Blog Post 3 – 1st Presidential Debate of 2016

Debates should focus on issues, not personalitites
Assignment Overview:  Watch the September 26 Clinton/Trump presidential debate on TV and take notes on the participants' use of ethos, pathos, and logos, given their goals and the audience. 

Focus on some of the rhetorical strategies the candidates and the moderators use (you might use the W.O.V.E.N. elements) to persuade the audience. (see some samples at the end of this post)

Air Time: 9 - 10:30 p.m. Eastern
TV Channel: ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, CNBC, Fox, Fox News, MSNBC, PBS News Hours, Univision.
YouTube Recording of full Debate:  1st 2016 Presidential Debate 9/26/2016

Debate Viewing Instructions: Pay special attention to these questions: what kind of ethos do the speakers establish? How? When do they use pathos and why? When do they use logos and why? Also, define the audience for this debate. The purpose is obviously to be elected the next President of the United States.

Blog Post Instructions (300-500 words 1-2 images): 
  1. Select a debate “winner,” and construct an argument justifying their position, and the techniques used when the candidates debate the issues.
  2. Focus on both speakers' use of ethos, pathos and logos and the rhetorical strategies they use. For example: eye contact, body language, voice volume and control, and any other elements of W.O.V.E.N. used to make persuade the audience.
  3. Write a blog post that discusses why one debater "won" the argument by more effectively using rhetorical appeals to convince the audience.
  • Pedagogical Goals - Rhetoric: 
    • Audience
    • Logos
    • Pathos
    • Rebuttal
    • Rhetorical Analysis
    • Visual Rhetoric
  • Pedagogical Goals - Literature: 
    • Cultural Context
    • Imagery
    • Performance
    • Word Choice
  • Pedagogical Goals - Writing: 
    • Invention
    • Style
    • Thesis Statements
    • Word Choice
  • Sample Student blog on Rhetoric in the 2012 Presidential Debate (457 words)  - this student overuses “I” and at times his use of logos, pathos, and ethos appear forced. Dr. H’s advice would be to discuss how the audience might perceive the issues and techniques – not on opinion. The writers opinion will be reflected in how they express the ways the rhetorical strategies are used. This student includes some great comments, but the focus on his opinion at times weakens the analysis.
  • Sample Student blog on Rhetoric and Civic Life (1029 words) – Although this blog analyzes ads for the Presidential election, the style demonstrates a high level of writing skill with effective use of transitions. The focus is not on the writer’s opinion, but on an analysis of the rhetorical strategies. This student appears comfortable with managing the multiple elements of a rhetorical strategy.
  • Sample Student Rhetorical Essay (379 words) – This short blog post focuses primarily on one element of the rhetorical strategy. For students who may feel overwhelmed at trying to include multiple elements in one blog post, this strategy might work well. Consider this technique if you are still not comfortable with the idea of rhetorical analysis. The student also confuses "affect" and "effect".