Analyzing Editorials and Opinion Pieces The Purpose of
- Slides: 9
* Analyzing Editorials and Opinion Pieces
The Purpose of Editorial and Opinion Pieces Editorial and opinion pieces help us communicate with each other about what we ought to do, about what specific actions we ought to take. This is writing as deliberation: we use this writing to deliberate over future actions Such writing is also called writing as judgment, asking us to decide whether our actions in the past have been correct.
This is public writing, meant to bind us together more strongly, for some length of time, into one of the particular communities in which we circulate so that we will act together
This chapter focuses on the following kinds of strategies in composing a text: How writers persuade us that we ought to read them attentively and be open to being persuaded by them. How writers appeal to our values and beliefs which can often be a matter of emotions – pathos. How writers structure arguments following particular kinds of forms—or the logos of these kinds of arguments. How writers work to build communities with others through what they write.
Thinking about Editorials and Opinion Pieces How we understand editorial and opinion pieces because we live in particular times and places Writers must appeal quite directly to the values and beliefs of their audience Before they write, these writers must therefore pay particular attention to their times and places, to who values what and why.
But editorial and opinion pieces do more than respond to the values and beliefs of a community: they actively shape them. By emphasizing some things over others, writers can redefine what a community cares about.
How we understand editorial and opinion pieces because we have bodies Values and beliefs are ideas, but they are not things we keep in the cool dryness of our minds: as much as they are intellectual constructs, values and beliefs are emotional, too, and they dwell in our hearts and bodies. Editorial and opinion pieces are precisely about what we value and what we believe—and so they appeal to our emotions as well as our intellects.
The Contexts of Opinion Pieces and Editorials Due to the public nature of this type of writing, writers can place themselves in risky situations Things to note about this risk: Writers have to attend very carefully to the contexts in which they publish their opinions if they are to be persuasive. We readers of editorials and opinion pieces—if we value our own rights to hold our opinions—can help shape the contexts in which opinions appear by insisting on the rights of everyone to opinion, no matter how unpopular
Strategies for Composing Ethos List of strategies for composing (and analyzing ethos) The context of the composition The composer’s knowledge of the subject The composer’s connection to the topic The composer’s connect to the people affected by the topic The words a composer chooses to present her- or himself How a composer addresses the audience Tone of voice