Rhetoric Reflection

For the most part, I really enjoyed this class. I thought the major assignments were creative and interesting and the books we had to read were not terribly hard to read. It was sort of similar to my AP language class that I took senior year of high school. In that class we did some big projects and a lot of busy work. I like how we really did not have much busy work. Everything we had to do was followed by a discussion or an in class writing, so it actually felt like there was a point to it.
The first major assignment was my favorite. We analyzed the rhetoric of 2 websites for a similar product and I thought it was really interesting. I enjoyed analyzing and comparing the websites and picking out the similarities and differences. This essay gave me the chance to understand all the different techniques and how they are used in daily life to persuade people to do things. In this case, I got to see how companies used rhetoric to persuade people to buy their product and prove that theirs is better than the competitors. It was a good first project to get everyone acquainted with rhetorical techniques.
The second major assignment, the speech about the rhetoric of a vacant space was confusing to me at first. I did not know if my space was important enough and how it had rhetoric at all. However, once I understood exactly what I was supposed to do it made it a lot easier. Since my space was from my hometown it was had to find six important sources. It also seemed a little bit unnecessary because already knew a lot about it. I still managed to use all the sources and find new and important information. Some of the topics people chose were also very interesting to hear about, so the speeches were not boring to listen to.
The third major assignment was very interesting as well. I liked doing projects within the community because it let me see a different perspective of the place I live in. For this project my group and I did downtown Iowa City and analyzed the rhetoric of the downtown area. We got the chance to talk to business managers and learn more about Iowa City through the business perspective which was also fun to see the difference of that compared to my views as a customer.
The books Thank You for Arguing and Confronting Managerialism were very good and informative. I enjoyed Thank You for Arguing a lot more than Confronting Mangerialism. Thank you for arguing was more relevant in my life and I actually found myself using the techniques and ideas from that book. It was not a hard read and kept my attention very well. I did not like Confronting Managerialism as much. I thought it was too complex and irrelevant to my life right now. A lot of the ideas and terms I was not familiar with and they were not explained very well in the reading, so I didn’t really understand it at some times.
Overall, I think this class was worth it in the end to take because it helped me with skills I am going to need for the rest of my life. Also it was not too hard and very manageable. I really enjoyed this class.


speech reflection

I felt very good about my speech. I think I prepared well and got the grade I deserved.  I think I went over the information and rhetoric techniques enough to know which ones the parties used in their arguments for my controversy. I also think I did enough research on my topic to be knowledgeable and informative to my audience.  If I could do something differently I would work more on my introduction and conclusion. I could have took advantage and went to the writing or speaking center to get help from the staff to improve those things. I feel like it would be something good to really help me improve on my writing/speaking skills.  I also should have included pictures in my PowerPoint so my audience could see a visual of what I was referring to throughout the speech.  Another small thing I think I could improve on my speaking in terms of using words like “um” and “like”. I feel like that is a bad habit that I need to break. Not only do I use them when I am speaking in front of an audience, but in everyday life. By using those words, I feel like I am losing my credibility in both my speech and my daily life.

I really do feel that my grade represented the effort I put into it. I worked really hard on finding informative sources, editing and improving the speech itself and practicing my speaking. However, I do feel like I could have done a little more and improved my introduction and conclusion, and also even practicing the speaking aspect of it a little more. I also could have found some more advanced examples of techniques that the parties used rather than just ethos, logos and pathos. For example, I should have spent more time looking through Hienrichs examples and applied them to my controversy.

This amount of work is probably around the same amount of work I had in high school. I took an AP Language and Composition course and it is really similar to this class. We had a couple main writing and speaking assignments and we focused mainly on ethos, logos, pathos, and other rhetoric techniques. In addition to our few main assignments, we had short homework assignments every day, just like this class. My AP Language and Composition course was a good preparation for college, in my opinion. It essentially was a college course and I can now see why.


Google buys YouTube for $1.65 billion

The social networking market has been growing rapidly throughout the years and has been becoming more and more competitive. In October 2006, Google made the risky decision to buy YouTube for 1.65 billion dollars, which could majorly help or hurt the company. Though it was Google’s decision to buy YouTube, YouTube also had to agree to this. Google had to use many rhetoric techniques to persuade them. The ethos and pathos was what got Google to persuade YouTube.

Google gave YouTube a lot of freedom for being a buyout company. Google had said that they would be an independent part of the company, no one would loose their jobs, and they allowed them to still keep their name the same. This takes the middle ground because Google gets what they want with YouTube still having the freedom that they want and everyone is happy. By doing this, Google makes themselves seem trustworthy and caring to YouTube which majorly boosts their ethos up and would help them get what they want. They made a good impression of themselves and achieved their goals

Patriotism is another technique that helped Google get what they wanted from YouTube. The CEO of Google made it a point to state that YouTube and Google will be a partnership rather than one completely taking over another. They also made it a point that the goal of the buyout would be to pass up the competition, such as Yahoo and Microsoft, in the area of online advertisements. This common goal allowed the audience (YouTube) to be persuaded into doing this to be number one. This pathos was another thing that got YouTube to agree to this buyout.

It is clear to everyone that buying YouTube for 1.65 billion dollars is a very risky thing to do. When Google did this they really did not know if this would work out well for them. It either could have destroyed their company or do what they wanted it to, which was help them compete with Myspace. When Google was making this offer, it really looked better for YouTube at the time because they would be getting $1.65 billion while Google was loosing that amount and not knowing if they would gain it back in the long run. Though Google did end up gaining the money back eventually, as they are now estimated to be gaining $3 billion from this per year, it looked like a good deal for YouTube, which helped Google get what they wanted.

Google could not have succeeded without using both ethos and pathos in their claim. By doing all these things, they made themselves out to be trustworthy, credible, and intelligent in their idea which made YouTube do what they wanted. They made it seem to YouTube that they were the ones getting a better deal and also that they knew what they were doing. Overall, everyone was happy and the deal turned out successful for both YouTube and Google.

Works Cited
La Monica, Paul R. “Google Buys YouTube for $1.65 Billion.” Msnbc.com. N.p., 9 Oct. 2006. Web. 23 Sept. 2013.
Moretti, Marcus. “RISKY BUSINESS: 10 Controversial Tech Decisions That Really Paid Off.” Business Insider. N.p., 20   July      2012. Web. 23 Sept. 2013.

Apple vs Samsung

Kellie Sciurba

Writing Assignment final Draft

Apple Inc. and Samsung are the Coke and Pepsi of the decade. They sell essentially the same product and are fighting for dominance in the smartphone or even technology market. Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy have very similar features, such as internet access, a high quality camera, apps and calendars, a very similar target market (teens and adults) and a very similar look, which has actually cost Samsung 1 billion dollars in a patent battle in 2012 for violating six of Apple’s software and design patents (“Swipe, pinch, zoom to the courtroom” 1). Despite their many similarities, they have different ways of going about just about anything else. Both companies have different tactics to get ahead of the other. Samsung has targeted countries such as South Africa, Nigeria, Tanzania and Ghana to sell their newest smartphone (Sackitey 2), while Apple, on the other hand, focuses on predicting what their customers are going to want in the future (Helft and Vance 2) and always aiming to one up themselves (Helft and Vance 1). Both of these ways are affective to get the company more customers. The other main difference is their websites and use of rhetoric techniques to get their message across to their potential customers.

Apple’s website is like no other website. It is clean, organized, and easy to follow and understand. It is full of colors and very picture and video oriented to get people intrigued and interested in the products. The clearly marked tabs at the top make it easy for customers to quickly find what they are looking for. The simplicity of the website is also a factor, with it’s all white background and short sentences in a prominent and large font all over the pages describing the product with detailed explanations written in a smaller font underneath.

A clean and simple look is not all that Apple’s website has going for them. The rhetoric used in the website is effective in all ways. There is ethos everywhere throughout the website. The large font statements that appear on every page of the website are always ended with a period, which shows the company’s confidence about the statements that they are making about the product, making the customers feel confident about their decision to purchase an iPhone. The ethos is also very prominent in the videos featured on the home page. In the videos, the vice presidents of design, hardware design, and software design are the speakers. They have a trustworthy tone of voice as they describe the aspects of the product that they created, which gives them even more credibility. In addition, in each video, it shows the customers how the phone is made technologically, by which the camera zooms in on the tiny microchips and wires in order to show how it all is put together.

Numbers and facts are everywhere in the website. This logos is used to show the logical type of customers how much faster or thinner the phone is in a way that is most easily understood to them. The numbers appeal to the more logical people who like numbers and math by giving them the information straight up. It also is interpreted as the logical choice. For example, why wouldn’t you want a 40x CPU than an older iPhone? In addition, for each type of product, customers are given the option to learn more about the product by clicking the “learn more” button, customers are lead to a page, which shows them anything they would ever need to know about that specific feature. These types of facts are what convinces the customers to buy the product since it has to do directly with what they are purchasing.

The camera is demonstrated to the customers through many different pictures in order to stimulate people’s emotions. Most of the pictures shown are pictures of children having fun with huge smiles or families laughing together. This contributes to the pathos on the website because it reaches out to peoples emotions by allowing them to connect to something that is very important to them through the pictures- their families. By getting to people’s emotions, it can change the mood of the potential customer, which is the first step to persuasion. Apple’s website effectively uses all three of the appeals to reach out to their entire target market and sell the most they possibly can. Everything is put on the website for a specific reason, to get a variety of different people to, in the end, buy the product and feel comfortable about their decision.

Though Samsung has not had the best year, they have still managed to overcome their obstacles and keep up with Apple in the market of advertising. Last year, the company lost a patent battle against Apple, where the court decided that Samsung has violated the patents of the features of the iPhone. The final verdict was that Samsung copied the iPhone’s bounce back scrolling, tap-to-zoom and basic designs of the phone, such as the rounded corners of the icons (“Swipe, pinch and zoom to the courtroom” 2). Though the company just got in some trouble for copying certain aspects of the iPhone, they are taking a different route for the advertising of the Galaxy. Samsung’s website has a little bit different look and feel to it. It uses a white and blue color scheme. It takes a little longer to find what you are looking for and navigate through it because there is so much thrown at you on the home page.

The first phrase you see when looking up the Galaxy S4 on the website is “It Takes a Lot of Things to be The Next Big Thing”.  This quote is a statement that implies the Galaxy S4 to be the next big thing. They are trying to show potential customers that the Galaxy has all the things that go into being the next big thing, by using a dialectic approach with this quote. The quote is considered dialectic because it is not exactly trying to persuade people but trying to tell the customers that it is a fact, or truth that the Galaxy is the next big thing. By doing this, people will think it is just an obvious choice instead of a tough decision they have to make. There is a section on the website that allows people to write reviews and rate the phone, which has the potential to give the product a better reputation. However, this could also make the product look bad and turn potential customers away from the product if it gets bad reviews. Like the Apple website, Samsung shows the products features through pictures, which also feature people smiling and laughing with their loved ones. This is a good way to get to people’s emotions and allow them to connect to the people in the pictures and the product itself. Thus, persuading them to buy it.

Samsung is trying to get people involved with their product through the website.. At the bottom of the web page, there is a interactive tutorial to show how each of the features work and make it easier for potential customers to understand how to use the product that they are considering buying. These things appeal to the logical thinking customer by showing them straightforward examples of exactly how the product works.  This also contributes to the ethos of the website by allowing the customers to see how it works and what it does before they buy it so they can see that it would be a reliable phone. Th

Apple and Samsung are each trying to get across to their market through their websites. They want their potential customers to think that they are the better decision, that they have the faster and more advanced smartphone, which they must do through different rhetorical persuasive techniques. Rhetoric is one of the most influential techniques to get someone to do something because it is all about persuasion. After analyzing and evaluating the techniques both of them used, I believe Apple is more persuasive and will attract more customers. While Samsung’s approach was good, their website was a little confusing and their option to write a review put them at risk for some loss of credibility. Samsung did have the three appeals throughout their website, however, it did not come off as effective as Apple’s. Apple’s website is all around organized and effectively incorporates all of the rhetorical appeals throughout the website by its professional videos, relate able pictures, and helpful and important facts, which gives them a one up in the constant battle with Samsung for the top spot in the market.

Works Cited

Helft, Miguel, and Ashlee Vance. “Apple Is No. 1 in Tech Overtaking Microsoft.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 27 May 2010. Web. 10 Sept. 2013.

Sackitey, Francis L. “Samsung Set To Make Clean Sweep In Africa.” Samsung Set To Make Clean Sweep In Africa. IC Publications, Jan. 2013. Web. 10 Sept. 2013.

“Swipe, Pinch and Zoom to the Courtroom; Apple v Samsung.” Proxy Login –. The Economist Intelligence Unit, 1 Sept. 2012. Web. 10 Sept. 2013.

Vega, Tanzina, and Brian X. Chen. “Samsung-Apple Fight Moves to Marketing.” Samsung-Apple Fight Moves to Marketing. N.p., 19 Sept. 2012. Web. 10 Sept. 2013.

Kia Soul

I think it is safe to say that we all have had a laugh at the hamsters dancing to Party Rock Anthem, driving the new Kia Soul. Typical car commercials usually consist of the new car speeding down a highway, maybe over looking a cliff on a beautiful day, with some calming music playing in the background. Kia took the total opposite path and did something that no one else has ever done. In the commercial, we first see a battle field with smoke, explosions and gun shots. Then, we see that the fighting is between metal transformer men, almost as if it were a video game. Later, a lime green Kia Soul comes out from the smoke  and as the men were about to shoot at it, hamsters come out in work out clothing dancing and blasting the popular song Party Rock Anthem. The men quickly catch on and find themselves dancing along with the hamsters. The hamsters drive off leaving the battle field now full of happy dancing men. This commercial has a fun, humorous feel and as I said before very different from the typical car commercial. Instead of almost seducing you to the car, the hamsters just make you want to start dancing and drive off with them. Automakers said people were not into the usual boring car commercials, so the infamous dancing hamsters were the result. No one would have expected to see hamsters driving the car especially with the scene that the commercial started off with, which is why it was a hit. The fun aspect comes in when you see all the metal men start getting into the music and are dancing and flipping around for the rest of the commercial. It puts anyone watching it in a party mood. This appeals to a very young audience by using a song that topped the charts and played two times every hour on all the top 40 radio stations in 2011. Not only does the song appeal to the young audience but the color of the car that was featured. Any 16 year old would love to drive a lime green car around. Overall I think this was a very effective advertisement.