Murder of John Smith 2/26/16     


Detective’s Report: 

Young white male John Smith was murdered at the Long Branch Parking Garage on June 6, 2012 at 10:37 PM. He was found with multiple puncture wounds, mainly in the abdomen area. It appeared as if he was trying to open his trunk when the suspect found him and began to stab him with an unknown object. John Smith was lying in a pool of blood, face up, when he was found by the parking garage security. At this time there are no suspects, and there has not been a murder weapon found.

Coroner’s Report:

John Smith, white male, 23 years of age, and was in good health before the date June 6, 2012.Jake Robins,  Ralms County Coroner, have determined that the deceased was murdered. After many examinations of the puncture wounds found on the deceased abdomen, it was determined that he was stabbed to death with an ice pick. There were twelve puncture wounds counted on the abdomen of the deceased. Further information includes that the deceased died from blood loss after his main vein under the left lunge was severed.


The writing of the Detective’s Report, as well as the Coroner’s Report, was written in such a way that the information could be obtained quickly. As the writer, I knew that these readings would be read aloud inside of many offices and court rooms. Because of the need for the information to be read quickly, and be comprehended, I knew that the information had to be written in order of importance. I began with the most important facts, and followed by the information that was not detrimental to the report. These reports are also used to create a forensic argument so the reports needed to be completely filled with facts. Also, because of the forensic approach, the reports need not have an appeal to the emotions (pathos). The reports were written to provide evidence and be comprehend if read aloud, and read quickly.

Bad Proof is Bad! 2/18/16

As group two pointed out in their wiki post, “Rhetoric terms that are considered Bad Proof are: false comparison, all natural fallacy, appeal to popularity, hasty generalization, misinterpreting the evidence, unit fallacy, and fallacy of ignorance.” (Heinrichs, 294)

If Bad Proof is so bad, why is it used so often and why does it seem to work? Bad Proof seems to be the last go to, it is the rhetorical strategy used when the speaker doesn’t know what else to do. For example, when a politician is trying to make another candidate look bad that usually jump to Bad Proof. This often happens because the politicians do not know enough about each others character to create a correct assumption that is backed up by true facts. Instead, politicians jump to using false or exaggerated information in hopes of appealing to the emotional side of the their listeners.

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Jay Heinrichs points out on page 122 of his book Thank You For Arguing, “appealing to logos works well in defense, it gives us the chance the skip the facts.”

This is exactly why the use of Bad Proof is so incredibly popular. It gives speakers the opportunity to neglect the facts and what is actually going on. Bad Proof adapts to the audience and gives them exactly what they want to hear. It no longer matters what the truth is, only what sounds good. In the minds of speakers, politicians mainly, the main thing that needs to be through a speech is to paint an incredible picture; it doesn’t matter if it realistic or even if it can be done, it just has to sound amazing.

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Prime example, Donald Trump’s Wall. He states that we should trust his word, this wall can be done. He also “proves” that it will work by saying that China built a wall and they have very few Mexicans. This is a perfect example of Bad Proof; it worked for China so it has to work for us. Not exactly, China definitely doesn’t lay directly on the border of Mexico.

It is important to understand that Bad Proof plays off of ignorance. Every speaker on the planet that uses the strategy of Bad Proof does it because they know, or hope, that their audience is ignorant in the subject. Anyone can speak on a certain top and sound intelligent if the listener knows nothing about the subject. For example, I could sit here and convince you that softballs are bigger than baseballs because it has been proven that women have a harder time seeing than men. In 2014 more women were involved in car crashes that men, that MUST mean they can’t see as well. Therefore, softballs HAVE to be bigger than baseballs. For a reader, viewer, or listener that knows nothing on the subject of baseball and softball it would be incredibly easy to convince them of anything, especially if I seem to be credible.

Ignorance and Bad Proof go hand-in-hand. It is incredibly important that we research topics instead of jumping on the bandwagon. It only takes one idiot to spread the word and create a pack of idiots with an idiot for a leader.



Reading Response to Johnstone Article ENGL 3050 2/14/2016

Barbara Johnstone uses this article to share her opinion on what discourse analysis means to her, and to explain the science behind the decisions that are made while speaking. As explained by Johnstone in the introduction of her book Discourse Analysis, 2nd ed., “Analyzing discourse is examining aspects of the structure and function of language in use.” Johnstone’s article digs deeper into the reasons we choose to speak the way we do, and discusses the strategies that play out in discussions.   When talking about discourse analysis, or rhetoric, I use the terms speaking and writing extremely loosely. Rhetoric is seen in all forms; written, spoken, painted, picture, and even through video. In my opinion that was Johnstone’s entire point throughout this article; she wanted her reading audience to be able to understand that every single thing in the world is placed at the perfect place, at the perfect time, for a perfectly strategic reason. For example, she explains in the article that an ad placed out side of a theatre thanking all of its joined members, is not only placed there to thank the people that have already subscribed to this theatre magazine, but also to encourage other people to join. The readers of this particular ad would be drawn in and tempted to join without the creator of the ad having to say anything directed straight at those people.

Johnstone also explains the importance, as an audience, to understand rhetorical approaches. She explains that it is extremely important to have an understanding of this rhetorical decisions not only as a writer, but also as an audience. As a listening audience member, engaged reader, or lover of the news you can be easily fooled and tricked into believing false information if you are not aware of the strategies being but in place through such beautiful wording. Likewise, she explains that it is also very important to be able to understand it as a writer; all writers should be able to touch every audience. It is important to understand that not everyone will want to read five hundred words typed into a blog post, but that same reader will be extremely interested in five words plastered across a picture of a grumpy cat. This ties into what Dr. Woodsworth presented to us today in class. Like Johnstone, she also spoke on the importance of making sure that what the message you are trying to convey, is actually the message that gets herd. It is important to realize that someone saying, “I’m sorry you do not agree with me” is completely different than someone saying, “I am sorry you feel that way, but we may have to agree to disagree this time.” Understanding that there are small “hidden” messages within other messages can help develop better writers, as well as better listeners. Discourse, formatting, and rhetoric shapes everything; they determine the way things are heard, seen, and understood. One small change in a rhetorical decision can change the entire way a conversation takes place and whether or not there is a positive outcome at the end.

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