Situations and problems in everyday life often lead us into the process of reflection. For example, we may reflect on past experiences such as what went wrong, how we felt about it, whether there is a better way of doing it again, and the future prospects. We live in a world where we reflect all the time.
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Hence, when we take our feelings and thoughts through processing, it is referred to as reflection. The latter usually takes place after we go through a difficult day, a demanding experience, or an incident (Baker, Dieter, & Dobbins, 2014). Nevertheless, most reflective processes are beneficial because we obtain an opportunity to register our actions and thoughts with reality. In addition, challenging situations or experiences can be best dealt with through reflection. Therefore, reflection serves the purpose of retracting our steps so that our feelings and thoughts can be brought to the same level as what we are doing.
It is vital to mention that reflection does not merely entail an explanation of past experiences. Rather, it is more of an exploration of events. It also involves displaying successes, strengths, errors, and anxieties of past incidents. In this essay, I am going to briefly but deeply reflect on my personal experience in this course regarding the topics we have covered so far. The three sub-topics are ethos, pathos, and logos.
As we were exploring the three themes, I learned that rhetorical analysis could hardly be done successfully without mentioning pathos, ethos, and logos (Lloyd, 2013). So far, we have done several such analyses using the given tools. Perhaps, it is important to highlight the meaning of each tool as we elaborated in class.
When speaking about ethos, I discovered that it is closely related to human ethics or ethical principles on how we should conduct ourselves (Berlanga, García-García, & Victoria, 2013). In other words, it refers to morals and values that have been generally accepted by society. It may also be attached to what is wrong or right or, better still, our desires about what other people should achieve and excel. For instance, an instructor may give an assessment to students, mark it, and latter give feedback. Regardless of the outcome, it should be taken as authentic because I strongly believe the instructor is a trustworthy and qualified professional who has been rightfully placed in that position (Rothrock, 2010). When an individual’s opinions on the aspects of right and wrong are used as the basis of assessing a paper, the element of ethos also comes out clearly. A case in point is an argumentative essay. An argument is fueled using morals obtained from other people.
In a situation that appeals to emotion, I discovered that the element of pathos applies. If you come across people reacting against an argument, then they have been led by pathos (Demırdöğen, 2010). This also explains why the emotional response is necessary when two or more people are engaged in some form of argument. Pathos is applied in myriads of real-life experiences. I have personally noticed how pathos is used in films. For example, a sad back story can be given to the major character. Alternatively, a villain character can also have a pathetic past experience that elicits emotions from the audience.
Irrespective of arguments and emotions that may be generated from experience, it also reaches a point when we are expected to use reason. I have encountered several instances when logic plays the most crucial part. This is when logos chips in. Logos refers to the principle of the reason (Vyas, 2013). For example, if a commercial advertisement markets a product as comfortable, beautiful, and cost-effective, we still have to apply logos (reason) before buying it.
Baker, M. L., Dieter, E., & Dobbins, Z. (2014). The Art of Being Persuaded: Wayne Booth’s Mutual Inquiry and the Trust to Listen. Composition Studies, 42(1), 13-34.
Berlanga, I., García-García, F., & Victoria, J. S. (2013). Ethos, Pathos and Logos in Facebook. User Networking: New Rhetor of the 21st Century. Comunicar, 21(41), 52.
Demırdöğen, Ü. D. (2010). The Roots of Research in (political) Persuasion: Ethos, Pathos, Logos and the Yale Studies of Persuasive Communications. International Journal of Social Inquiry, 3(1), 189-201.
Lloyd, G. R. (2013). Reasoning and Culture in a Historical Perspective. Journal of Cognition & Culture, 13(5), 437-457.
Rothrock, T. (2010). Harmonious Argument: Aikido in the Classroom. California English, 16(2), 12.
Vyas, R. (2013). Managing the Dimensions of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos of Change Through Transformational Leadership. IUP Journal of Soft Skills, 7(3), 7.