Rhetorical Analysis Of Laura Spinney

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Traits of a Great Persuasive Piece The author, Laura Spinney, uses a variety of persuasive skills and techniques in the article, “How Facebook, fake news and friends are warping your memory”. She uses Ethos, Pathos, Logos, and a variety of arguments to get her point across. Laura Spinney’s use of these skills is fairly effective at convincing the reader that fake news and misinformation lead to altered memories that affect how people view the past and the future. Spinney uses a wide variety of evidence in a way that convinces readers to change their perspectives in a somewhat successful way. Spinney starts off her article by giving an example of recent fake news that has impacted America. This eventually leads into the purpose of the article. …show more content…
There are several different types of arguments, including definition, value, causal, proposal, and rebuttal arguments. Laura Spinney uses causal arguments to show the reader how fake news and misinformation distorts memories because it clouds one’s mind with false facts that stick and spread to others. This false information can change how one thinks about history and influence how they think of the future too. This article displays the main defining trait of causal arguments throughout the writing. The author explains how one thing causes another thing to happen, which is the vital trait of causal arguments. In this article, the use of fake news is what causes the false memories that influence history and the future. For example, Laura Spinney uses a quote from psychologist Daniel Schacter that states, “The development of Internet-based misinformation, such as recently well-publicized fake news sites, has the potential to distort individual and collective memories in disturbing ways.” (Spinney) This quote clearly shows the causal aspect of this argument. There is also a proposal argument in the article. When Spinney mentions possible solutions, she is using a proposal argument. She is proposing an action that will lead to a solution to the problem. For example, Spinney states, “Edelson and his team gave grounds for optimism when, in a 2014 follow-up to their earlier study, they reported that although some false memories are resistant …show more content…
Pathos refers to appealing to the reader’s emotions or beliefs, which helps to keep the reader engaged in the writing. Spinney did a decent job at using pathos. She loaded her writing with facts and research that made the article seem less emotion based, but she did harness the power of pathos in some ways. For example, Spinney refers to events that people have strong feelings about. She states, “During the 2014 Ebola outbreak, for example, concerns in the United States were stoked by a misconception that being in the same room as a person with the infection was enough to catch it.” (Spinney) She specifically used this example of misinformation because she knew people would be interested in it. The Ebola outbreak was a recent event that many people had strong feelings towards. Many people were afraid of the outbreak. Spinney harnessed the emotion behind this event to help keep the readers interested. This is one of the few ways that Pathos can be

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