Professor Hunter Hoskins
4 March 2017
Essay 1- The Dupont Circle Club
The Dupont Circle Club, located at 1623 Connecticut Avenue in the heart of the Dupont Circle neighborhood, is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide a healthy and encouraging environment to host its numerous support group clientele in hopes of ultimately curing people of their addictions and/or helping them eliminate any other problems they may have troubling them. The club is open to all people in need of help and hosts a variety of support group meetings all year round in an effort to “offer the hope that things can get better.” Location-wise, the club couldn’t have it better. Being just one block away from the Dupont Circle Metro Station, the club is easily accessible via the red line, is right across the street from a bus station, and even boasts limited street parking that is available for any clients with private cars. Within a five minute walk radius there is a variety of shops, galleries, lounges, restaurants, and even yoga studios available; most of which are locally promoted by the club.
The iconic logo. (Dupont Circle Club Website)
In short, that is some background information on the club, however this essay’s primary function is to rhetorically analyze a document related to the Dupont Circle Club, and uncover the “network” that it is connected to, owing to the fact that our readings from class have suggested that all objects are rhetorical in some way, and therefore are part of a network of things rhetorical. To achieve this goal, it is not only important to rhetorically analyze a relevant document and uncover its network, but to also understand and declare what its main function is. For the sake of applicability, the document that will be analyzed is arguably the best choice in regard to its relevance to the Dupont Circle Club, and that is the club’s main website.
The main webpage of the Dupont Circle Club’s website. (DupontCircleClub.com)
The first several things that draw the eye after loading up the website are the club’s logo and the impressive graphic of the block in which the club is located, but more importantly the large text and paragraph in the middle of the screen that give quick information about the club and its services. Since the trio of ethos, pathos, and logos can practically be applied to all documents, these concepts will be the main rhetorical focus point of this rhetorical analysis. So, to start with, it is seemingly manifest that the website’s primary function is to notify possible clients (who likely visit the site to seek help) of the club’s services, and possibly lure them into attending a meeting. However, since the club is non-profit, and attending meetings is free, the secondary function is to captivate people into donating money for the good cause, whether or not they could be potential clients. Moving on, the large text stating, “Your Local Meeting Place in DC for 12-step Recovery,” is primarily related to pathos, due to the word “your”. As previously stated, the majority of site visitors are likely potential clients in need of help, so by using the word “your”, there is an emotional connection (pathos) to the site’s visitor which implies that he/she has just found the best place in D.C. for his/her personal recovery. In other words, the word choice amplifies the emotional attachment to the site’s visitor through a personalized connection. Subtle word choice and sentence structure such as that in this example is often easy to overlook, but can be a key factor in persuading someone. To continue with pathos and refer back to the previous image, the paragraph under the large heading contains words such as, “safe”, and “welcoming”, which serve as evidence of pathos because those words appeal to the emotions of people, and are more likely to persuade someone to use the club’s services. Potential clients of the club are mostly people who use substances to cope with emotional pain and suffering brought on from different reasons, so using wholesome words heavily appeals to people’s’ emotions. After all, it is obvious that appealing to someone’s emotions will better encourage him/her to seek help rather than being blunt and apathetic, as far as word choice is concerned.
Moving on, pathos has shown to be a primary rhetorical aspect of the main webpage, but there is evidence of other rhetorical forms of argument, specifically logos. Referring back to the previous image again, the right side of the page contains a chart that shows the times of certain support groups that plan to meet, updated daily. Since logos, in a rhetorical sense, refers to creating meaning through logic/facts, the chart is an admissible example of such because its purpose is to be easily visible and give the site’s visitors exact facts and information about the times that certain groups plan to meet on any given day. The chart is also just downright helpful because it does not waste people’s time, and gives them updated information about the day’s meetings.
To complete the ethos, pathos, and logos trio, there is also clear evidence of ethos on the main webpage relevant enough to be addressed.
Amazon supports the Dupont Circle Club, and donates money via AmazonSmile. (DupontCircleClub.com)
In a rhetorical sense, ethos implies creating meaning through the use of a character or authority. So, for example, an advertisement that uses a famous celebrity (a character) to promote a product is an example of ethos. To the left side of the main webpage, there is an AmazonSmile button (shown above) that opens up a new tab to AmazonSmile (a sub-service of Amazon.com that donates a percentage of the money a person spends online to a choice charity). Amazon.com is renowned worldwide, and used by millions of people everyday to purchase goods online, so it is fair to assume that Amazon is distinguished enough to be the “character” in this case. Having the AmazonSmile button easily visible on the main web page will impress site visitors, and likely encourage them to shop for certain products on AmazonSmile in order to help donate money to a good cause. Furthermore, being supported by a company as large as Amazon instantly shows the Dupont Circle Club’s website visitors that it is a relevant and prominent authority which can and likely will help all people who are in need of its services.
It is truly eye-opening that something as simple and often overlooked as a web page, after being rhetorically analyzed, proves to have so much depth and meaning behind every aspect of it. Just from looking at the main web page of the Dupont Circle Club and mainly using ethos, pathos, and logos as a rhetorical outline, it becomes clear that everything from word choice to the graphics is interconnected and works with everything else to achieve the primary function of the website. The “rhetorical network” in this specific case can be described as that which subconsciously connects to the site’s visitors and persuades him/her to seek help; it is the unknown “force” that is created through the previously mentioned examples/evidence of ethos, pathos, and logos that help achieve the site’s goal of encouraging people to get help, and donate in order to keep the club operational.
To summarize all that was discussed, it seems apparent that the primary function of the Dupont Circle Club’s website is to provide information to potential clients about the services provided, with the hope of attracting those in need of help. Additionally, the secondary function of the main web page is to convince people to donate money to the good cause of the club. Lastly, through rhetorically analyzing the ethos, pathos, and logos aspects used, it has been discovered that the “network” connecting the website to the actual club is that which also connects to any website/club visitors, while being strong enough to move people and ultimately have them commit to seeking help, or helping the good cause in some other way.
“Dupont Circle Club.” Dupont Circle Club. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Mar. 2017.
Morgan, Megan, and WikiHow. “How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis.” WikiHow. WikiHow, Feb. 2017. Web. 04 Mar. 2017.
The Checklist for Essay 1
- ____X___ I have done a rhetorical analysis of text that helps my audience understand my Built Environment using a combo of CATPA, Aristotles Ethos/Pathos/Logos, Kantz’s Encoder/Decoder/Reality/Gaps, Chronos/Kairos. In other words, I have followed the directions.
- _____X__ I have developed my own rhetorical stance by creating a They Say / I say, which I have distilled into the following sentence: _While ________________, this essay aims ________ (or something like this).
- ____X_____ I have incorporated images, links, video, and or sound to enhance my essay’s rhetorical appeal. I have also captioned the images and properly cited them.
- ____X____ Introduction (See “Indicating Who Cares?)
- ______X______ Does it have a stated aim or goal?
- _______X_____First sentence: does it stake a claim, a point of controversy, or lead to a “They Say”?
- _______X_______ I have smoothly incorporated textual evidence
From Gerald Graff’s, They Say / I Say:
- _____X_____Choose “quotations wisely, with an eye to how well they support a particular part of your text [or argument].” Make sure your quote relates to the topic sentence in some way.
- ________X____Surround “every major quotation with a frame explaining
- A) ______X_____whose words they are,
- B) ________X_____what the quotation means, and
- C) ________X_____how the quotation relates to your text.”
- _______X_______ Remember: “What ‘they say’ must always be connected with what you say.”
- _______X_____Check Citations and WC page
- ______X________ Formatting.
- ________X_______ In-text citations’ relationship to WC page.
- ______X______Check for Major Errors
- ____X_____Frag.: Although I’m home; I’m here to say.
- ____X___CS: I am home, I’m here to stay.
- ____X_____FS: I am home I’m here to stay.
- ____X______SV: The teacher, along with the students, are here to stay. (should be “the teacher, . . ., is . . .”
- _____X_______PN AGR: Before a student registers, they should (should be “students” or “she”). General Motors is a big company. They always . . . (Use Control F and search for “They,” and “This”)
- 6. Dangling Modifiers /Misplaced Modifers: Before walking away, the breakfast was good (the breakfast can’t walk). You fix these by either adding a “doer” to the DC or changing the IC’s doer to agree with the DC.
- 7. Apostrophe: Hoskins’ class (should be in MLA, Hoskins’s class).
- _______X______I have marked the comma patterns on my google doc version of my essay.
_______I also marked the comma patterns on two of peers’ essays as instructed. Peer 1 ______Tyler______ & Peer 2_____Alex________ (If you missed that draft day, you won’t have any names to fill in here).
- 1. DC, IC. As I walked down the street, I thought about how happy I was.
IC, DC:. I went home early, which rarely happens these days.
- 2. IC, and IC. Bob likes Sarah, but he doesn’t like Sam.
- 3. Sub, describe subj, Verb . . . Sam, whom I like very much, leaves work early every day.
- 4. X, Y, and Z. Jane likes chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla icecream.
- 5. Intro element, IC
- __X_ Use the “Literary” Present Tense as Baseline (Aspect).
- A. Thomas Jefferson believes that “” ().
- __X__Topic Sentences
- ____X___ Does it stake a claim?
- ___X__Does the claim clearly relate to the aim?
- ___X___Does it lean into the paragraph itself?
- __X_Avoided the following phrases?
- __X___Another X is . . .
- __X___Abundance of sentences with There are / There is
- ___X___One of the reasons blah blah is because . . .
- ___X__Conclusion (See Establishing Why Your Claims Matter)
- ___X__Does it answer “So What?” or establish why your claim or the debate matters? Or present some hypothetical conclusions? You could also put your discussion into a larger context?
- Posting to WordPress:
- _____X__Category = “Essays”
- ___X_____hyperlinks and multimodal (images / sound / video /and so on) presentation
- ____X___ Shared gdoc with email@example.com with “Editing” privileges.
- ____????___Submitted link to Edspace post
____X____I have bolded my subjects and underlined my verbs.