Blog Post Topics for Week of 27 September

Blog Post Topics for Week of 9/27

Option 1:

Watch this Flash movie:

Is this movie making an argument? The better question might be, what message are the creators of the movie trying to send, in your opinion? What rhetorical appeals (ethos? pathos? logos?) does this movie use (or make fun of)? What are some examples of the rhetorical appeals at work? In other words, don't just say, "They use pathos." Describe specific parts of the movie where you see pathos at work (remember, amusement is an emotion too). Do you think doing a movie like this – a parody – is an effective way to go about making a good, well-reasoned argument? Why or why not? BE SPECIFIC. What do you think the purpose of parody is, anyway? Why is something like this more effective or less effective than doing a traditional academic essay about the presidential candidates? What is gained? What is lost?

Option 2:

Several of you have said that you don't like either of the presidential candidates. Many Americans share this view. It's pretty easy just to say you don't think either Bush or Kerry would make a good president, but I'd like you to articulate this position more clearly. Set forth at least three or four criteria that a person would have to meet in order to be a good president. Then choose someone who meets these criteria and explain how he or she meets the criteria. Be specific and use examples of things this person has done that illustrate how he or she meets each criterion. For example, if you think that a good president must make health care a higher priority than it is now, and you think Hillary Clinton would make the ideal president, explain what she has done that proves she would change the way health care is practiced in American society. Think big here: What's most important to you? What kinds of social change would you like to see?

Option 3:

Watch the vice presidential debate Tuesday night and write a response to it. Assume that you're writing for an audience of both a.) readers who watched the debates and b.) readers who did not watch the debates. Give us your general impressions of the debates – who you think did a better job and why – but also summarize the positions of Edwards and Cheney for those who didn't watch the debate. In other words, don’t just say, "I thought Cheney did a better job." Say "I thought Cheney did a better job because he _______."