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Critical Thinking And Decision Making - Essay Example

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Summary
She narrated how obtaining a college degree helped her achieve her dreams. I realized then that I should focus on finishing my studies since not a lot of people are blessed with good education. In addition to…
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Critical Thinking And Decision Making
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At a dinner my grandmother once talked about the value of education. She narrated how obtaining a college degree helped her achieve her dreams. I realized then that I should focus on finishing my studies since not a lot of people are blessed with good education. In addition to being a role model for me, the ethos of my grandmother’s speech consisted of her good character, solid reputation, and success in life. Being convinced in what she said was easy because she is a living testimony of how quality education equips a person with the necessary skills to become successful in life. The way my grandmother narrated her story allowed me to catch a glimpse of her past, which somehow reflected the pathos of the speech. It’s difficult to separate my emotional attachment with her and the pathos of her story, but I remember not feeling any form of pain or suffering from her speech; what I felt was sympathy. The logos, meanwhile, consisted of some information about the past and present states of education in the country. It was not widely different from what I had seen on books, newspapers, and news programs. She presented generally accepted truths about education instead of making logical connections among different premises.
The speech had strengths and possessed several areas which can be improved. The main rhetorical component which made the speech persuasive was the ethos. My grandmother lives a very successful life which mirrors her values and beliefs about education. In addition, our emotional connection highlighted the otherwise absent pathos in the speech. My grandmother did not express any form of emotional appeal but I subtly sympathized with her experience. I think the logos could have functioned better if my grandmother drew logical conclusions from her experience with good education. A dramatic experience, meanwhile, could have firmly established the pathos of the speech.
Assessing my grandmother’s speech improved my understanding of the three rhetorical components. A speech can be persuasive even if it stands on only one component (i.e. ethos in the case of my grandmother) but it would be more effective if it draws on the strengths of the other two components. I also realized that pathos need not be established as long as the speaker is emotionally connected with the audience. Read More
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