April 14, 2011
Waiting for Superman, Socratic Circle Questions
1. Analyzing rhetoric is about what persuasive techniques are being used, not whether or not you were convinced. Sometimes persuasion works, and it changes your mind. But sometimes you still don’t agree after a variety of persuasive attempts. Which rhetorical appeals are used most effectively in Waiting for Superman? Where was an appeal used, but it wasn’t effective for you? Be sure to support your opinion with evidence from the documentary. Response 1(158): In this documentary they use the three rhetorical pathos, logos and ethos. They use these appeals to help explain the topic. They use pathos by following five students school life. Pathos is being used by showing how money and community problem can affect the student’s school career in so many ways. Also shows how the lottery is fair but also unfair to those kids who want to learn. By interviewing the head of Washington D.C board of education is one way they used ethos. The also interviewed teachers and parents to show their credited research. For logos they show the percentage of students that will end up on the lower track of the school’s academic level. The one appeal that wasn’t very effective was logos, yes they use it but I didn’t really focus into the statistic more of the emotional view. Overall, all the appeals that were used in this documentary were used in the right sense.
2. Suspense was a key rhetorical strategy used by the director. How did the documentary create that suspense? Did it contribute positively or negatively to the documentary’s message? Be sure to support your opinion with evidence from the documentary. Response 2(139): The documentary use suspense by having the lottery. The lottery kept the audience wondering who and what school will they get in. The lottery did and did not contribute positively to the message. The positive way was they used the lottery to pick...
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