar to your own. Encourage your peers to succeed in the course with ideas of how you will motivate each other. Each reply should be at least 100 words.


Your initial post is worth 40 points and you will be graded on how well you incorporate the ideas from the readings and videos. You will also be graded on your ability to identify practical goals in each area. Your peer replies are worth 5 points each for a total of 50 points in this discussion.

Section 3

Discussion: Rhetorical Appeals in an Advertisement — Your Comments and Peer Replies

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This activity will give you practice in identifying and analyzing the rhetorical appeals in an advertisement.



  1. Review the following videos:
  2. Notice the persuasive arguments around you — from TV/video advertisements, print advertisements, from billboards, from news articles or opinion pieces. Pick one example that uses at least TWO of the three rhetorical appeals (ethos, pathos or logos).


  1. Write a well-developed three paragraph analysis (about 300-350 words) analyzing how the advertisement uses two rhetorical appeals.
    • In the first paragraph, describe the advertisement.
    • In the second paragraph, identify and analyze one of the three rhetorical appeals. Include HOW the appeal was used, WHO the appeal was geared towards, and whether you feel the appeal was effective.
    • In the third paragraph, identify and analyze another of the three rhetorical appeals. Include HOW the appeal was used, WHO the appeal was geared towards, and whether you feel the appeal was effective.
  2. Attach a photo of the advertisement or include a link to the video of the example you chose.

Post Your Comments

  1. Post your analysis to this Discussion.

Peer Replies

  1. Review the postings and advertisements of your peers. Reply to TWO peer postings.
    • Each response should be at least 150 words and address your peer’s perspective on how the rhetorical appeals were used in the chosen advertisement.
    • Post your each response as a Reply to their posting.


You will be graded on your ability to identify and analyze two rhetorical appeals in the advertisement. Your Comments are worth 50 points. Your Peer Replies will also be evaluated here and those posts are worth 30 points for a total of 80 points for this Discussion.

Section 4

Extra Credit Discussion: Identify and Share Real Life Examples of Logical Fallacies

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The purpose of this assignment is to give you practice identifying real fallacies.


  1. Find ONE example of a logical fallacy that has actually been used. You can look at the speeches of politicians, teachers, and religious leaders, news reports, Facebook arguments, advertisements, commercials, and other sources.
  2. Write a well-developed one paragraph analysis about the fallacy. Your paragraph should be about 150-200 words total.
  3. Quote the fallacy and provide the context in which the fallacy was made (i.e. during a commercial for a new car, or during a political debate).
  4. Identify the fallacy.
  5. Explain why the fallacy you have selected is a fallacy and does not support the speaker’s contention or argument.
  6. Post your analysis to this discussion by clicking Reply.


This extra credit assignment is worth up to 8 extra points.

Section 5

5.1 Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Basic Information:

In previous assignments, you learned to recognize the visual representations of ethos, pathos and logos and to analyze how these rhetorical appeals are used to persuade. Now you will develop a 750-1000 word rhetorical analysis essay on an print advertisement or video commercial of your choice. The ad can be for any product or service that includes all three rhetorical appeals (ethos, pathos, logos). Your analysis must also take into consideration the advertiser’s intended audience. An analysis is basically a critical look — you will be assessing what effect the advertiser intends to have on the audience, and whether you feel the advertiser will have the desired effect. Is the attempt to persuade using each rhetorical appeal effective? Or not? Why or why not?

Choose an Advertisement or Commercial

If you have chosen a print ad, provide the image from the ad at the top of your essay, before the title. If you have chosen a commercial, embed the video into your document above the title of your essay.

Essay Development

Your essay will include a clear thesis and well developed key ideas with topic sentences and supporting examples. The essay will also follow the conventional organization of the three elements of introduction, body and conclusion. Follow the paragraph formula below:

Paragraph #1: Introduction and Thesis Statement. The introduction introduces the topic, creates interest for the reader, and provides the thesis. The thesis (or main idea) will address whether you feel the advertisement is persuasive — this deduction will of course be based on your assessment of ethos, pathos and logos. Thesis statements must be the last sentence in the introduction paragraph.

Paragraph #2: Intended audience: Using information about where and when the advertisement / commercial was published, the ages, sexes / genders, and races of any models or actors, and the layout and color palette of the advertisement / commercial discuss who the intended audience is. Tell your reader at least three things about this audience; consider the audience’s values, knowledge, and demographics.

Paragraph #3: Ethos. Describe for your reader how the advertiser uses ethos. Give concrete examples from the ad. If you feel ethos is effectively used, explain why. If you feel it is ineffective, explain why.

Paragraph #4: Pathos. Describe for your reader how the advertiser uses pathos. Give concrete examples from the ad. If you feel pathos is effectively used, explain why. If you feel it is ineffective, explain why.

Paragraph #5: Logos. Describe for your reader how the advertiser uses logos. Give concrete examples from the ad. If you feel logos is effectively used, explain why. If you feel it is ineffective, explain why.

Paragraph #6: Conclusion.
In your final paragraph, take a moment to discuss the overall effect of the ad with regard to ethos, pathos and logos. Which rhetorical appeal was used most effectively? Why? Which was used least effectively? Why? In different words, reiterate your thesis.

Documentation and Formatting

Works Cited: On a separate page at the end of your essay, include a citation for your advertisement and any other sources you refer to in your essay.

Refer to the MLA resources in the Module 1 Learning Materials to review information about formatting, documentation, and other writing resources.

5.2 Assignment: Rhetorical Analysis Essay Draft


The purpose of this assignment is enable you to formulate into writing your analysis of visual representations of ethos, pathos and logos, and how these rhetorical appeals are used to persuade. Refer to the Overview of the Rhetorical Analysis Essay for specific details on the content of each paragraph.


Using an advertisement or commercial of your choice, analyze the advertiser’s use of ethos, pathos and logos while taking into consideration the advertiser’s intended audience. All three rhetorical appeals must be present in the advertisement/commercial.


    1. Develop an effective rhetorical analysis essay (750-1000 words) about the advertisement/commercial you chose.
    2. Format your paper according to MLA style (Links to an external site.).
    3. Attach the image from the ad or embed the video above the title of your essay.
    4. Write an interesting title that captures the interest of your reader and focuses your essay.
    5. Begin with a strong introduction that engages your reader and provides a clear thesis at the end of the introduction.
    6. Write one paragraph that discusses the intended audience.
    7. Write three support paragraphs, one for each rhetorical appeal (ethos, pathos, and logos). Include relevant concrete examples from the ad and discuss whether the appeals are used effectively.
    8. End with a strong conclusion that discusses the overall effect of the ad with regard to ethos, pathos, and logos. Restate your thesis in a different wording and sum up what the reader should take away from the essay.
    9. Use in-text citations as needed.
    10. Add an MLA formatted Works Cited as a separate page at the end of the essay. Use these resources to format MLA citations.
    11. Proofread your essay. Check for clear content and accurate sentence mechanics.
    12. Save your rough draft as a Word or Google doc and submit it as a file upload.


This is an ungraded assignment. However, you must submit your draft in order to participate in the Peer Review assignment which is grade.

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