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Cheryl McBryde

Professor Leon
English 335
December 15, 2016

Project 3 Cover Letter

For my three rhetorical arguments on the Syrian refugee crisis, I chose to do

a blog, an editorial, and a transcript of a speech given at a Senate Judiciary
Subcommittee Hearing. The kairotic moment that connects all three
arguments was the election of Donald Trump, so they all were published after
11/7/16. Although all three rhetors are in favor of the resettlement of Syrian
refugees in America, their audiences are different, so require different
The blog post is written from the perspective of a college student, and his
argument is geared toward his peers. He uses commonplaces, and
enthymemes, to connect with his audience on a personal level. He also
paints a picture for his audience, creating a story that the reader can
visualize. This rhetor wanted to deliver his message subtly, in a quiet,
retrospective way. He didnt want to come off as ranting, and/or preachy.
Admittedly, the title of the post, along with the image, are meant to get the
attention of the reader. As they read the first paragraph, they might be a
little confused, because it has nothing to do with the title. However, this was
intentional, as the idea was to move gradually into the main point of the
post. The purpose of the post is to get the reader to think about the Syrian
refugees as people, not terrorists. By the time the reader gets to the end of
the post, there have been plenty of opportunities to click on links to websites
where they can get more information. The main goal of the rhetor, was to get
the audience to think and talk about the refugee crisis.
The rhetor of the editorial piece is a bit more opinionated than the blog
writer. His audience is college educated, between the ages of 30 and 60. In
his piece, he starts of with a brief look at a typical morning of a family of
Syrian refugees who live in Moline, Illinois. By giving a description of how the
family starts out their day, he effectively communicates ways in which they
are just like other families. Then he describes their difficulties, in the hopes
of an empathetic response from the reader. The piece then takes the reader
on a backwards journey, to see how the family ended up in Moline. The
reader finds out that in Syria, Aimar owned his own business, and the family
lived in a nice, four-bedroom house. This is an effort to appeal to the readers
ideas about family and work, and seeing Aimar is a good, hard-working man
who takes care of his family. The rhetor is hoping that the reader will put
themselves in Aimars shoes. Towards the end of the piece, the rhetor
doesnt pull any punches, and basically condemns Donald Trump for his anti-
refugee, fear based rhetoric. This grand style of writing was used to get the
reader fired up, and to encourage him/her to leave a comment.
The transcript of the speech given at the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee
Meeting was probably the most precise of the three arguments. Senator
Harris is a take charge kind of woman, and she didnt mince her words. She
knows that her audience is a group of busy politicians, who have other
matters to attend to, so she must get and keep their attention, and plead her
case in a way that they will remember. After stating the kairotic issue; there
are 4 million Syrian refugees looking for a place to call home, she
immediately delivers a nicely wrapped little soundbite; President-elect
Trump and many state governors, are using these innocent victims of war, as
scapegoats, all in the name of achieving their political agendas. She knows
that her audience members are mothers and fathers too, so she uses
pathetic appeals to connect with their maternal and paternal sides. The
commonplace that she employs is basically, they are mothers and fathers,
just like you. Therefore, they are not terrorists. Therefore, we should be
helping them. Finally, she compares the Syrian Refugee Crisis of today, with
the millions of Jewish refugees fleeing from the Nazis during World War II.
She points out that we made a mistake by waiting to help them, and we are
making the same mistake today. She then asks rhetorical questions, which
effectively causes the listeners to ponder the questions, long after the
speech is over. Finally, her call to action is more defined than the other two
arguments. She implies to her audience, that they have the power to stop
President-elect Trump from refusing to allow Syrian refugees to resettle in
America. To wrap up the speech, she turns Trumps campaign slogan around,
which made for another good soundbite.