The Rhetorical Analysis Of “The Chemistry Of Wine Making” As An Example Of Scientific Writing.

1823 words - 7 pages

The article “Chemistry of Winemaking: A unique Lecture Demonstration” by L. B. Church of the State University of New York, seeks to demonstrate how the winemaking process can be used as a teaching tool. Found in the Journal of Chemical Education, the text uses an instructive and formal tone while discussing the process and how it might relate to the classroom. His rhetoric leans heavily toward the use of logic. Aimed for chemistry teachers, the article refrains from using step-by-step demonstrations of each and every process, and instead discusses the use of common techniques that could be used within the framework of Winemaking. By guiding the readers through the general process, the author makes it seem a logical and easy to implement demonstration that would capture and maintain the interest of students. He does this with a noticeable lack of appeals toward pathos and ethos, and indeed, there are absolutely none of the tried and true tools of persuasion. I believe this is a deliberate act on Church’s part to accommodate his discourse community of chemists. The community has little interest in how someone may feel about any given subject, and instead desires the facts behind that subject so that they may draw their own conclusions. The discourse community is interested in what you started with, what you did with it, and what you observed during and after the process. Then, and only then, should the conclusions derived from that information be given. Even after having done so, a writer in the scientific community must be prepared to be proven wrong, as that is the nature of science. As such, attempts to persuade via emotion tend to be ineffective, and would often be better spent presenting your arguments, and so I feel that the notable lack of appeals toward pathos and ethos only strengthens his position within the chemistry community.
The author begins by presenting his purpose, which he states explicitly: “This paper proposes to show the very complex series of chemical reactions present in the preparation of wine can be used as the focal point to illustrate many other general classes of chemical reactions and physical processes” (Church 174). He continues on to say “The familiarity of most students with the finished product will help to capture and maintain their interest, and thus encourage them to learn and appreciate the chemistry being illustrated by the winemaking demonstration” (Church 174).The rest of the piece is devoted to how the project could be implemented, explaining that:
Normally wine is started in the fall when the ripe grapes arc harvested. It is not ready to be tasted until at least the following May-the origin of the young, and often very harsh, ‘May Wine.’ This time sequence coincides with the typical school year and thus provides an ideal opportunity to have a continuing demonstration. As the year passes and the course progresses, continued reference can be made to the various stages of the wine production….
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