ENGL 300: Texts and Contexts
14 May 2018
In chapter 11 of What Writing Does and How It Does It, Charles Bazerman discusses the makings of a genre and the value of one as a way of typifying a given situation and signifying its typical arguments and forms. However, he also delves into some of the difficulties that arise in identifying the genre of a work. For one, he writes that it might be tempting to use the familiar conventions we notice in a genre to try to classify other works. This can lead to several pitfalls. “First,” he writes, “it limits us to understanding those aspects of genre we are already aware of. Second, it ignores how people may see each text in different ways, because of their different knowledge of genres, the different systems they are part of, the different positions and attitudes they have about particular genres, or their different activities at the moment” (Bazerman 323). In addition to these problems, Bazerman discusses a misconception that using one’s own knowledge of a genre’s features might perpetuate: the idea that those features represent an ideal for that genre, and that works in the genre that lack those features may be less effective. Through each of these examples, Bazerman acknowledges that problems in identifying the genre of a work may lead to real shortcomings in understanding the work itself.
Chapter 9 of David M. Levy’s Scrolling Forward also describes the perils of genre identification, but with an emphasis on the prevalence of such problems in the digital age. In addition to diving into the messy lifespan of email and the world learning its ropes, Levy mentions the kind of online document that is difficult to place in a genre. As an example, he describes his experience with a peculiar web page he discovered that instructed him that he would not so easily find “THE PARANOIA FAMILY TREE” (Levy 160). Levy uses the bizarre web page as just one instance of a document that fails to register in a particular social context for its user. He describes this as a common problem as technology advances faster than humans know what to do with it. “We are just at the beginning of figuring it all out,” he writes. “We have a new technology base, a new kind of material, which itself is still evolving. And we are just beginning to figure out what kinds of creatures to make from this material: what they’ll look like, how they’ll behave, what kinds of tasks we’ll ask them to perform for us” (Levy 163). Like Bazerman in chapter 11 of What Writing Does and How it Does It, Levy depicts a user base that attempts to classify works into a genre based on the conventions with which they are already familiar. However, like Bazerman describes, this method falls short, leaving the population with a lack of understanding of the new genres and forms technology can offer.
In Feminism and Affect at the Scene of Argument, Barbara Tomlinson lays out the stereotypical image of a feminist: an unreasonable, furious hater of men. She describes the way that the angry feminist trope is used to distract from and delegitimize feminist points, and so she seeks to debunk this trope throughout the book. Tomlinson demonstrates the damage the trope can do using several examples, including that of law professor Patricia J. Williams. A black woman, Williams was shopping for Christmas gifts for her mother when a white sales clerk refused to let her into a department store. Her account of the event described how furious she was. However, when she submitted the account to a law journal for publication, the editors removed all mentions of the impassioned anger she felt at the time. Additionally, references to the name of the business where the incident occurred were cut out. Tomlinson describes the significance of these choices by the editors: “Decisions to include or eliminate parts of arguments—in this case vivid moments that capture and crystallize certain points—may make reference to academic “rules,” but rules always require interpretation” (Tomlinson 37). The censorship Williams experienced is evocative of much of the resistance to feminist claims as a whole: rigid adherence to rules of impersonality overshadow the arguments being made, which are valid even if the stories told involve emotional reactions. Tomlinson’s point mirrors the third pitfall that Bazerman mentioned. The editors who removed much of Ms. Williams’ argument believed that texts presented within their law journal had to fit that impersonal style no matter what, and that texts that fell outside of those parameters were lesser. Many assume that feminist arguments are less valid because they limit their conception of genres of argument, and the feminist discourse sometimes does not fall within those limits.
Gayle Letherby’s Feminist Research in Theory and Practice presents similar views as the ones presented in Feminism and Affect at the Scene of Argument. In addition to the body of knowledge on which each work focuses being the same, Letherby also challenges the notion that traditional norms of research writing—namely, the idea that authors must present themselves as impersonal authorities devoid of personal stakes in a matter—must be respected without exception. Letherby sees it as futile to try to artificially remove one’s self from a study in writing, when in reality the researcher is never fully impartial and objective. Additionally, the book’s introduction lays out her reasons for using the pronoun I: for Letherby, it further challenges the objectivity that most studies strive for with their use of phrases like “the author” to describe the writers. She argues that acknowledging one’s personal responsibility in a research study makes sense for feminist research writing, that it need not be bound by the norms that aim to establish objectivity. Using the metaphor of a literal field, Letherby argues that gathering data from the “field” is not a one-way interaction, or a clean, objective one, and that it should be treated accordingly.“When we enter a field,” she writes, “we make footprints on the land and are likely to disturb the environment. When we leave we have mud on our shoes, pollen on our clothes. If we leave the gate open this may have serious implications for farmers and their animals” (Letherby 6). Throughout her introduction, Letherby makes it clear that objectivity is not what feminist researchers should strive for, and that they should acknowledge their personal responsibility and fallibility in their work. This goes against many norms of the research genre. Therefore, as Bazerman describes, it may cause some to incorrectly assess that such research is less valid than other studies, or even that feminist research as a whole is less valid than that of other schools. Letherby’s assertions are in line with those that Bazerman presented: such an assessment would be faulty because it is based only on previous experience with the conventions of research texts.
In his book Digital Griots, Adam J. Banks presents the DJ as a figure of immense importance. He offers DJing, and the common practice of scratching in order to remix and revitalize a song, as metaphors for African American rhetoric as a whole in the modern age. Banks ascribes particular importance to the scratch as a way to combat linearity within a song and at times incorporate other songs into the mix. He sees the developmental as vital in the history of music. “It is difficult to overstate just how much the scratch changed music,” he writes, “how crucial it was to the brash announcement that Hip Hop did indeed come to change the game and even attempt to change the world” (Banks 2). Indeed, Hip Hop changed the game of music, and the scratch contributed immensely to that development. At the same time, it was subversive, altering the standards of what music could be, what a song could be. DJs still pulled from musical traditions, applying augmentations to established songs, but from those traditions they created something new, something more. Banks argues that modern African American rhetoric should similarly blend tradition with the new and the emerging, and that writers can employ technology in the process, just as DJs do. These points are similar to those stated in chapter 11 of What Writing Does and How It Does It. Bazerman describes how using the conventions one knows of in a certain genre can lead to a limited understanding of new forms, and Banks provides the perfect example of such a new form in DJing, the scratch, and even the blended, evolving form of African American rhetoric for which he advocates.
In Rhetorical Listening, Krista Ratcliffe describes the difficulties in communicating with others that are different. She explains how each person has intersecting identities: most identify with their race, their gender, and their culture. She then delves into how these identifications have become tropes, and she describes the characteristics that have traditionally been associated with many of these groups. For example, women have been assumed to be tender and nurturing, while men have traditionally been seen as aggressive. One’s skin color has historically been misunderstood to have some bearing on one’s biology, which has in turn been used as a way to portray minorities like African Americans as inferior in intelligence and other abilities. While society would like to think that many of these stereotypes have been eradicated, Ratcliffe asserts that they persist, in ways small or large, even today, and that they can thus affect communication across groups, whether the communicators realize it or not. She posits rhetorical listening as a strategy to combat these forces. Ratcliffe defines the term: “As a trope for interpretive invention, rhetorical listening signifies a stance of openness that a person may choose to assume in relation to any person, text, or culture” (Ratcliffe 17). The effects one’s identifications might have on the way another perceives them and communicates with them amount to a sort of typification of people, placing them into genres. Such a phenomenon parallels Bazerman’s writings. In so typifying a person, one assumes that they know the conventions to expect with that type of person; for example, one might expect that an Asian student will be high-performing based on their stereotypes of that minority. However, Ratcliffe insists that in interactions with other cultures one must be open, just as Bazerman argues that one must realize that their own knowledge of the conventions of a genre is limited.
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hz4NvdPpA1I&t=8s
Videos courtesy of:
-The Associated Press
Photos via Google Images
Mantel, Barbara. “Trump Presidency.” CQ Researcher, vol. 27, no. 1 (6 Jan. 2017), http://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/document.php?id=cqresrre2017010600&type=hitlist&nu
Clemmitt, Marcia. “‘Alt-Right’ Movement.” CQ Researcher, vol. 27, no. 11 (17 Mar. 2017), http://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/document.php?id=cqresrre2017031700&type=hitlist&num=8. Web.
Greenblatt, Alan. “Future of the Democratic Party.” CQ Researcher, vol. 27, no. 36 (13 Oct. 2017),http://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/document.php?id=cqresrre2017101300&type=hitlist&num=1. Web.
McCutcheon, Chuck. “Populism and Party Politics.” CQ Researcher, vol. 26, no. 31 (9 Sept. 2017), http://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/document.php?id=cqresrre2016090900&type=hitlist&num=12. Web.
Glazer, Sarah. “Anti-Semitism.” CQ Researcher, vol. 27, no. 18 (12 May 2017), http://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/document.php?id=cqresrre2017051200&type=hitlist&num=15. Web.
McCutcheon, Chuck. “Trust in Media.” CQ Researcher, vol. 27, no. 21 (9 Jun. 2017), http://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/document.php?id=cqresrre2017060900&type=hitlist&num=3. Web.
Brownstein, Ronald. “Trump’s Rhetoric of White Nostalgia.” The Atlantic, 2 Jun. 2016, https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/06/trumps-rhetoric-of-white-nostalgia/485192/. Web.
Lavelle, Daniel. “From ‘Slimeball Comey’ to ‘Crooked Hillary,’ why Trump loves to brand his enemies.” The Guardian, 17 Apr. 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/shortcuts/2018/apr/17/presidents-nicknames-slimeball-comey-former-fbi-director. Web.
Rubin, Jennifer. “Most Americans agree: President Trump is divisive.” The Washington Post, 17 Jan. 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2018/01/17/most-americans-agree-president-trump-is-divisive/?utm_term=.fe5ca1e034d9. Web.
Jones, Jeffrey M. “Trump’s First-Year Job Approval Worst by 10 Points.” Gallup, 22 Jan. 2018, http://news.gallup.com/poll/226154/trump-first-year-job-approval-worst-points.aspx. Web.
Herman, Arthur. “Trump and the North Korean Tipping Point.” National Review, 24 Apr. 2018, https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/04/trump-north-korea-foreign-policy-tipping-point/. Web.
The following are replies to the responses my peers gave to the questions I posed in my SSR 2.
To Lexi Galuska:
While I agree that European American rhetoric certainly overshadows other rhetorics in America today, I tend to have a more optimistic view that it does not have to be that way. I think the communication you speak of can make a real difference in changing the conversation around these rhetorics.
I agree that social status serves an unavoidable function, but that ideally we would be able to avoid making these judgments. I believe, furthermore, that by constant self-examination and making conscious changes to our own conduct, we can move towards objectivity, even if we never quite reach it.
Your response about national discourses being more tame and respectful is intriguing, and you make a fair point about the difficulty in comparing the two types of discourses.
To Sara McKay:
It is interesting to hear your perspective on how the reign of European American rhetoric (a specific style of English) disenfranchises those who speak other languages, or even other dialects. I agree wholeheartedly.
I also concur that figures like Trump should be held accountable for their actions as if they were the common man, because, at the end of the day, Trump is just a man.
To Tristan Heibel:
Your response points out the nearsighted nature of a prescriptivist view of language, and of a "correct" way to speak English. You make an interesting point about how one must still recognize the cultural significance of different rhetorics.
I agree that being pretentious has no place in rhetoric, and that everyone should be viewed the same--and their opinions given the same weight--regardless of where they stand in society.
To clarify, by "traditional conversation," I simply meant face-to-face interactions. I will leave the interpretation of what classifies as a standard face-to-face conversation up to you. You can define the norms that you see across conversations.
To Segen Habte:
1. . Personally, I stopped learning how to write cursive in middle school (my cursive skills have since plummeted), but teachers have continually required me to write my hand. While cursive is mostly used for signatures nowadays, it does offer the quickest method of moving from letter to letter when writing by hand. The fact that this method, which champions efficiency, is dying is emblematic of how the world is moving towards digital texts as a way to get a message across easily. After all, I sometimes scoff at the requirement professors give that we write by hand when typing is SO MUCH more efficient, in my opinion. In the end, though, I don't think my handwriting skills have suffered so much as stagnated. I simply don't use them as much, but I can still write a perfectly legible letter.
2. Schools should encourage the inclusion of voice in student writing, depending on the type of writing students are doing. Certain types of writing, such as memos and formal communication, demand largely objective writing. In these styles, if student voices and opinions are part of the writing, they must be subtle. Otherwise, though, it is important for students to include their own views, experiences, and unique outlook in what they write, as each student has had different upbringings and life experiences. These should be preserved, not weeded out of student writing.
To Jonathan Acuna-Lopez
1. Rhetoric invites code-switching through the plethora of social situations in which language is used. In conversations, digital communications like text messaging and emailing, and other situations, rhetoric is used to accomplish various goals. Code-switching allows language users who employ it to maximize their success in accomplishing these goals. One might speak casually to a friend in order to invite the kind of social reinforcement that casual conversation provides, then switch to the vastly different code used in a job interview in order to present themselves as professional and qualified.
2. No; context does not always have the last word on the content of a writer's argument. Although an audience's expectations, and the context in which a text will be presented, sometimes define the content of the text, authors often subvert genre tropes and other expectations. In general, the authors that do so transcend the boundaries and excel at their craft; my mind jumps to The Last Jedi, and the way that the film took a completely different direction from what fans expected, angering many hardcore fans but producing a fantastic cinematic experience. To produce something truly exceptional, one must not let content be defined solely by context.
To Aleena Ahmed:
1. In regions where neither paper nor digital writing are options, other materials would have to be found in order to communicate via writing. Potential materials might include chalk on stone, or other materials that allow for one material--which functions as the writing utensil--that can be scratched off onto another, the canvas. Alternatively, perhaps a new means of communication might need to be developed in such areas, one that does not consist of writing.
2. America is referred to as a "Melting Pot" of different cultures, and the metaphor rings true in our diverse nation. People from around the globe have immigrated here over the years. They have brought with them their language, resulting in dialects like Spanglish (a hybrid of Spanish and English) to Runglish, which combines Russian and English.
To Tristan Heibel:
1. I believe that ethnic rhetoric can become part of the larger discourse; awareness just needs to be raised about its existence. The term "ethnic rhetoric" is subjective in that everyone has a rhetoric based on their location and culture; however, American culture is considered mainstream here in the United States because it is the most commonly shared culture. Similarly, American rhetoric is mainstream rhetoric. This is the only reason that rhetorics like Chinese American and Ebonics are considered outliers: they are interlopers in American culture. Shifting the conversation to one that emphasizes these as distinct rhetorics, but ones that are coexistent and of equal value, can help to bring ethnic rhetoric back from the fringes of society.
2. As far as I can tell, the only alternative to intertextuality is monotextuality. Instead of considering one's work in the context of the many texts that surround it, one can restrict him- or herself to their own experiences
ENGL 300: Texts and Contexts
18 April 2018
In Reading Chinese Fortune Cookie, author LuMing Mao emphasizes the concept of asymmetrical relations in his exploration of Chinese American rhetoric as both a hybrid of different rhetorics and a warzone between them. “The hybrid as a symbol of happy fusion,” he writes, “fails to consider or discriminate those specific power relations and historical conditions that configure our encounters and determine the natures of our hybridity—not to mention the fact that any hybrid, like Chinese American rhetoric… can simply be overwhelmed by the dominant tradition, given the unequal, imbalanced power relationship that exists between them” (Mao 25). Mao acknowledges that power imbalances are inevitable in any such dialogue. In the case of Chinese American rhetoric, European American culture has always had the edge over Chinese rhetoric simply by being the dominant culture in America. This unequal footing has helped to shape the identity of Chinese American rhetoric as a whole.
Chapter 8 of What Writing Does and How It Does It offers insights into similar dynamics, but in the context of interpersonal conversation. Kevin Leander and Paul Prior describe the work of Erving Goffman, a microsociologist who studied the ways in which one’s participating role in a conversation influences the way that they conduct themselves. The authors write that “Goffman was concerned with tracing how interactants continually shift their alignments vis-à-vis one another and their stances in relation to an emergent interaction. Goffman termed these shifting alignments and stances conversational footings” (Leander and Prior 204). The footings Goffman analyzed include the various roles a speaker might take on and those that a hearer might fulfill. Similar to the dynamic that Mao reveals between Chinese and European American rhetoric, within the relation between speaker and listener lies a distinct power imbalance. In a conversation, the speaker is given the floor, while the hearer is often not encouraged to participate: the speaker may address the hearer directly, but the latter may instead be only a passive observer. Leander and Prior examine communication at its most basic level, while Mao characterizes rhetoric in a much larger context. Still, the discourse he describes represents a kind of national dialogue, with the same asymmetrical roles found in a conversation.
In Chapter 4 of Scrolling Forward, David M. Levy reveals the depersonalization and differential power relationship that defines bureaucratic documents. As an example, Levy shares two accounts of a conflict between the police and a Berkeley crowd: the first an impassioned recollection by a professor who was at the scene, and the second from the city’s mayor. Levy explains the details of the second: “The mayor’s account, by contrast,” he writes, “is institutional. Instead of statements based on direct observation… it offers the results of an ‘investigation.’ It is a composite account that has pretensions to objectivity—supposedly offering a God’s-eye view of what really happened” (Levy 74, emphasis included in text). The mayor’s position is one of power, and this power influences his rhetorical strategy, similar to the dynamics discussed in Chapter 8 of What Writing Does and Reading Chinese Fortune Cookie. The mayor’s authority portrays him as qualified to offer an objective, definitive account of the events, despite his not actually being there when they transpired. His account’s status as the product of an investigation lends him an ethos that discredits the professor’s testimony—an eyewitness account of police brutality, and a story no doubt unfavorable to the mayor’s office. The chapter offers yet another look at the importance of footings in rhetoric.
The first chapter of A Teaching Subject demonstrates how certain groups can assume footings based on relatively arbitrary characteristics. The chapter chronicles the debates at and following the Dartmouth conference between British and American English educators as to how the discipline should be taught. Author Joseph Harris writes that “by and large the Americans identified themselves as scholars and the British as classroom teachers” (Harris 5, emphasis included in text). The Americans assumed a position which they thought was more elevated than the British educators in attendance; after all, the term “scholar” holds a certain distinguished connotation. They then pursued a top-down model of English education, wishing for students to follow rigid curriculums designed by university scholars. The Americans in attendance “fretted repeatedly that the ‘civilizing value’ of literature was being ‘watered down’ by misguided attempts to make its study relevant to students raised on mass media and preoccupied with their future careers” (Harris 8). Such remarks show the prevalent American attitude at the conference that it was the job of students to rise up to their esteemed level of English excellence, rather than educators going out of their way to engage students with the material. The American educators at Dartmouth assumed rhetorical footings of power, not only when compared with the British, but also with their prospective pupils. Again, asymmetrical roles are established.
In Chapter 3 of Bootstraps, Victor Villanueva Jr. highlights how attitudes and rhetoric can change because of unequal footings. He describes a baffling experience he had while serving in Vietnam: “the Japanese American company commander shouted to us (as we huddled in our bunker) that we were in the American Army and that we would speak English, even in private. The order was beyond my understanding, especially in its having come from one who was a racial minority, one whose ancestors may have been confined to American concentration camps, whose ancestors had been nearly obliterated from the face of the Earth by America only a generation back” (Villanueva 44). Villanueva’s Japanese American commander represents how the dominance of one group can shift attitudes. After years of living in America, the commander had adopted wholeheartedly the nationalistic preference for English alone that mainstream American culture put forward. Similar to the relationship between Chinese and European American rhetoric, American culture overshadowed the commander’s cultural identity, essentially replacing it. This replacement, and the commander’s resulting patriotic spunk, stem from that power imbalance.
The second chapter of Voices of the Self is illustrative of how asymmetrical relationships can influence rhetoric directly. Among Keith Gilyard’s recollections is a scene recalling one day when Gilyard came home late from school as a child: “‘Haven’t I told you about not coming straight home from school?’” says Gilyard’s mother. “‘Ma we had a substitute,’” he replies. “‘We had a substitute Ma and she didn’t know what time to let us out. I ran all the way home.’” The exchange continues: “‘Boy don’t tell me that barefaced lie. I’ll take the skin off your backside for lyin to me.’” Gilyard pleads: ‘But I ain’t lyin Ma. I ain’t.’” At last his mother yells, “‘Shut up boy! Ain’t no teacher can keep no class late like that’” (Gilyard 21). Throughout the conversation, the mother holds the reins on the rhetoric used. Due to her authoritative presence, as Gilyard’s mother becomes less formal and transitions from standard English to Ebonics, Gilyard does the same. This is in keeping with the importance Mao ascribes such power relations, and with the commander’s surrender to American culture in Chapter 3 of Bootstraps.
Word Count: 1170
The visual presentation of the fake news article I analyzed is rather conspicuous. The page is surrounded with red borders, and important words around the site, like "LATEST," are highlighted in red; these features contribute to the staunch Republican atmosphere of the site and the article. Above the title (which is in huge, bold, black type) sits a “NEWS” designation highlighted in red, an attempt to establish the article as factual. Every effort seems to be made to direct attention to the title—an advertisement even puts a good deal of space between it and the actual article content. This spacing strategy is repeated throughout, with more ads, tweets, and videos separating small blocks of text from the rest of the article, as if daring the reader at every step to stop reading while only half-informed, before they can properly evaluate the article’s reliability. The huge Facebook “Share” button directly under the title makes it clear that people are meant to spread the article, presumably once they stop reading prematurely. This seems to further support the idea that the article’s aim is to rile people up.
If any color other than red was substantially present on the page, the overwhelming conservative tilt of the site, and the article, might not be so apparent. Additionally, were it all presented as a unified text, it might not come off as so disjointed and so desperate for the reader to click “Share.”
The "fake news" article I found, which appears on far-right site Conservative Forever, has the kind of clickbait title that stands out from the crowd. The title is not simply a gross exaggeration or dramatization of the facts of the event in question; it is blatantly untrue. It seems that, in general, the site's publications follow a similar formula, painting moderately important political news as grandiose successes for President Trump. This attribution is made even when the event has nothing to do with Donald Trump himself, often just featuring the perceived "wins" and "losses" of the Republican party in opposition with the democrats. President Trump does hold a place as a sort of paragon of intertextuality, with his name in the headlines almost daily. To reference Trump is to reference his fiery campaign rhetoric, his moves toward border walls and transgender bans. Trump is the perfect stand-in crusader for the conservative ideology that the site champions.
Invoking this image of Trump as a staunch protector of Republican values allows the article to appeal to the "us versus them" mentality that permeates America's bipartisan politics. While partisanship is less important in this article than in many found on Conservative Forever, the author evokes the same mentality here against the nation of North Korea. The writer thus taps into the kind of social narratives that the Los Angeles Times article on the recent Facebook breach employed. Here, the tension with North Korea is used, along with general ideas of the foreign nation as communist and un-American.
The article's only real point is that South Korean leaders announced a meeting that would occur between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and that the latter made encouraging comments suggesting that North Korea would suspend nuclear missile testing and work towards denuclearization. These facts are supported by tweets from nationally recognized news sources like CNN, texts which are used to bolster the argument from Conservative Forever, which functions as fringe media. This mirrors how sources like The Guardian's damning piece on the Facebook scandal were used in the article we examined in class. Additionally, the article includes tweets from individuals who expressed their support for Trump and the agency they believe he had over the move towards peace talks on North Korea's end. These individuals see the development as a direct result of Trump's foreign policy. However, these individuals have no real authority, and the article does not attempt to lend them credence.
Similar to the Facebook article, Conservative Forever's work uses words that have extreme emotional connotations. The title describes Kim Jong Un's "surrender" and Trump's "win," words that depict Trump as a hero who has put an end to the conflict with North Korea. This assertion is completely unjustified based on the contents of the article itself. It seems that the main aim of the work is to rile up emotions in Trump's supporters, and emotionally charged words are yet another way the article accomplishes this goal.
Sojourner Truth's speech "Ain't I A Woman?" offers a famous, persuasive argument from which I can take many lessons for my own project. While the format is not exactly the same as the "This I Believe" project, it nevertheless presents her beliefs on a topic with some strategies I could employ. In particular:
1. I could try to appeal to emotions the way Sojourner Truth does, using emotional symbols significant to the culture that includes the audience. For Truth, this was done through referencing Christ. For my project, I could perhaps use pop culture alongside my argument.
2. In the speech, Truth structures her argument as a form of rebuttals to different claims others might make against women's rights. I could do something similar, but instead systematically rebut the points of my opposition: the self-deprecating side of myself that argues against forgiving me, or my vengeful side that demands clinging to anger rather than forgiving others.
3. Sojourner Truth uses informal language in a very effective way. It equates her with the everyday population, and it strengthens her intellect argument by showing that she does not need to have an advanced vocabulary and IQ to have an opinion that matters. I should try to find a similar way to use structure to complement the content of my project.