For the article Combating Myths about Distance Education, the title itself is a good introduction of the topic because it had presented directly to the authors about the theme that it will focus on. In fact, at the beginning of the article, the author did not really waste too much energy in using fancy words or good rhetorical expressions. On the contrary, he introduced us with the detailed information of his job, teaching online. To judge whether a speech is good or convincing enough, it is important to look at it from the perspective of logos, pathos and ethos.
It is a good speech because the author had resorted to logos, pathos and ethos. For pathos, he had made quite a success because he learnt how to appeal to the emotions of the audiences by convincing them that they are experienced it personally. In the article, he raised a question to himself as well as to the readers: how it is possible to teach online while teachers and students are not able to see each other face to face. Is it because the teachers teach through email? The use of rhetorical question here is essential because it is able to guide the readers to think about the answers of these questions before they can answer them. With such writing techniques, the readers will not only read his articles passively without thinking or contemplating the issues by themselves. As long as the readers are able to respond or think actively, they can follow the ideas while reading.
In fact, the author had also resorted to ethos, which means that in order to convince the author, he had to convince the author that his character or his profession is at least credible. Therefore, he mentioned that he is like the professors in the classroom. Before the author directly explained to the readers about the ideas, he intended to guide the readers to think further by raising a doubt that every one might have: is it because he is not professional enough and that is the reason why he had to teach on the internet? Apparently, the answer is no but he used this rhetorical techniques to direct the readers to think about how come a qualified professor would give lessons in such ways. In fact, the author had built up a good foundation in proving that it is not necessary to give face to face lessons and even students who have finished a degree in the university are nothing more than the products with a diploma.
In fact, the author likes to use metaphors in his articles, which help it become more vivid and it is able to present a clear idea of what profession he is in. For example, in the third paragraph, he has compared himself to be like the “Pinocchino” in the school because he did not follow the basic courses like other professors and at the same time, he simply believes that as long as the teachers as well as the students are well prepared for the lessons, they are both able to learn knowledge and acquire skills.
To make a good speech, logos are important because from logos, we can tell the logic or the reasons of an author. For example, the author has illustrated his opinions by describing his explanations in detail. For example, he has mentioned imagined situations like even when the professors are teaching face to face, if they have not the qualified skills or enough knowledge, it is impossible for him to continue his lessons. This part is convincing because the author had tried to explain the rhetoric situation with real examples. Later, he kept using more literal analogies and presenting audiences with logical arguments. In the middle of his article, he had compared the students who take lessons in the real face to face classroom as well as the student who take online lessons. Apparently, this comparison is a good rhetoric writing techniques because it easily and clearly presents to the audiences about the differences between the students who take lessons in his way or in the traditional way. Comparison is the best way to present the advantage of the side that the author tries to back up. In the article, it is mentioned that he thinks when students are taking a lesson on the internet, they usually feel more urgent to learn things better and they will have the desire to take the initiative. Besides, since they are not able to see the professors, they will concentrate more in order to learn knowledge and have a stronger sense of responsibility.
To use logos, it means the author needs to resort to literal analogies or persuasive comparison. In the next part, the author took the comparison further by asking questions about how it is possible for a good professor to “make the transition online instructions”. In this part again, he raised another question by answering them by saying that professors who teach online lessons will make the course more effective with well designed material.
His writing is convincing because he first raised the doubts of most of the readers and after that, he answered them in a logically structured way. The best rhetorical techniques that he uses are the comparisons between teaching face to face in real classroom as well as teaching online. Also, he did not directly criticize how ineffective or out dated teaching in classroom is because if he wrote in this way, it would sound like he is biased. Therefore, he explained and looked at the issue fairly from both sides by listing the advantages of teaching online over the traditional lessons, so his good use of rhetorical analysis is why his article is convincing.
Teaching online is still not common now but it is in fact very effective when the professors have prepared well the lessons as well as the material. Traditional classes sometimes cannot compare with online lessons because in traditional classroom, there is no much limitation. What counts the most is how the professor prepares for the material.