Deliberative Rhetoric includes discourse or written word that is intended to either persuade people into action or dissuade them from doing or thinking something. Deliberative rhetoric is about the future–its goal is to persuade people that if they do or think something now, things will either be in their favor or against them. Examples include political speeches, proposals, presentations, and social justice campaigns.
How will you help to shape the future? Consider this question as you ponder a topic for your final persuasive writing assignment this semester. As you consider a potential topic, consider the following questions:
a. is the topic good or unworthy? (ethical concerns)
b. is the topic advantageous or disadvantageous?
c. is the topic “forward looking”?
d. are you able to include a “call to action” that is persuasive and believable?
This essay will be the third major writing assignment of the semester. You will compose a piece of deliberative rhetoric, arguing from evidence that a contemporary, ethically controversial technology issue should be responded to with a specific course of action going into the future. That is to say, your paper should consider the ethical questions surrounding your chosen issue and then, based upon the argument you offer in your paper, call your reader(s) to act in a certain specific way. You must do research, identifying arguments both for and against the position that you ultimately take, identifying the proofs that you ultimately find persuasive. Technical deliberation is the deliberative rhetoric that takes place among experts who have specialized knowledge of the subject matter.
For this third essay, I would like you to adopt the academic style with which you are now familiar. Additionally, you will again be required to conduct research for this project. You will need to “sift” through the evidence, choosing good arguments both for and against your final position. If you do not offer both sides fairly, you jeopardize your own credibility (ethos). So avoid “strawman” arguments. Also, avoid ad hominem attacks—that is, attacks on a person rather than the issue. (“These policies are misguided because the people proposing them are known to be immoral and self-interested”: this is an example of the fallacy of ad hominem. Note, however, that pointing out one’s bad character is not an ad hominem fallacy if, in fact, the person’s character is the issue.)
Also, when writing about technological issues, it will be easy to support your paper with testimony; almost everybody has an anecdote that can be traced to the use/avoidance of some technological innovation. Be careful with your use of testimony! While these proofs are readily accessible, they are often easily dismissed. They also risk making your reader feel emotionally manipulated. When using testimony, you will want to do so sparingly, carefully, and only when the testimony offers a concrete example of the arguments you have offered in less subjective ways.
The rough draft of your essay will be due April 17th by 5:00 pm to be uploaded to MyCampus. The rough draft needs to be 1,250-2,500 words long (4 or more pages). At least three credible sources must be cited in the rough draft. Please bring two copies of the rough draft to class in order to participate in peer review. Both submitting the rough draft and peer review participation will count towards the final overall grade of your essay.
The final draft will be due April 20th by 11:59 PM. Please upload that version to Canvas by then. For that draft, you will need a MLA or APA formatted Works Cited page that identifies your sources. That draft, like the rough draft, should also be 1,250-2,500 words in length.
You may only use the 1st person POV in the call to action section of your paper. This should be after you’ve presented all your main and sub ideas about your topic, towards the very end of the paper. In order for your paper to be effective, use all three of Aristotle’s persuasive appeals: ethos, logos and pathos.
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