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Rhetorical Analysis: The Argument Culture

1659 words - 7 pages

“We have new arrivals for spring season. What about this new style checked sweater? This sweater is vastly popular nowadays because many popular actresses are wearing this in several TV dramas. I think this sweater would be great for you because it matches with your sky-blue skirt. Also we are making an allowance of 40% for this item. It would be good for you, ma’am.” You can often see this situation in every shop, but this shop assistant gives prominence to that new style sweater by saying that it is a low risk of trend style, considering guest’s figure, and also letting guest know that it’s on sale. Even if the guest does not buy that sweater, this shop assistant is proficient in selling. Because she knows exactly what guests want.
There are three things that Aristotle said that those are basic skills in persuading people. Ethos,Pathos,Logos. He said when people decide to do something, they rationally make a judgment and there always has to be reason. Therefore, explaining with some examples or quoting an expert opinion would be very successful idea in those reasons. So now we can see that Deborah Tannen, the author of ‘The Argument Culture’, shows us the way of using Aristotle’s three skills: interesting to readers by using her career indirectly, compelling readers to follow her writing structure so that making the reader’s pathos her own. So through this rhetorical analysis, I will observe and analyze her writing structure, what is the point that she wants to tell readers and what is her main skills among three Aristotle’s persuasion skills.
Deborah Tannen, the author of “The Argument Culture”, is good at persuading persons. She persuades readers, pointing problems of tradition debate that most people following without thinking by properly using Aristotle’s three basic persuasion skills. According to Aristotle, Ethos is the most powerful skill in persuasion. Therefore she already gets some good points even before starts her first sentence because of her career (she is a professor of linguistics at Georgetown University and also a best-selling author of many books on discourse and gender). From the first sentence of her essay, “Balance, Debate, Listening to both side. Who could question these noble American traditions?” (Tannen 403) and by add next sentence, she perfectly attracts readers interest. “Yet, today, these principles have been distorted. Without thinking, we have plunged headfirst into what I call the “argument culture.”” (Tannen 403). Literally who could turn his head from her next sentence? She makes readers nod and sympathize with her words by indirectly saying ‘everyone knows that, doesn’t it?’ (Tannen 404). She says, however, that the basic ideas about the tradition debate people got are mostly distorted at right next sentence. This writing skill could make readers interest in her essay, but it is possible only when the writer is confident on her writing like ‘I can persuade them definitely’. It means she draws reader’s...

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