What was the researcher’s question or hypothesis

Choose just one of the articles from the list located at the end of the instructions. Don’t worry too much about the statistical portion of the results. Just skim the statistical section since the authors will also summarize their results in words.

In your paper, first list the title of the article you have chosen. Then explain, in your own words
a. What was the researcher’s question or hypothesis (there may be more than one)?
b. What was the independent variable? What was the dependent variable (s)?
c. Who were the participants?
d. How did the researchers measure each of the key variables?
e. What method did they use to test their hypothesis?
f. What were their results?
g. What suggestions did they provide for future research?
h. Your reactions to the research: Did anything surprise you? Do you think they used an appropriate method? If not, what would you have done differently? What would you suggest for future research on this topic?

Articles from which to choose:
Ashby, J. S., Rice, K. G., & Kutchins, C. B. (2008). Matches and
mismatches: Partners, perfectionism, and premarital
adjustment. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 55(1), 125-132.
Cai, D. J., Rickard, T. C. (2009). Reconsidering the role of sleep for
motor memory. Behavioral Neuroscience,123(6), 1153-1157.
Drews, F. A., Pasupathi, M., & Strayer, D. L. (2008). Passenger and
cell phone conversations in simulated driving. Journal of
Experimental Psychology: Applied, 14(4), 392-400.
Hobza, C. L., Walker, K. E., Yakushko, O., & Peugh, J. L. (2007). What
about men? Social comparison and the effects of media images
on body and self-esteem. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 8(3),
Salmon, K., Dittman, C., Sanders, M., Burson, R., & Hammington, J.
(2014). Does adding an emotion component enhance
the Triple P-Positive Parenting Program? Journal of Family
Psychology, 28(2), 244-252.
Schredl, M., Beaton, A., Henley-Einion, J., & Blagrove, M. (2013).
Handedness and dream- recall frequency. Dreaming, 23
(2), 156-162.

8 days ago



Patricia Hill Collins calls the matrix of domination

Write a short paper exploring the meaning of what Patricia Hill Collins calls the matrix of domination. Consider how identity politics (civil rights, feminism, the LGBT movement) could be considered a response to domination (forms of power evident in control, exclusion, and discrimination).
Watch the following for an inventive overview regarding the matrix of domination (It is a quite useful presentation set to John Lennon’s “Imagine”): Sociology’s Matrix of Domination in the U.S.

What are the three key characteristics of a project?

While no two projects are identical, there are three key characteristics that all projects possess. These three characteristics must always be considered when making a decision within a project and also provide constraints to the delivery of the objective.

The three key project characteristics are:

  • Time
  • Scope
  • Budget

Time (sometimes known as timeframe or schedule): This refers to how long the project will take, and generally involves using past experience to predicate the likely time that parts of a project will take. The scheduling involved in a project shows what should happen when and there are usually parts that can’t occur until preceding parts are complete. Using the previous kitchen renovation example, you can’t compare quotes until you have them and you can’t be given quotes until the kitchen company knows what they are quoting for.

Scope: Scope refers to what is included within the project and what is excluded. This is where you will establish if re-plumbing the kitchen is in scope, if installing new whiteware such as a fridge or dishwasher is in scope, or if replacing the kitchen floor is in scope. The clearer the scope, the easier for ambiguity to be reduced and risks minimised.

Cost (also known as budget): The budget or cost of the project sets out your expectation as to how much the project will cost. In my previous experience with CRM systems, the vendor will provide a quote based on the number of hours it will take to develop a given feature. With the kitchen example, it might be a couple of figures composed of the physical cost of the kitchen alongside the labour cost of the install.

Together these three aspects create what is known as the Project Management Triangle, and any change to one of the characteristics will result in a change to at least one of the others.

Source: Wikipedia, John Manual Kennedy

An example of such a change could be that you need the kitchen installed by a certain date e.g. two weeks earlier. The kitchen company agrees that can be done but says it will cost you an extra 50% in labour costs and you will need to decide if that is acceptable for you.

Likewise, the quoted price for a new kitchen may be too high. The company may be able to bring the price down by lowering the scope and ditching some of the jewel encrusted taps and gold leaf bench tops.

Finally, if you want to change the project scope, for instance add French doors to your kitchen, it’s going to either bump up the price or add time to the finish date, or most likely both.

Another important characteristic of a project is that a project is temporary. While some projects may run for years and years, they do have a set goal in mind which, when completed, will mean the project is over. Often these projects will end and then a new project will start which picks up from where the previous project ended. With new CRM/database systems, once they have been delivered, there are usually many smaller subsequent updates which form part of a new project or projects.

One sign of a poorly managed project could be that the project structure continues to operate for quite some time after the project has been delivered. Of course, learning that a project is poorly managed is something we would rather know sooner than later!

For a project to be managed well, a clearly defined end point is a must.


The past might have been bleak, but my present status in life inspires hope for a better future. Whenever Addisu my Ethiopian childhood friend calls, it is always a call to celebrate another milestone achievement in America. We never imagined we could one day travel to America. None of us believed in miracles because we did not have relatives in the US to look up to and neither did we have any property to sell to secure our visa and air ticket. However, we had hope that through hard work we could make it to the Promised Land where we believed there would be no sorrow, or hunger or sickness or any form of suffering. Even though America is not the place we expected it to be, we are much better off compared to the life back in Ethiopia. I have my copy of this picture that I have framed and another copy I usually carry in my wallet to that whenever I am faced with a dilemma, I look at the poor little boys n the picture and rethink where I came from and my goals in life.

The picture also has some fond memories. It reminds me of the social and political context in my country back them. The setting of the picture also helps n shaping the mood and the tone of my childhood narrative. My narrative is composed of pain and lost childhood when I had to surpass my childhood and be the family man at the age of 10 taking care of both my parents and sisters. Therefore, to me, the picture gives me mixed memories which drive me to be a better man, humbles me whenever pride comes over me and motivates me whenever I am troubled. The picture reminds me of humbling experiences that continue to humble us as we are grounded in who were, making us more confident in our values and allowing us to soul search and make time for self-reflection.

The Hierarchy of Effects: Social Influence

The Hierarchy of Effects & Content Marketing

The Hierarchy of Effects is a model by Lavidge and Steiner (1961) usually applied to advertising. Here I want to explore how this model can be applied to content marketing to help you create the right sorts of content for the type of influence you’re looking to have on your audience.

The Hierarchy of Effects model presents six stages a customer is deemed to go through from first becoming aware of a product to making the purchase.

The classic order of the stages in the Hierarchy of Effects model is:

1. Awareness

2. Knowledge

3. Liking

4. Preference

5. Conviction

6. Purchase

These 6 stages, a clear reflection of the sales funnel, are divided into 3 categories of human behaviour:

Awareness and Knowledge = Cognitive

The cognitive stage is all about information processing. The extent of processing a customer does depends on both their ability and motivation to parse the information at hand (Petty, 1980). As such, to appeal to customers at the earliest stages of the sales funnel, your content should:

Clearly convey the important information you want your customers to know, like a key product benefit or a brand attribute. Be designed and written with the abilities and capabilities of your target customers in mind. Motivate engagement by, for instance, including a fun hook that makes your target audience personally identify with the content.

Liking and Preference = Affective

This stage is about attitude formation – the way customers feel about your brand. To influence your customers at this stage, your content should bring across the sort of feeling you want your brand to be associated with. As a result, this content shouldn’t be focused on a product, but rather on emotions, lifestyle, values and other factors that can help you to change and shape your customer’s attitude.

To make the difference between Cognitive and Affective focused communications clearer, I’d like to show you two examples from Dove. The first one is cognitive, it’s very straight forward and communicates the benefit of using the brand’s product. Now watch the second one:

The second one is affective, it’s one of the videos from their real beauty campaign.This content is not about any of their products in particular at all, it’s about the emotions Dove would like customers to associate with their brand.

Conviction and Purchase = Conative

Yeah, I didn’t know what Conative was when I first encountered it either. It’s defined as

“The aspect of mental processes or behaviour directed towards action or change and including impulse, desire, volition and striving”

If the cognitive is to do with intellect, the affective to do with emotion, then the conative is how a person acts in response to intellect and emotion.

This is the decisive behaviour that drives the action of making a purchase, or that of a customer adding your offering to their list of considerations, or simply the rise of purchase intent.

Content for these final stages – the ultimate goal of your initiative – is your lead-generating and conversions oriented content. This needs to, for example:

Instil confidence in your product or offering, for example, through customer reviews.

Improve user experience of your product or service for retention, for instance, through tutorials

Convince customers of their need for a service, e.g. through guides or thought leadership.

Why You Should Care About the Hierarchy Affect

Content Marketing isn’t as young as we would like it to be anymore, its success is also its weakness: There’s just so much content out there. The attention span of your target customers is very (!) limited, as such you need to target your content as carefully as possible.

The behaviour sequence argued by this model is think -> feel -> do

That being said, taking this model at face value can be problematic as we explore below.

The Caveat: The Foot-Cone-Belding Grid (Vaughn, 1980)

Whilst it is very likely that customers pass through all of the stages outlined in the Hierarchy of Effects model, the sequence in which they move through them is generally thought to depend on your product. Mr Vaughn came up with the Foot-Cone-Belding Grid that distinguishes products based on whether a purchase decision is made more on a cognitive (think) or affective (feel) basis.

To give you a better idea of the sorts of products that fall into the different categories, here are some examples:

Low Involvement + Think = Plasters

Low Involvement + Feel = Chocolate

High Involvement + Think = Car Insurance

High Involvement + Feel = Jewellery

There’s another grid by Rossiter and Percy (suitably called the Rossiter-Percy Grid) from 1987 that separates products into informational (reducing the negative) or transformational (increasing the positive) which is a fairly similar categorisation and can help you to better understand the different product groups.

Plasters and Car Insurance are thinkers; they won’t make you feel better, but they’re a necessity.

At the same time, the absence of chocolate or jewellery is unlikely to make you feel bad, but the purchase of them has the potential to increase the positive, which can be in the form of sensory gratification or social approval, for example.

You get the idea, and hopefully, this suggests why it’s important to look at your particular positioning rather than what category your product types typically fall into. Car brands are a good example why this is important; some are very much utility purchases (as we will look at below) whilst others are typically bought for reasons of the ego (affective).

The behavioural sequence of this model looks as follows:

Low involvement + Think = Do -> Think -> Feel

This type of product decision-making doesn’t require much cognitive effort on behalf of the customer and often happens out of habit. Consequently, people need regular reminders about the product, as well as clear information on what sets it apart from the competition, for example, news of a discount or a fact that explains why product A is better than product B.

Low Involvement + Feel = Do -> Feel -> Think

These are our impulse buys – products we buy for hedonic reason: because we feel like it and the purchase risk is (usually) minimal.

Which I think is a wonderful example, because as it hadn’t really been done before and has helped the brand to instil meaning in fairly low involvement products like stationery (find out more here)

High Involvement + Think = Think Feel Do

The cognitive takes centre stage for these types of products. Customers will need large amounts of information from you because the purchase risk for your product is high.

A lot of car brands fall into this category. Take Volkswagen: After establishing themselves as a solid car brand, they used content like the Fun Theory videos to enable customers to develop more personal emotions and feelings with the brand.

High Involvement + Feel = Feel -> Think -> Do

Purchase decisions when it comes to these products are closely related to a person’s self-esteem. As such, from a content marketing angle, enabling target customers to identify with the emotions and lifestyle associated with the brand on a personal level is a key tactic.

Final Note

It’s key to note that even though the different stages may not be equally applicable to your offering and the sequence may be variable, it’s still important to create content that enables your customers to move across the cognitive(think), affective(feel) and contaive(do) stages, it might be that some of your most profitable leads are stuck along the way.

31 Core Competencies Explained

These crucial core competencies are divided into several ‘clusters.’

The following is a summarized list of the 31 competencies listed by “cluster” (similar competencies related to a common skill set). Each competency includes a definition and the observable behaviors that may indicate the existence of a competency in a person.

I. Competencies Dealing with People

The Leading Others Cluster

1. Establishing Focus: The ability to develop and communicate goals in support of the business’ mission.

  • Acts to align own unit’s goals with the strategic direction of the business.
  • Ensures that people in the unit understand how their work relates to the business’ mission.
  • Ensures that everyone understands and identifies with the unit’s mission.
  • Ensures that the unit develops goals and a plan to help fulfill the business’ mission.

2. Providing Motivational Support: The ability to enhance others’ commitment to their work.

  • Recognizes and rewards people for their achievements.
  • Acknowledges and thanks people for their contributions.
  • Expresses pride in the group and encourages people to feel good about their accomplishments.
  • Finds creative ways to make people’s work rewarding.
  • Signals own commitment to a process by being personally present and involved at key events.
  • Identifies and promptly tackles morale problems.
  • Gives talks or presentations that energize groups.

3. Fostering Teamwork: As a team member, the ability and desire to work cooperatively with others on a team; as a team leader, the ability to demonstrate interest, skill, and success in getting groups to learn to work together.

Behaviors for Team Members

  • Listens and responds constructively to other team members’ ideas.
  • Offers support for others’ ideas and proposals.
  • Is open with other team members about his/her concerns.
  • Expresses disagreement constructively (e.g., by emphasizing points of agreement, suggesting alternatives that may be acceptable to the group).
  • Reinforces team members for their contributions.
  • Gives honest and constructive feedback to other team members.
  • Provides assistance to others when they need it.
  • Works for solutions that all team members can support.
  • Shares his/her expertise with others.
  • Seeks opportunities to work on teams as a means to develop experience, and knowledge.
  • Provides assistance, information, or other support to others, to build or maintain relationships with them.

Behaviors for Team Leaders

  • Provides opportunities for people to learn to work together as a team.
  • Enlists the active participation of everyone.
  • Promotes cooperation with other work units.
  • Ensures that all team members are treated fairly.
  • Recognizes and encourages the behaviors that contribute to teamwork.

4. Empowering Others: The ability to convey confidence in employees’ ability to be successful, especially at challenging new tasks; delegating significant responsibility and authority; allowing employees freedom to decide how they will accomplish their goals and resolve issues.

  • Gives people latitude to make decisions in their own sphere of work.
  • Is able to let others make decisions and take charge.
  • Encourages individuals and groups to set their own goals, consistent with business goals.
  • Expresses confidence in the ability of others to be successful.
  • Encourages groups to resolve problems on their own; avoids prescribing a solution.

5. Managing Change: The ability to demonstrate support for innovation and for organizational changes needed to improve the organization’s effectiveness; initiating, sponsoring, and implementing organizational change; helping others to successfully manage organizational change.

Employee Behaviors

  • Personally develops a new method or approach.
  • Proposes new approaches, methods, or technologies.
  • Develops better, faster, or less expensive ways to do things.

Manager/Leader Behaviors

  • Works cooperatively with others to produce innovative solutions.
  • Takes the lead in setting new business directions, partnerships, policies or procedures.
  • Seizes opportunities to influence the future direction of an organizational unit or the overall business.
  • Helps employees to develop a clear understanding of what they will need to do differently, as a result of changes in the organization.
  • Implements or supports various change management activities (e.g., communications, education, team development, coaching).
  • Establishes structures and processes to plan and manage the orderly implementation of change.
  • Helps individuals and groups manage the anxiety associated with significant change.
  • Facilitates groups or teams through the problem-solving and creative-thinking processes leading to the development and implementation of new approaches, systems, structures, and methods.

6. Developing Others: The ability to delegate responsibility and to work with others and coach them to develop their capabilities.

  • Provides helpful, behaviorally specific feedback to others.
  • Shares information, advice, and suggestions to help others to be more successful; provides effective coaching.
  • Gives people assignments that will help develop their abilities.
  • Regularly meets with employees to review their development progress.
  • Recognizes and reinforces people’s developmental efforts and improvements.
  • Expresses confidence in others’ ability to be successful.

7. Managing Performance: The ability to take responsibility for one’s own or one’s employees’ performance, by setting clear goals and expectations, tracking progress against the goals, ensuring feedback, and addressing performance problems and issues promptly.

Behaviors for employees

  • With his/her manager, sets specific, measurable goals that are realistic but challenging, with dates for accomplishment.
  • With his/her manager, clarifies expectations about what will be done and how.
  • Enlists his/her manager’s support in obtaining the information, resources, and training needed to accomplish his/her work effectively.
  • Promptly notifies his/her manager about any problems that affect his/her ability to accomplish planned goals.
  • Seeks performance feedback from his/her manager and from others with whom he/she interacts on the job.
  • Prepares a personal development plan with specific goals and a timeline for their accomplishment.
  • Takes significant action to develop skills needed for effectiveness in current or future job.

Behaviors for managers

  • Ensures that employees have clear goals and responsibilities.
  • Works with employees to set and communicate performance standards that are specific and measurable.
  • Supports employees in their efforts to achieve job goals (e.g., by providing resources, removing obstacles, acting as a buffer).
  • Stays informed about employees’ progress and performance through both formal methods (e.g., status reports) and informal methods (e.g., management by walking around).
  • Provides specific performance feedback, both positive and corrective, as soon as possible after an event.
  • Deals firmly and promptly with performance problems; lets people know what is expected of them and when.

Communication and Influencing Cluster

8. Attention to Communication: The ability to ensure that information is passed on to others who should be kept informed.

  • Ensures that others involved in a project or effort are kept informed about developments and plans.
  • Ensures that important information from his/her management is shared with his/her employees and others as appropriate.
  • Shares ideas and information with others who might find them useful.
  • Uses multiple channels or means to communicate important messages (e.g., memos, newsletters, meetings, electronic mail).
  • Keeps his/her manager informed about progress and problems; avoids surprises.
  • Ensures that regular, consistent communication takes place.

9. Oral Communication: The ability to express oneself clearly in conversations and interactions with others.

  • Speaks clearly and can be easily understood.
  • Tailors the content of speech to the level and experience of the audience.
  • Uses appropriate grammar and choice of words in oral speech.
  • Organizes ideas clearly in oral speech.
  • Expresses ideas concisely in oral speech.
  • Maintains eye contact when speaking with others.
  • Summarizes or paraphrases his/her understanding of what others have said to verify understanding and prevent miscommunication.

10. Written Communication: The ability to express oneself clearly in business writing.

  • Expresses ideas clearly and concisely in writing.
  • Organizes written ideas clearly and signals the organization to the reader (e.g., through an introductory paragraph or through use of headings).
  • Tailors written communications to effectively reach an audience.
  • Uses graphics and other aids to clarify complex or technical information.
  • Spells correctly.
  • Writes using concrete, specific language.
  • Uses punctuation correctly.
  • Writes grammatically.
  • Uses an appropriate business writing style.

11. Persuasive Communication: The ability to plan and deliver oral and written communications that make an impact and persuade their intended audiences.

  • Identifies and presents information or data that will have a strong effect on others.
  • Selects language and examples tailored to the level and experience of the audience.
  • Selects stories, analogies, or examples to illustrate a point.
  • Creates graphics, overheads, or slides that display information clearly and with high impact.
  • Presents several different arguments in support of a position.

12. Interpersonal Awareness: The ability to notice, interpret, and anticipate others’ concerns and feelings, and to communicate this awareness empathetically to others.

  • Understands the interests and important concerns of others.
  • Notices and accurately interprets what others are feeling, based on their choice of words, tone of voice, expressions, and other nonverbal behavior.
  • Anticipates how others will react to a situation.
  • Listens attentively to people’s ideas and concerns.
  • Understands both the strengths and weaknesses of others.
  • Understands the unspoken meaning in a situation.
  • Says or does things to address others’ concerns.
  • Finds non-threatening ways to approach others about sensitive issues.
  • Makes others feel comfortable by responding in ways that convey interest in what they have to say.

13. Influencing Others: The ability to gain others’ support for ideas, proposals, projects, and solutions.

  • Presents arguments that address others’ most important concerns and issues and looks for win-win solutions.
  • Involves others in a process or decision to ensure their support.
  • Offers trade-offs or exchanges to gain commitment.
  • Identifies and proposes solutions that benefit all parties involved in a situation.
  • Enlists experts or third parties to influence others.
  • Develops other indirect strategies to influence others.
  • Knows when to escalate critical issues to own or others’ management, if own efforts to enlist support have not succeeded.
  • Structures situations (e.g., the setting, persons present, sequence of events) to create a desired impact and to maximize the chances of a favorable outcome.
  • Works to make a particular impression on others.
  • Identifies and targets influence efforts at the real decision makers and those who can influence them.
  • Seeks out and builds relationships with others who can provide information, intelligence, career support, potential business, and other forms of help.
  • Takes a personal interest in others (e.g., by asking about their concerns, interests, family, friends, hobbies) to develop relationships.
  • Accurately anticipates the implications of events or decisions for various stakeholders in the organization and plans strategy accordingly.

14. Building Collaborative Relationships: The ability to develop, maintain, and strengthen partnerships with others inside or outside the organization who can provide information, assistance, and support.

  • Asks about the other person’s personal experiences, interests, and family.
  • Asks questions to identify shared interest, experiences, or other common ground.
  • Shows an interest in what others have to say; acknowledges their perspectives and ideas.
  • Recognizes the business concerns and perspectives of others.
  • Expresses gratitude and appreciation to others who have provided information, assistance, or support.
  • Takes time to get to know coworkers, to build rapport and establish a common bond.
  • Tries to build relationships with people whose assistance, cooperation, and support may be needed.
  • Provides assistance, information, and support to others to build a basis for future reciprocity.

15. Customer Orientation: The ability to demonstrate concern for satisfying one’s external and/or internal customers.

  • Quickly and effectively solves customer problems.
  • Talks to customers (internal or external) to find out what they want and how satisfied they are with what they are getting.
  • Lets customers know he/she is willing to work with them to meet their needs.
  • Finds ways to measure and track customer satisfaction.
  • Presents a cheerful, positive manner with customers.

II. Compentencies Dealing with Business

The Preventing and Solving Problems Cluster

16. Diagnostic Information Gathering: The ability to identify the information needed to clarify a situation, seek that information from appropriate sources, and use skillful questioning to draw out the information, when others are reluctant to disclose it

  • Identifies the specific information needed to clarify a situation or to make a decision.
  • Gets more complete and accurate information by checking multiple sources.
  • Probes skillfully to get at the facts, when others are reluctant to provide full, detailed information.
  • Routinely walks around to see how people are doing and to hear about any problems they are encountering.
  • Questions others to assess whether they have thought through a plan of action.
  • Questions others to assess their confidence in solving a problem or tackling a situation.
  • Asks questions to clarify a situation.
  • Seeks the perspective of everyone involved in a situation.
  • Seeks out knowledgeable people to obtain information or clarify a problem.

17. Analytical Thinking: The ability to tackle a problem by using a logical, systematic, sequential approach.

  • Makes a systematic comparison of two or more alternatives.
  • Notices discrepancies and inconsistencies in available information.
  • Identifies a set of features, parameters, or considerations to take into account, in analyzing a situation or making a decision.
  • Approaches a complex task or problem by breaking it down into its component parts and considering each part in detail.
  • Weighs the costs, benefits, risks, and chances for success, in making a decision.
  • Identifies many possible causes for a problem.
  • Carefully weighs the priority of things to be done.

18. Forward Thinking: The ability to anticipate the implications and consequences of situations and take appropriate action to be prepared for possible contingencies.

  • Anticipates possible problems and develops contingency plans in advance.
  • Notices trends in the industry or marketplace and develops plans to prepare for opportunities or problems.
  • Anticipates the consequences of situations and plans accordingly.
  • Anticipates how individuals and groups will react to situations and information and plans accordingly.

19. Conceptual Thinking: The ability to find effective solutions by taking a holistic, abstract, or theoretical perspective.

  • Notices similarities between different and apparently unrelated situations.
  • Quickly identifies the central or underlying issues in a complex situation.
  • Creates a graphic diagram showing a systems view of a situation.
  • Develops analogies or metaphors to explain a situation.
  • Applies a theoretical framework to understand a specific situation.

20. Strategic Thinking: The ability to analyze the organization’s competitive position by considering market and industry trends, existing and potential customers (internal and external), and strengths and weaknesses as compared to competitors.

  • Understands the organization’s strengths and weaknesses as compared to competitors.
  • Understands industry and market trends affecting the organization’s competitiveness.
  • Has an in-depth understanding of competitive products and services within the marketplace.
  • Develops and proposes a long-term (3-5 year) strategy for the organization based on an analysis of the industry and marketplace and the organization’s current and potential capabilities as compared to competitors.

21. Technical Expertise: The ability to demonstrate depth of knowledge and skill in a technical

  • Effectively applies technical knowledge to solve a range of problems.
  • Possesses an in-depth knowledge and skill in a technical area.
  • Develops technical solutions to new or highly complex problems that cannot be solved using existing methods or approaches.
  • Is sought out as an expert to provide advice or solutions in his/her technical area.
  • Keeps informed about cutting-edge technology in his/her technical area.

The Achieving Results Cluster

22. Initiative: Identifying what needs to be done and doing it before being asked or before the situation requires it.

  • Identifying what needs to be done and takes action before being asked or the situation requires it.
  • Does more than what is normally required in a situation.
  • Seeks out others involved in a situation to learn their perspectives.
  • Takes independent action to change the direction of events.

23. Entrepreneurial Orientation: The ability to look for and seize profitable business opportunities; willingness to take calculated risks to achieve business goals.

  • Notices and seizes profitable business opportunities.
  • Stays abreast of business, industry, and market information that may reveal business opportunities.
  • Demonstrates willingness to take calculated risks to achieve business goals.
  • Proposes innovative business deals to potential customers, suppliers, and business partners.
  • Encourages and supports entrepreneurial behavior in others.

24. Fostering Innovation: The ability to develop, sponsor, or support the introduction of new and improved method, products, procedures, or technologies.

  • Personally develops a new product or service.
  • Personally develops a new method or approach.
  • Sponsors the development of new products, services, methods, or procedures.
  • Proposes new approaches, methods, or technologies.
  • Develops better, faster, or less expensive ways to do things.
  • Works cooperatively with others to produce innovative solutions.

25. Results Orientation: The ability to focus on the desired result of one’s own or one’s unit’s work, setting challenging goals, focusing effort on the goals, and meeting or exceeding them.

  • Develops challenging but achievable goals.
  • Develops clear goals for meetings and projects.
  • Maintains commitment to goals in the face of obstacles and frustrations.
  • Finds or creates ways to measure performance against goals.
  • Exerts unusual effort over time to achieve a goal.
  • Has a strong sense of urgency about solving problems and getting work done.

26. Thoroughness: Ensuring that one’s own and others’ work and information are complete and accurate; carefully preparing for meetings and presentations; following up with others to ensure that agreements and commitments have been fulfilled.

  • Sets up procedures to ensure high quality of work (e.g., review meetings).
  • Monitors the quality of work.
  • Verifies information.
  • Checks the accuracy of own and others’ work.
  • Develops and uses systems to organize and keep track of information or work progress.
  • Carefully prepares for meetings and presentations.
  • Organizes information or materials for others.
  • Carefully reviews and checks the accuracy of information in work reports (e.g., production, sales, financial performance) provided by management, management information systems, or other individuals and groups.

27. Decisiveness: The ability to make difficult decisions in a timely manner.

  • Is willing to make decisions in difficult or ambiguous situations, when time is critical.
  • Takes charge of a group when it is necessary to facilitate change, overcome an impasse, face issues, or ensure that decisions are made.
  • Makes tough decisions (e.g., closing a facility, reducing staff, accepting or rejecting a high-stakes deal).

III. Self-Management Competencies

28. Self Confidence: Faith in one’s own ideas and capability to be successful; willingness to take an independent position in the face of opposition.

  • Is confident of own ability to accomplish goals.
  • Presents self crisply and impressively.
  • Is willing to speak up to the right person or group at the right time, when he/she disagrees with a decision or strategy.
  • Approaches challenging tasks with a “can-do” attitude.

29. Stress Management: The ability to keep functioning effectively when under pressure and maintain self control in the face of hostility or provocation.

  • Remains calm under stress.
  • Can effectively handle several problems or tasks at once.
  • Controls his/her response when criticized, attacked or provoked.
  • Maintains a sense of humor under difficult circumstances.
  • Manages own behavior to prevent or reduce feelings of stress.

30. Personal Credibility: Demonstrated concern that one be perceived as responsible, reliable, and trustworthy.

  • Does what he/she commits to doing.
  • Respects the confidentiality of information or concerns shared by others.
  • Is honest and forthright with people.
  • Carries his/her fair share of the workload.
  • Takes responsibility for own mistakes; does not blame others.
  • Conveys a command of the relevant facts and information.

31. Flexibility: Openness to different and new ways of doing things; willingness to modify one’s preferred way of doing things.

  • Is able to see the merits of perspectives other than his/her own.
  • Demonstrates openness to new organizational structures, procedures, and technology.
  • Switches to a different strategy when an initially selected one is unsuccessful.
  • Demonstrates willingness to modify a strongly held position in the face of contrary evidence.
value_added.jpg Reprinted with permission from “The Value-Added Employee,” by Edward J. Cripe and Richard S. Mansfield, Copyright 2002 by Workitect Inc.

Artificial Intelligence: Robots Expected to Eliminate the Mundane

Artificial intelligence (AI) is no more the theme for science fiction or Hollywood movie. The fusion of cyber and the manual task is transforming the economic and security landscape not only in India, but across the world. Artificial intelligence is not something new. However, AI is an important development and consumers in India will witness its prominent role – both in society and at work – in 2017. In addition, there is expectation that the use of artificial intelligence will proliferate across multiple business, social and government spheres.

Studies have revealed that as more and morebusiness are tapping into this new wave of cognitive analytics, AI will drive significant investment in application installation, customization, integration, training and maintenance. Companies are also well-prepared to spend on IT hardware and services including computing power, graphics processor units, networking products, cloud computing and storage.

Below listed industry areas is expected to be largely effected by the AI Technology:

AI intelligence in corporate companies: India is the hub of Information Technology. AI in corporate companies will empower the workforce to progress towards enhancing the level of growth and autonomy. In addition, the stakeholders have been using AI systems to make insightful and informed decisions and this has helped to achieve competitive advantage through higher value add-on undertakings. Business leaders and employees will no doubt see big changes the coming years in this area.


Transportation: This is one of the industries where there is maximum requirement of human labor. AI technology is expected to be applied to other modes of transportation, besides the already existing self-driving cars. This is expected to solve traffic congestion, risk of accidents and reduction in energy consumption. Indian market has witnessed the benefits of personal self-driving cars but its commercial use is expected this year.Healthcare: Lack of proper doctors, healthcare centers, testing labs and medical facilities in rural India has resulted in high mortality rate from diseases. Several researches have proven that AI driven machines have higher accuracy for diagnoses than human doctors. AI based robot surgery is expected to see tremendous changes.Customer Service: AI technology has made customer service sector more efficient. Friendly robots that mimic human conversations provides services that are quick and easy-to-access for customers. This technology will be implemented on a broad scale by the companies, to provide best customer service and also as a cost saving strategy.

Despite the recent demonetization and economic volatility in India, we can expect that there will be a rapid and substantial expansion of financial services as the government’s regulations and legislations are promoting growth in these areas. It is important to note that the adoption of AI technology is not about human elimination, but the elimination of manual and repetitive tasks through software robots.

Diversity as StrategyDavid A. Thomas

When most of us think of Lou Gerstner and the turnaround of IBM, we see a great business story. A less-told but integral part of that success is a people story—one that has dramatically altered the composition of an already diverse corporation and created millions of dollars in new business.

By the time Gerstner took the helm in 1993, IBM already had a long history of progressive management when it came to civil rights and equal employment. Indeed, few of the company’s executives would have identified workforce diversity as an area of strategic focus. But when Gerstner took a look at his senior executive team, he felt it didn’t reflect the diversity of the market for talent or IBM’s customers and employees. To rectify the imbalance, in 1995 Gerstner launched a diversity task-force initiative that became a cornerstone of IBM’s HR strategy. The effort continued through Gerstner’s tenure and remains today under current CEO Sam Palmisano. Rather than attempt to eliminate discrimination by deliberately ignoring differences among employees, IBM created eight task forces, each focused on a different group such as Asians, gays and lesbians, and women. The goal of the initiative was to uncover and understand differences among the groups and find ways to appeal to a broader set of employees and customers.

The initiative required a lot of work, and it didn’t happen overnight—the first task force convened almost two years after Gerstner’s arrival. But the IBM of today looks very different from the IBM of 1995. The number of female executives worldwide has increased by 370%. The number of ethnic minority executives born in the United States has increased by 233%. Fifty-two percent of IBM’s Worldwide Management Council (WMC), the top 52 executives who determine corporate strategy, is composed of women, ethnic minorities born in the United States, and non-U.S. citizens. The organization has seen the number of self-identified gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender executives increase by 733% and the number of executives with disabilities more than triple.

But diversity at IBM is about more than expanding the talent pool. When I asked Gerstner what had driven the success of the task forces, he said, “We made diversity a market-based issue.…It’s about understanding our markets, which are diverse and multicultural.” By deliberately seeking ways to more effectively reach a broader range of customers, IBM has seen significant bottom-line results. For example, the work of the women’s task force and other constituencies led IBM to establish its Market Development organization, a group focused on growing the market of multicultural and women-owned businesses in the United States. One tactic: partnering with vendors to provide much-needed sales and service support to small and midsize businesses, a niche well populated with minority and female buyers. In 2001, the organization’s activities accounted for more than $300 million in revenue compared with $10 million in 1998. Based on a recommendation from the people with disabilities task force, in October 2001 IBM launched an initiative focused on making all of its products more broadly accessible to take advantage of new legislation—an amendment to the federal Rehabilitation Act requiring that government agencies make accessibility a criterion for awarding federal contracts. IBM executives estimate this effort will produce more than a billion dollars in revenue during the next five to ten years.

IBM estimates one of its accessibility efforts will produce more than a billion dollars in revenue during the next five to ten years.

Over the past two years, I have interviewed more than 50 IBM employees—ranging from midlevel managers all the way up to Gerstner and Palmisano—about the task force effort and spent a great deal of time with Ted Childs, IBM’s vice president of Global Workforce Diversity and Gerstner’s primary partner in guiding this change process. What they described was a significant philosophical shift—from a long tradition of minimizing differences to amplifying them and to seizing on the business opportunities they present.

Constructive Disruption

Gerstner knew he needed to signal that diversity was a strategic goal, and he knew that establishing task forces would make a powerful impression on employees. Early in his tenure, Gerstner had convened various task forces to resolve a range of strategic choices and issues. He used the same structure to refine and achieve IBM’s diversity-related objectives.

Gerstner and Childs wanted people to understand that this was truly something new. IBM had a long practice of being blind to differences and gathering demographic information only to ensure that hiring and promotion decisions didn’t favor any particular group. So this new approach of calling attention to differences, with the hope of learning from them and making improvements to the business, was a radical departure. To effectively deliver the message and signal dramatic change, IBM kicked off the task forces on Bastille Day, July 14, 1995. “We chose Bastille Day…because it’s considered to be a historic day of social disruption,” Childs told me. “We were looking for some constructive disruption.”

Each task force comprised 15 to 20 senior managers, cutting across the company’s business units, from one of the following demographic employee constituencies: Asians; blacks (African-American and of African decent); gays/lesbians/bisexuals/transgender individuals (GLBT); Hispanics; white men; Native Americans; people with disabilities; and women. To be eligible, members had to meet two criteria: executive rank and member of the constituency. (Three of the groups—people with disabilities, Native Americans, and GLBT—didn’t have enough representation in the executive ranks to fill the task forces, so membership also included midlevel managers.) Members were chosen by Ted Childs and Tom Bouchard, then senior vice president of human resources, based on their knowledge of and experiences with the top executive team. In particular, Childs sought executives who had spoken to him or to a colleague in his office about their own experiences and perceptions that diversity was an untapped business resource; he persuaded those individuals to participate by describing the effort as a chance to make a difference and eliminate some of the roadblocks they may have faced in their careers.

Each task force also had two or more executive cochairs who were members of the constituency. For these roles, Childs and Bouchard recruited high-performing, well-respected senior managers and junior executives who were at least at the director level. Each task force was also assigned an executive sponsor from the WMC, who was charged with learning about the relevant constituency’s concerns, opportunities, and strategies and with serving as a liaison to top management. The executive sponsors were senior vice presidents, and most reported directly to Gerstner. They were selected by Bouchard and Childs based on their willingness to support the change process and on the potential for synergies within their given business areas.

The first sponsor of the women’s task force, for instance, was the senior vice president of sales and marketing worldwide. Childs knew that the company’s senior executives believed that potential buyers in many countries outside of the United States wouldn’t work with female executives and that this could interfere with women’s success in international assignments. By connecting this SVP with the women’s task force, Bouchard and Childs hoped these barriers could be better understood—and that opportunities for women to advance in the sales organization might improve. Similarly, the SVP for research and development was asked to sponsor the people with disabilities task force, with the expectation that if he could get closer to the day-to-day experiences of people with disabilities in his own organization, he would gain new insights into the development of accessible products.

Sponsors were not necessarily constituents of their groups. The sponsor for the white men’s task force was a woman; the sponsor for the women’s task force, a man. Indeed, there was a certain advantage to having sponsors who didn’t come from the groups they represented. It meant that they and the task force members would have to learn from their differences. A sponsor would have to dig deep into the issues of the task force to represent its views and interests to other WMC members.

In addition to having a sponsor, cochairs, and members, each task force was assigned one or two HR employees and a senior HR executive for administrative support, as well as a lawyer for legal guidance. The groups also received logistical and research support from Childs’s Global Workforce Diversity organization, which was responsible for all of IBM’s equal employment and work/life balance programs.

Once the task forces had been set up and launched, Bouchard sent an e-mail to every U.S. employee detailing the task forces and their missions and underscoring how important the initiative was to the company. In his message, he acknowledged IBM’s heritage of respecting diversity and defined the new effort in business terms. Here’s an excerpt from the e-mail:

To sustain [IBM’s recognition for diversity leadership] and strengthen our competitive edge, we have launched eight executive-led task forces representing the following IBM employee constituencies.…We selected these communities because collectively they are IBM, and they reflect the diversity of our marketplace.

He also encouraged employees to respond with specific suggestions for how to make IBM a more inclusive environment. Childs then compiled more than 2,000 responses to the e-mail and channeled them to the appropriate task forces. As a result of these suggestions, the task forces focused on the following areas for evaluation and improvement: communications, staffing, employee benefits, workplace flexibility, training and education, advertising and marketplace opportunities, and external relations.

The initial charge of the task forces was to take six months to research and report back to the CEO and the WMC on four questions: What is necessary for your constituency to feel welcome and valued at IBM? What can the corporation do, in partnership with your group, to maximize your constituency’s productivity? What can the corporation do to influence your constituency’s buying decisions, so that IBM is seen as a preferred solution provider? And which external organizations should IBM form relationships with to better understand the needs of your constituency?

At first, skepticism prevailed. Here’s what one white male executive told me:

This whole idea of bringing together people in the workplace and letting them form these groups was really repugnant on its face to a lot of people, and of course IBM had been a nonunion company in the United States for a long, long time. I mean, having groups was like letting them into your living room.

And from a black executive:

I was somewhat skeptical, and there was a level of reluctance in terms of how successful this would ultimately become in IBM, given some of the complex issues around the topic of diversity.

The groups faced other challenges as well. When the women’s task force met for the first time, many members were relieved to hear that some of their colleagues were sharing similar struggles to balance work and family; at the same time, some of IBM’s women believed strongly that female executives should choose between having children and having a career. The dissenting opinions made it more difficult to present a united front to the rest of senior management and secure support for the group’s initiatives.

Task force members also disagreed on tactics. Some within the black task force, for instance, advocated for a conservative approach, fearing that putting a spotlight on the group would be perceived as asking for unearned preferences, and, even worse, might encourage the stereotype that blacks are less capable. But most in the group felt that more aggressive action would be needed to break down the barriers facing blacks at IBM.

In both cases, members engaged in lengthy dialogue to understand various points of view, and, in light of very real deadlines for reporting back, were forced to agree on concrete proposals for accomplishing sometimes competing goals. The women’s group concluded that IBM needed to partner with its female employees in making work and family life more compatible. The black group decided it needed to clarify the link between its concerns and those of the company—making it clear that the members were raising business issues and that the task force effort was not intended to favor any group.

During the six months of the initial phase, Childs checked in with each group periodically and held monthly meetings to ensure that each was staying focused. The check-ins were also meant to facilitate information sharing across groups, especially if several were grappling with similar issues. The task forces’ work involved collecting data from their constituencies, examining internal archival data to identify personnel trends, and reviewing external data to understand IBM’s labor and customer markets. Their most critical task was to interpret the data as a means of identifying solutions and opportunities for IBM. Task forces met several times a month, in subcommittees or in their entirety, and at the end of the research period, Childs met with each group to determine its top issues—or the “vital few.” (See the exhibit “The Vital Few Issues: Employees’ Biggest Diversity Concerns.”) These were defined as the issues and concerns that were of greatest importance to the group and would have the most impact if addressed. Childs and the task force cochairs also realized that not addressing these issues would hamper the credibility of the initiative with frontline employees.

On December 1, 1995, the task forces met to share their initial findings. Again, the date was chosen with the idea of sending a message to employees: It was the 40th anniversary of Rosa Parks’s refusal to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, to a white passenger. That act, of course, led to her arrest and ignited the Montgomery bus boycotts that ushered in the modern U.S. civil rights movement. Just as the Bastille Day launch signaled a release from old ways of thinking, the timing of this meeting indicated a desire for a radically new approach to diversity.

Several of the task forces shared many of the same issues, such as development and promotion, senior management’s communication of its commitment to diversity, and the need to focus on recruiting a diverse pool of employees, especially in engineering and science-related positions. Other concerns were specific to particular groups, including domestic partner benefits (identified by the GLBT task force) and issues of access to buildings and technology (raised by the people with disabilities task force). Overall, the findings made it clear that workforce diversity was the bridge between the workplace and the marketplace—in other words, greater diversity in the workplace could help IBM attract a more diverse customer set. A focus on diversity was, in short, a major business opportunity.

It became clear that workforce diversity was the bridge— in other words, greater diversity in the workplace could help IBM attract a more diverse customer set.

All eight task forces recommended that the company create diversity groups beyond those at the executive level. In response, IBM in 1997 formed employee network groups as a way for others in the company to participate. The network groups today run across constituencies, offering a variety of perspectives on issues that are local or unique to particular units. They offer a forum for employees to interact electronically and in person to discuss issues specific to their constituencies. (For more on these groups, see the sidebar “Engage Employees.”)

Another recommendation, this time put forth by the women’s group, aimed to rectify a shortage in the talent pipeline of women in technology, identifying young girls’ tendency to opt out of science and math in school as one of the causes. To encourage girls’ interest in these disciplines, in 1999 a group of women engineers and scientists in Endicott, New York, ran a pilot “EXITE” (Exploring Interests in Technology and Engineering) camp. The program brought together 30 middle-school girls for a week that summer to learn about science and math in a fun, interactive way from female IBM employees. In 2000, the women’s task force replicated the program in five other locations throughout the United States, reaching 400 girls, and in 2001 the program expanded internationally. In 2004, IBM will have a total of 37 EXITE camps worldwide—15 in the United States, one in Canada, eight in Asia-Pacific, six in Europe, and seven in Latin America. After the girls attend camp, they are assigned an IBM female scientist or engineer as a mentor for one year.

Since 1999, IBM has reached 3,000 girls through EXITE camps. In 2003 alone, 900 girls attended, and in 2004, 1,100 will have gone through the program. In collaboration with IBM’s technology group, the women’s task force also created a steering committee focused on retaining women in technology currently at IBM and attracting female scientists from universities.

As for external initiatives that arose from the task forces, IBM’s Market Development (MD) unit came directly out of the groups’ responses to the third question: What can IBM do to influence your constituency’s buying decisions, so that the company is seen as a preferred solution provider? It became clear that IBM wasn’t well positioned in relation to the market’s fastest growing entrepreneurial segments—female- and minority-owned businesses. The MD was formed as a unit of the Small and Medium-Sized Business Sales and Marketing organization. Initially, the group helped IBM revamp its communications strategy for reaching female- and minority-owned companies. Its role has since evolved into identifying and supporting sales and marketing strategies aimed at these important segments.

The MD’s efforts have directly translated into hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue. More important to IBM’s senior executives, the MD is elevating the company’s overall level of cultural competence as it responds to the needs of IBM’s diverse customer base. A case in point is advertising, where the MD convened teams from the task forces and the advertising department to create constituency casting guidelines and other communications. These changes have helped ensure appropriate representation of constituencies in all aspects of the company’s marketing, with the guidelines forming the basis for ongoing discussions about how to reach and relate effectively to IBM’s diverse customer base.

The people with disabilities task force (PWD), which initially focused on compliance with accessibility laws, began in 2001 to think about making the leap from compliance to market initiatives. That same year, Ted Childs arranged for each task force to meet with senior management, including Sam Palmisano, then IBM’s president. The PWD task force leaders took the opportunity to point out the tremendous market potential in government contracts if IBM made its products more accessible. Palmisano agreed, and PWD received the green light it needed to advance its projects.

One reason for the increased focus on accessible technology was that in June 2001, the U.S. Congress implemented legislation mandating that all new IT equipment and services purchased by federal agencies must be accessible. This legislation—known as Section 508—makes accessibility a more important decision criterion than price in many bid situations, thus creating an opportunity for accessibility IT leaders to gain market share, charge a price premium, or both, from federal buyers. In addition to legislation, other indicators made it clear that the demand for accessibility was growing: a World Health Organization estimate of more than 750 million disabled people across the globe, with a collective buying power of $461 billion, and an increase in the number of aging baby boomers in need of accessible technology.

IBM believes that business opportunities will grow as countries around the world implement similar legislation. Furthermore, the private-sector opportunity for accessible technology could be far greater than that of the government as companies address a growing aging population. IBM’s worldwide Accessibility Centers comprise special teams that evaluate existing or future IBM technologies for their possible use in making products accessible. There are now a total of six IBM Accessibility Centers, in the United States, Europe, and Japan.

Pillars of Change

Any major corporate change will succeed only if a few key factors are in place: strong support from company leaders, an employee base that is fully engaged with the initiative, management practices that are integrated and aligned with the effort, and a strong and well-articulated business case for action. IBM’s diversity task forces benefited from all four.

Demonstrate leadership support.

It’s become a cliché to say that leadership matters, but the issue merits discussion here because diversity is one of the areas in which executive leadership is often ineffectual. Executives’ espoused beliefs are frequently inconsistent with their behavior, and they typically underestimate how much the corporation really needs to change to achieve its diversity goals. That’s because diversity strategies tend to lay out lofty goals without providing the structures to educate senior executives in the specific challenges faced by various constituencies. In addition, these strategies often don’t provide models that teach or encourage new behaviors.

IBM has taken several approaches to helping executives deepen their awareness and understanding. To begin with, the structure of the task forces—how they operate and who is on them—immerses executive sponsors in the specific challenges faced by the employee constituency groups. The groups are a formal mechanism for learning, endorsed at the highest levels of the company.

Second, the chief diversity officer, Ted Childs, acts as a partner with the CEO as well as coach and adviser to other executives. In addition to educating them on specific issues, as he did when the company decided to offer domestic partner benefits, Childs also works to ensure that they behave in ways that are consistent with the company’s diversity strategy. A senior executive described Childs’s role as a coach and teacher:

I know that he’s had a number of conversations with very senior people in the company where he’s just sat down with them and said, “Listen, you don’t get it, and you need to get it. And I care about you, and I care about this company. I care about the people who are affected by the way you’re behaving, and so I owe it to you to tell you that. And here’s how you don’t get it. Here’s what you need to do to change.”

And third, Gerstner and later Palmisano not only sanctioned the task force process but actively sought to be role models themselves. A number of the executives I interviewed were struck by Gerstner’s interest and active involvement in the development of high-potential minority and female senior managers and junior executives; he took a personal interest in how they were being mentored and what their next jobs would be. He also challenged assumptions about when people could be ready for general management assignments. In one case, Gerstner and his team were discussing the next job for a high-potential female executive. Most felt that she needed a bigger job in her functional area, but Gerstner felt that the proposed job, while involving more responsibility, would add little to the candidate’s development. Instead she was given a general management assignment—and the team got a signal from the CEO about his commitment to diversity. His behavior communicated a sense of appreciation and accountability for people development. Indeed, accountability for results became as critical in this domain as it was for all business goals.

Gerstner also modeled desired behaviors in his interactions with his direct reports. One of them told me this story:

During a board of directors dinner, I had to go to [my daughter’s] “back-to-school night,” the one night a year when you meet the teachers. I had been at the board meeting that day. I was going to be at the board meeting the next day. But it was the dinner that posed a problem, and I said, “Lou, I’ll do whatever you want, but this is the position I am in,” and…he didn’t even blink. He said, “Go to back-to-school night. That is more important.” And then…he told the board at dinner why I wasn’t there and why it was so important…to make it possible for working parents to have very big jobs but still be involved parents. He never told me that he told the board. But the board told me the next day. They…said, “You should know that Lou not only said where you were but gave a couple minute talk about how important it was for IBM to act in this way.”

CEO leadership and modeling didn’t stop when Gerstner left. One senior executive who is a more recent arrival to the WMC described how Palmisano communicates the importance of the diversity initiative:

Executive involvement and buy-in are critical. Sam has played a personal and very important role. He personally asked each task force to come and report its progress and agenda to him. He spent time with the [task force that I sponsor] and had a detailed review of what we are doing on the customer set. What are we focused on internally? How can he help in his role as CEO? He’s really made it clear to the senior-level executives that being good at [leading the diversity initiative] is part of our job.

Engage employees as partners.

While the six-month task force effort was consistent with IBM’s history of promoting equal opportunity, the use of the task force structure to address issues of diversity represented a significant culture shift. IBM was an organization that had discouraged employees from organizing around any interest not specifically defined by the requirements of their jobs. The idea of employees organizing to advocate was anathema. One white male executive said, “Does this mean that we can have a communist cell here? Are we going to have hundreds and hundreds of these?” The skepticism reached up to the highest levels: When Childs first proposed the task force strategy, Gerstner asked him one question: “Why?”

But in the end, IBM’s task force structure paved the way for employee buy-in because executives then had to invite constituent groups to partner with them in addressing the diversity challenge. The partnerships worked because three essential components were in place: mutual expectations, mutual influence, and trust.

When the task forces were commissioned, Childs and Gerstner set expectations and made sure that roles and responsibilities were unambiguous. Initially, the task forces’ charters were short, only six months (the groups are still active today), and their mission was clear: to explore the issues, opportunities, and strategies affecting their constituencies and customers. Once this work was done, it fell to the corporation’s senior executives to respond and to report on the task forces’ progress at various junctures to the WMC. Gerstner and Childs followed up with the task force sponsors to ensure that the groups were gathering meaningful information and connecting it to the business.

The task forces’ work has evolved to focus on more tactical issues, and the organization has demonstrated its willingness to be influenced, committing significant resources to efforts suggested by the groups. Trust was also built as the task force structure allowed employees more face time with executives—executives they would likely not have had a chance to meet—and provided new opportunities for mentoring. According to one task force participant:

What got me to trust that this was a real commitment by the WMC was when I saw them ask for our advice, engage us in dialogue, and then take action. They didn’t just do whatever we said, but the rationale for actions was always shared. It made me feel like our opinions were respected as businesspeople who bring a particular perspective to business challenges.

The task force structure has been copied on a smaller scale within specific business units. Even without a mandate from corporate brass, most units have created their own diversity councils, offering local support for achieving each unit’s specific diversity goals. Here, too, the employee partnership model prevails.

Integrate diversity with management practices.

Sustaining change requires that diversity become an integrated part of the company’s management practices. This was a priority for Gerstner, who told me:

If you were to go back and look at ten years’ worth of executive committee discussions, you would find two subjects, and only two, that appeared on every one of the agendas. One was the financial performance, led by our CFO. The second was a discussion of management changes, promotions, moves, and so on, led by our HR person.

In my interviews, among the most frequently mentioned diversity-related HR practice was the five-minute drill, which began with Gerstner’s top team and has cascaded down from the chairman to two levels down from CEO. The five-minute drill takes place during the discussion of management talent at the corporate and business unit levels. During meetings of the senior team, executives are expected at any moment to be able to discuss any high-potential manager. According to interviewees, an explicit effort is made to ensure that minorities and females are discussed along with white males. The result has been to make the executives more accountable for spotting and grooming high-potential minority managers both in their own areas and across the business. Now that it’s been made explicit that IBM executives need to watch for female and minority talent, they are more open to considering and promoting these individuals when looking to fill executive jobs.

Managing diversity is also one of the core competencies used to assess managers’ performance, and it’s included in the mandatory training and orientation of new managers. As one executive responsible for designing parts of this leadership curriculum commented, “We want people to understand that effectively managing and developing a diverse workforce is an integral part of what it means to manage at IBM.”

Managing diversity is one of the core competencies used to assess executives’ performance.

Both Gerstner and Palmisano have been clear that holding managers accountable for diversity-related results is key. Gerstner noted, “We did not set quotas, but we did set goals and made people aware of the people in their units who they needed to be accountable for developing.” And Palmisano said, “I reinforce to our executives that this is not HR’s responsibility; it is up to us to make sure that we are developing our talent. There is a problem if, at the end of the day, that pool of talent is not diverse.”

Link diversity goals to business goals.

From the beginning, Gerstner and Childs insisted that the task force effort create a link between IBM’s diversity goals and its business goals—that this would be good business, not good philanthropy. The task force efforts have led to a series of significant accomplishments.

For instance, IBM’s efforts to develop the client base among women-owned businesses have quickly expanded to include a focus on Asian, black, Hispanic, mature (senior citizens), and Native American markets. The Market Development organization has grown revenue in the company’s Small and Medium-Sized Business Sales and Marketing organization from $10 million in 1998 to hundreds of millions of dollars in 2003.

Another result of the task forces’ work has been to create executive partner programs targeting demographic customer segments. In 2001, IBM began assigning executives to develop relationships with the largest women- and minority-owned businesses in the United States. This was important not only because these business sectors are growing fast but because their leaders are often highly visible role models, and their IT needs will grow and become increasingly more sophisticated. Already, these assignments have yielded impressive revenue streams with several of these companies.

The task force effort has also affected IBM’s approach to supplier diversity. While the company has for decades fostered relationships with minority-owned businesses as well as businesses owned by the disabled, the work of the task forces has expanded the focus of IBM’s supplier diversity program to a broader set of constituencies and provided new insights on the particular challenges each faced. The purpose of the supplier diversity program is to create a level playing field. It’s important to note, though, that procurement contracts are awarded on the merits of the bid—including price and quality—not on the diversity of the vendor. In 2003, IBM did business worth more than $1.5 billion with over 500 diverse suppliers, up from $370 million in 1998.• • •

The cynics have come around. One black executive said, “Yes, I think [the initiative] has been extremely effective if you look at where we started back in the mid-nineties. I can tell you that I was somewhat skeptical [at first].” Another commented on the growing acceptance of the effort across IBM: “You can see that support actually changed over time from ‘I’m not sure what this is about’ to…a complete understanding that diversity and the focus on diversity make good business sense.”

Perhaps the best evidence of the task forces’ success is that the initiative not only continues but has spread and has had lasting impact. In more than one instance, after an executive became a task force sponsor, his or her division or business unit made significant progress on its own diversity goals. Leaders of some of the task forces described seeing their sponsors grow in their ability to understand, articulate, and take action on the issues identified by their groups. One executive described how the task force sponsor experience had been important for him as a business leader and personally, as well as for IBM:

There is no doubt that this is critical for how we manage the research organization, because of the need for diverse thought. It has affected me substantially because…I became involved with diverse populations outside of IBM that I may well not have been connected with if it hadn’t been for my involvement with the task force. I’m on the Gallaudet University [school for the deaf] board. Without the task force, I would have never thought of it. And so this has been a terrific awakening, a personal awakening.…Since it’s focusing particularly on accessibility, we can help in a lot of ways with technology for accessibility, and Gallaudet turns out to be, for the subset of people who are hearing impaired, a terrific place to prototype solutions in this space.

Such comments were not atypical. In many instances, the sponsorship experience was developmental in important and unexpected ways. Having eight task forces means that in a group of 52 top leaders, there is always a critical mass strategically connected to the issues. Today, more than half of the WMC members have been engaged with the task forces in the role of sponsor or task force leader prior to being promoted to the senior executive level.

For IBM, that makes good business sense. The entire effort was designed to help the company develop deeper insights into its major markets, with a direct tie to two of Gerstner’s central dictates. One: IBM needed to get closer to its customers and become more externally focused. Two: It needed to focus on talent—attracting, retaining, developing, and promoting the best people. On both measures, the company has come a long way.

A version of this article appeared in the September 2004 issue of Harvard Business Review.

David A. Thomas ( is a professor of organizational behavior and human resource management at Harvard Business School in Boston.


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    Toulmin Model for Argument Framing

    The Toulmin Model of Argumentation 

    Chris Werry
    In The Uses of Argument Stephen Toulmin proposes that most good extended written arguments have six parts (claim, warrant, evidence, backing, qualification, and rebuttal.) Toulmin states that three parts – the claim, the support, and the warrant – are essential to just about all arguments. Arguments may also contain one or more of following three elements: backing, rebuttal, and qualifier.


    The Toulmin Model

    There are over one million student who have completed their grade school and university education with the help of scholarship. Most of these students would not have. Completed thri education due to high university fees and poor financial background. Scholarship is beneficial to both the school and the student who receive scholarships.


     Scholarship has helped both students from poor financial background and those from wealthy families. Scholarship is the only way that the student from poot families get a  chance to acquire meaningful universitiy education without having to pay the school fees . scholathaip may be partial scholarship or full scholarships depending on the amount of financial assistance offered. Sokenstudent have to pay the deficit from their own financial sources while some have their school fees and accommodation subsidized fully.. The school also benefit from the scholarship as the student’s fees are paid by sponsoring  bodies so the students would not complete their studies with the school’s fees balance that would affect the school’s financial status.

    Backing: support, justification, reasons to back up the warrant.

    Rebuttal/Reservation: exceptions to the claim; description and rebuttal of counter-examples and counter-arguments.

    Qualification: specification of limits to claim, warrant and backing.  The degree of conditionality asserted.  

    We can also identify 3 other key parts of an argument
    Assumptions Counter-examples Implications


    The Value of the Toulmin Model

    The Toulmin model provides a simple, broad, flexible set of categories for approaching the study of argument.  While the model is simple, each major category can be unpacked and used to discuss arguments in increasing levels of detail.  For example, once we have identified a rebuttal or reservation in an argument, we can then go on to examine the different kinds of rebuttals that authors make, and discuss which ones tend to be used in different contexts.  For instance, we can ask whether a rebuttal consists of a “strategic concession,” “refutation,” or “demonstration of irrelevance” (to name three of the most common forms of rebuttal).  We can then examine different forms of strategic concession.  Furthermore, once we have used the Toulmin model to establish a common vocabulary for identifying parts of an argument, we can then introduce a set of criteria for evaluating the different parts of an argument.  For example, warrants often consist of chains of reasoning that involve generalization, analogy, appeal to a sign, causality, authority, and principle.  Once one has identified a chain of reasoning – let’s say a generalization – one can then consider more fine-grained evaluative criteria such as the scope of the generalization, the nature, uniformity, and definition of the population/thing being generalized about; the sufficiency, typicality, accuracy and relevance of the evidence on which the generalization is based, etc. 
    The Toulmin model has limitations. For example, it is sometimes of limited use in discussing specialized forms of argument such as those that occur in certain types of disciplinary writing 

    (we will discuss the Swales model and the milestone model as tools for analyzing academic arguments).  The Toulmin model is not much use as a template for generating arguments.  You shouldn’t try to rigidly fit every argument into the model’s format – some won’t work.  However, it can be useful as a flexible tool for naming and analyzing arguments, and for applying this analysis in a self-reflective way to one’s own argumentation.  


    Warrants are chains of reasoning that connect the claim and evidence/reason. A warrant is the principle, provision, or chain of reasoning that connects the grounds/reason to the claim.  Warrants operate at a higher level of generality than a claim or reason, and they are often implicit rather than explicit.
    Example: “Needle exchange programs should be abolished [claim] because they only cause more people to use drugs.” [reason]
    The unstated warrant is: “when you make risky behavior safer you encourage more people to engage in it.”

    General Forms of Reasoning (can also be assumption)

    There are 6 common chains of reasoning via which the relationship between evidence and claim is often established.  They have the acronym “GASCAP.” Sometimes they are explicit, sometimes they are assumptions.  
    ( Generalization G

    ( Analogy A

    ( Sign S

    ( Causality C

    ( Authority A

    ( Principle P
    These argumentative forms are used at various different levels of generality within an argument, and rarely come in neat packages – typically they are interconnected and work in combination.

    Components of the Toulmin Model in More Detail
    Claim:  The claim is the main point of an argument.  The claim is sometimes called the thesis, conclusion, or main point.  The claim can be explicit or implicit.  


    Factual Claim: based more on evidence and amenable to verification and falsification.  For example, the question of whether Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, or whether there were links between Al Queda and Hussein.
    Judgment/Evaluation: claim based more on norms, values and morals. Is an act good/bad?

    Is it morally responsible to execute murderers?
    Recommendation/Policy: what should be done? Claims that advocate a specific course of action or change in policy.  Example: California law should/should not be changed to allow illegal immigrants to obtain drivers’ licenses.
    Definition: sometimes claims center on a definitional issue.  Example: does human life begin at conception? Are Taliban and Al Queda detainees being held at Guantanimo best defined as “enemy combatants,” “prisoners of war”, or “criminals”?
    Evaluation: At the most general level, the claim is reasonable – buttressed with sufficient evidence, grounds, warrants, etc. Claim follows from (is closely tied to) evidence, grounds and warrants.  
    The general type of claim – factual, evaluation, definition, recommendation/public policy – influences the nature and amount of support required.  Fulkerson argues that different kinds of claim impose different standards and demands when it comes to evidence, and for establishing a prima facie case.  Substantiation tends more often to involve questions of definition & fact.  In practice, these different types of claim are rarely easy to disentangle.
    E.g.: affirmative action.  Questions of definition and fact: What is affirmative action; what does it seek to address; what kind of problem is racism, and to what extent does affirmative action help lessen its effects. 

    Questions of evaluation: under what condition is it justified?  

    Questions of recommendation: what should be done?  Should affirmative action be abolished, reformed, extended, etc.

    Evidence/Support for Claim:

    The support consists of the evidence, reasons, examples, experience, data, quotations, reports, testimony, statistics etc. that underwrites the claim.  
    Evaluation: Evidence is strong – contains sufficient amounts of evidence from statistical, textual, an authority, or from experiential realms to support claim. In each case, there are criteria that determine whether the evidence is strong.  E.g. authority is reliable and relevant; the experience is reasonably typical and relevant.  The statistics are reliable, applicable, relevant, well researched, involve controls, etc.  In general, the evidence is detailed enough, up to date, and verifiable (this includes using proper citation).  The evidence is strong in terms of its relevance, sufficiency, scope, consistency, quality and ‘fit’ with the claim. In the Toulmin model, evidence comes into play in 2 places: as data/evidence that supports a claim with the aid of a warrant; or which functions as ‘backing’, and directly supports the sufficiency of the warrant.  
    We can also examine the source of the evidence – how reliable is it?  Can it be verified? Is the source fair?  What kinds of interests for the source represent? 

    GASCAP – Common Forms of Reasoning

    This is a very common form of reasoning.  It assumes that what is true of a well chosen sample is likely to hold for a larger group or population, or that certain things consistent with the sample can be inferred of the group/population.  
    Evaluation: To evaluate a generalization we need to determine the scope of the generalization (some, many, the majority, most, all, etc.).  The scope of the argument will determine the degree to which a sufficient amount of typical, accurate, relevant support is required (although the extent to which a generalization is accepted by your audience is also crucial here).  We also need to consider the nature, uniformity and stability of the group, category or population being generalized about.  For example, when Consumer Guide tests a single car, we expect to be able to generalize from the results with a high degree of certainty since cars are standardized objects. If the generalization provided is based on examples, we need to consider whether there are significant counterexamples. 
    Determining which group or population to base one’s generalization on is often very complex, and as with categories and definitions, this is often highly contested. For example, a key question in the O.J. Simpson trial concerned which population ought to be used when generalizing about the likelihood of a wife-beater going on to murder his spouse.  At the beginning of the trial the defense argued that O.J. Simpson’s prior arrest for assaulting his wife should not mislead jurors into thinking that this made O.J. Simpson significantly more likely to have murdered his wife.  They said that if you examined the population of men who had been arrested for beating their wives, only a very small percentage of this group went on to kill their spouse.  Thus one could not generalize with any confidence about the likely guilt of O.J. Simpson based on this.  However, some legal scholars have pointed out that if you begin with the population of men who have a history of beating their spouses, who have been arrested for this, and whose wife turns up dead, then about 50% of the time the husband turns out to be the killer.  Selecting a different population to generalize from may change the way an argument turns. 

    Extrapolating from one situation or event based on the nature and outcome of a similar situation or event.  An argument based on parallels between two cases or situations. Arguing from a specific case or example to another example, reasoning that because the two examples are alike in many ways they are also alike in one further specific way.  Has links to ‘case-based’ and precedent-based reasoning used in legal discourse. 
    Evaluation: what is important here is the extent to which relevant similarities can be established between 2 contexts.  Are there sufficient, typical, accurate, relevant similarities?  If the analogy is based on similarities between two examples, we need to consider whether counterexamples exist.  How strong is the claim? (The stronger the claim, the tighter the analogy must be).  Are there counteranalogies that refute the original argument from analogy?  Are there differences between the two situations that undermine the force of the similarity cited? How willing is the audience likely to be in accepting that the two different examples/cases/situations you present are really similar? 
    Analogies can also be used critically.  If you can draw an analogy between your opponent’s argument and some other, generally unaccepted argument, this may undermine your opponent’s case.  For example, many opponents of same-sex marriage argue that an expansion of the definition of marriage risks opening the door to polygamy and bestiality, and will undermine the institution of marriage.  Proponents of same-sex marriage have argued that their opponents’ arguments echo, and are closely analogous to ones that were made by opponents of inter-racial marriage.  Since opposing inter-racial marriage seems absurd nowadays, constructing an analogy between opponents of same-sex marriage and opponents of inter-racial marriage has the effect of undermining the former argument.
    Example of a powerful counter-analogy

    The Vatican is increasingly out of touch and exerts a reactionary — even, in this world of AIDS, deadly — influence on health policy in the developing world. Here in El Salvador, church leaders in 1998 helped ban abortions even when necessary to save the life of a woman, and, much worse, helped pass a law, which took effect last month, requiring condoms to carry warnings that they do not protect against AIDS.  In El Salvador, where only 4 percent of women use contraceptives the first time they have sex, this law will mean more kids dying of AIDS. The reality is that condoms no more cause sex than umbrellas cause rain. (Nicholas Kristof , Don’t Tell the Pope, New York Times.)
    Example 1: the debate over president Clinton’s impeachment turned to a some degree on which analogy one used when evaluating Clinton’s perjury – did one compare it to the perjury carried out by other elected officials, did one compare it to perjury carried out by a judge or some other non-elected official, and did one compare it to the kind of perjury carried out in a purely personal context, or one involving affairs of state?  Each case of perjury normally carries quite a different legal outcome.
    Example 2: “George Bush once argued that the Vice-President’s role is to support the President’s policies, whether or not he or she agrees with them, because ‘You don’t tackle your own quarterback.’” (from A Rulebook for Arguments by Anthony Weston,1992.)  
    Example 3: When I lived in Pittsburgh some elected officials wanted to bring river-boat gambling to Pittsburgh (state law makes it illegal to have a casino on state land, but the waterways are not officially part of the state).  Their reasoning went as follows: Las Vegas is the fastest growing city in the U.S.  Its growth is fueled by gambling, and gambling has provided the city a huge revenue base.  By analogy, if Pittsburgh has casinos, this will help it grow and provide it with more money.  However, critics pointed out that the analogy was a poor one.  Pittsburgh is different from Las Vegas in many important ways.  Most importantly, people travel to Las Vegas to spend money.  It seems unlikely many people will come to Pittsburgh to gamble.  Instead, Pittsburghers will spend money at the casinos, which means there will be less money in circulation for other local businesses (differences in climate, geography, infrastructure and “attractions” also make the analogy a poor one.) 
    Example 4: Debates about gun control often employ different analogies with foreign countries.  Proponents of gun control point out that Japan has very restrictive gun laws, and extremely low rates of violent crime.  By analogy, if the U.S. had stricter gun laws, it too might have lower rates of violent crime. Opponents of gun control argue that almost all men in Switzerland have a gun (due to compulsory military training.) Yet Switzerland has extremely low rates of violent crime.  By analogy, if Americans were given guns and the proper training, they too might have lower rates of violent crime.  Both analogies are questionable – it seems likely that there are other factors besides gun ownership that cause low rates of crime in Japan.  In Switzerland, men own and are trained to use rifles (not handguns), and the state typically keeps control of the ammunition for these rifles.
    Example 5: The debate over gay marriage often centers on different analogies. Supporters of gay marriage use the analogy of equal rights for African Americans – they say African Americans were denied equal treatment under the law, and not so long ago anti-miscegenation laws banned interracial marriage. Just as these things were wrong and at odds with the constitution, so too is the denial of the right of gays to marry. Opponents of gay marriage often use the analogy of polygamy.  They argue that just as polygamy, an attempt to expand “traditional” understandings of marriage, has been defined as illegal, so too should gay marriage. In San Francisco, marriage licenses have been given to gay and lesbian couples.  Analogies have been drawn to the civil disobedience of Rosa Parks, as well as to law breaking, and to polygamy. 


    The notion that certain types of evidence are symptomatic of some wider principle or outcome.  For example, smoke is often considered a sign for fire.  Some people think high SAT scores are a sign a person is smart and will do well in college.  
    Evaluation: how strong is the relationship between the overt sign and the inferred claim?  Have sufficient, typical, accurate, relevant instances of this relationship been observed?  Have other potential influences been ruled out? 

    Arguing that a given occurrence or event is the result of, or is effected by, factor X.  Causal reasoning is the most complex of the different forms of warrant. The big dangers with it are:

    A) Mixing up correlation with causation

    B) falling into the post hoc, ergo propter hoc trap.  Closely related to confusing correlation and causation, this involves inferring ‘after the fact, therefore because of the fact’). 

    C) Identifying one element as the main cause, when in fact there are multiple causes
    We can evaluate it via the STAR criteria.  That is, for an argument about cause to be reliable, we need a sufficient number of typical, accurate and relevant instances. Also important are questions concerning degree of correlation; the question of controls; elimination of other factors; the extent to which causes are partial, necessary or sufficient, etc.
    Example 1: Hungarian doctor Ignaz Semmelweis noticed a correlation between high numbers of women dying in childbirth, and doctors who operated on them after dissecting corpses (hospitals where midwives performed deliveries, by contrast, had much lower rates of death). He identified a crucial correlation, and discovered that handwashing radically reduced deaths in childbirth. But the cause he suggested was incorrect – “cadaveric contamination.” Semmelweis’s ideas were accepted only years after his death, when Louis Pasteur advanced the germ theory of disease.
    Example 2: It has been observed that on the East coast, levels of crime go up as the sale of ice cream increase, and crime goes down as ice cream sales decrease.  However, it would be silly to suggest that ice cream sales cause crime.  That would be to confuse correlation with causation.  Crime and ice cream sales are both influenced by the weather (who wants to shimmy up a drain pipe, mug someone, or buy ice cream when it is 30 below?)
    Example 3: Some people have suggested that the higher rate of cancer in industrialized countries (when compared to developing countries) is caused by our lifestyle – the artificial lights, food, chemicals in our food, exposure to computers, etc.  Stephen Jay Gould has argued this is too simple, noting that the main reason people in developing countries have lower rates of cancer is that they tend to have lower life expectancies, and cancer tends to occur with more frequency the older one lives (“You have to die of something!” Gould writes.)  Gould does not claim that lifestyle differences have no impact, but that the main cause of the difference in cancer rates relates to life expectancy.


    Does person X or text X constitute an authoritative source on the issue in question?  What political, ideological or economic interests does the authority have?  Is this the sort of issue in which a significant number of authorities are likely to agree on?  What kinds of audiences will be persuaded by a particular authority?  What credentials or proof of expertise doe the authority have? What kind of peer recognition has the authority received?
    Using STAR: can we find a sufficient number of authoritative sources, accurately cited with relevant knowledge, who are in broad agreement, and whose arguments are persuasive?
    To what degree does an authority exhibit logos, pathos and ethos (good sense, good character and good will)?


    Locating a principle that is widely regarded as valid and showing that a situation exists in which this principle applies.  
    Evaluation: Is the principle widely accepted? Does it accurately apply to the situation in question? Are there commonly agreed on exceptions?  For example, refraining from killing others is generally considered an important principle.  However, there are commonly agreed upon exceptions – self-defense, military combat, etc.  Are there ‘rival’ principles that lead to a different claim?  In the war with Iraq, proponents argued for the principle of unilateral preemption, whereas others argued for the competing principle of multilateral containment/deterrence.   Are the practical consequences of following the principle sufficiently desirable in the context?  

    Assumptions, Implications and Counterexamples

    The strength of an argument rests on a lot of things. Some of these are: the reasons given to support a claim; the chains of reasoning involved (consistency, coherence, logical rigor, non-contradiction); the strength and type of evidence used (relevance, scope of applicability); the credibility of the authorities invoked; the degree of vulnerability to counter-arguments, etc. Some other important considerations are the assumptions that underlie an argument, the implications that follow from it, and its susceptibility to counterexamples. 


    Assumptions are fundamental, taken for granted ways of viewing the world. They are presuppositions, or (often) unstated premises that underlie an argument. Assumptions pervade all arguments in all disciplines, and exist at a number of different levels of generality.  Assumptions can be identified in graphic representations (consider the case of maps) and in architectures (consider how the layout of a classroom reflects assumptions about pedagogy and the role of the teacher in classroom instruction.)
    Formal logic deals with symbolic assertions that are certain and unchanging, such as ‘P’s are Q’s’. It starts from principles or axioms that are absolute. By contrast, real world arguments deal with assertions that are debatable and probabilistic. They start not from axioms that are certain, but instead from assumptions, values, beliefs etc. granted by an audience. Looking closely at the assumptions that underlie an argument can help us understand it better, and to test its strength. 

    It is useful to analyze assumptions in order to: 

    Understand what holds the foundations of an argument together. 

    Better understand the strengths and weaknesses of an argument 

    To find possible sources of critique – one way of interrogating an argument is to identify counterexamples that do not fit with a set of assumptions. 

    Make you aware of your own assumptions when building an argument, so that you can argue with better self understanding and with better strategies for testing validity.  
    Identifying Assumptions: 

    It is often very hard to identify assumptions. They are in the air we breathe, or rather the language we use. Often we may feel ‘ill at-ease’ by the position advanced in a given argument, without really knowing why, or without really being able to put our fingers on our objections. This may be because the argument assumes the audience takes for granted values or beliefs that we are not comfortable with. 

    Some debates may be rooted in conflicting assumptions. An argument will go around and around without really making headway because different first principles are assumed. One cannot even reach principled disagreement in such cases. Debates about gun control, abortion, free speech etc. often fall into this category. Very often major assumptions are unconscious – they are not are not part of a self-consciously examined set of reasons. They are thus hard to identify and argue about. 

    To identify assumptions, the following strategies are often useful: 

    1. Try to find significant absences or gaps in an argument. Try to think who or what may be left out in a given position, and then try to identify why. This will often lead to a major assumption. It will help you identify what must be assumed in order for this absence or omission to exist. 

    Example:  In the 1960s some American history textbooks came under attack for the historical experiences they left out.  One controversial history textbook stated that historians could not be certain about what happened at the Battle of the Little Big Horn because “no-one survived.”  Critics argued that this omission of the perspective of Native Americans, and of the oral histories they produced, pointed to a number of problematic assumptions about how Native Americans were represented in American history, and about how history should be written. 
    2. Invert an argument – try thinking about a position from the antithetical point of view, and imagine what is left out, what is emphasized, and why.  

    Example: In the article “Stop Pornographic Rock” the author states that certain types of rock music cause children to engage in “antisocial” behavior.  We could invert this: children’s “antisocial” behavior may predispose them to listen to certain types of rock music.  Since the opposite of the author’s claim seems plausible, this inversion suggests that the author assumes a very simplistic and “one-way” model of causality.  
    3. Try to ‘denaturalize’ what is taken for granted in an argument. Often, assumptions are preconceptions that have become fossilized or ‘naturalized’. Sometimes these will be parts of an argument that the arguer, if questioned, would respond by saying ‘well of course its only natural that x or y is the case/behaves this way’. Thus one can look for positions that use the language of ‘nature’, ‘naturalness’ or related terminology. De-naturalizing what is taken for granted may proceed by imagining oneself an ‘alien’, an outsider, or occupying a different position than usual. It may also proceed by taking an orientation that is somewhat ‘social constructionist’ in character. 

    Example: Media reports of job losses often talk about how the economy has “shed” a certain number of workers. This tends to assume unemployment is part of nature or of natural cycles.

    4. Look carefully at the major categories, definitions, and concepts that an argument uses. This will often point to the existence of important assumptions.  Consider, for example, the classifications used to assign journalists to news “beats,” or Stroud’s use of the categories “Pornographic Rock” and “healthy music.”

    Example: Consider what is taken for granted in the following systems of categorization:
    1.  Far East, Middle East, Near East

    2.  Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms.

    3.  Negro, Black, African American

    4.  The Maori Wars, The New Zealand Wars, The Land Wars

    5. Search for significant counterexamples/objections. If you can find an important counterexample to a given position, this will often help you understand what must have been assumed in order for the counterexample/objection to have gone unnoticed.  

    Example: writers who propose a “simplistic,” unidirectional model of media influence sometimes ignore conspicuous counterexamples.  The case of Japan is one such counterexample. Japanese media is far more violent than U.S. media, yet Japanese rates of violence and violent crime tend to be far lower than U.S. ones.  This may suggest that simple models of media influence do not consider the full range of factors that shape social problems.


    Aristotle’s Three Foundational Assumptions 

    Aristotle, the ‘father’ of formal logic, held that logic, reason and argumentation must be underpinned by 3 primordial assumptions:

    The principle of Identity: A = A 

    The principle of Non-Contradiction, A /= not A. A /=B and not B 

    Law of excluded middle. A= A or not A. 
    For Aristotle, these assumptions cannot be contradicted – they are the basis of logic and argumentation. To engage in reasoned discourse, you have to grant these 3 assumptions. He admits that their validity cannot be proven directly. However, he believes it can be proved indirectly. You imagine an evil genius, a skeptic who doubts the validity of these 3 axioms. In expressing doubt the skeptic confirms the principles, since there is tacit acceptance of the law of non-contradiction, and perhaps also identity. 
    But note the following:  1. It may be that a different kind of coherence is in operation in the skeptic’s argument, and there is thus a circularity to Aristotle’s position. Aristotle assumes in advance that disagreement must be couched in terms of the principles he wants to uphold. This isn’t necessarily so.   2. Aristotle assumes that categories operate in a “closed,” detemporalized context.  3. Aristotle assumes an “essentialist” concept of identity.  The identity of A is fixed, timeless, universal, and immanent. However, we can imagine identities that are relational, contextual, processual. Consider the difficulty of assigning ‘race’  the kind of identity that fits Aristotle’s schema, or assuming that it can be assigned the place of ‘A.’ 
    This suggests that the principles Aristotle advances, while vitally important (especially in closed, formal systems) are not always as absolute or helpful as might be expected. The world of argument tends to involve categories whose identity is not easy to fix – in fact a lot of arguments turn precisely on what/whose categories will prevail in the debate. The world of argument does not always involve stable, clearly definable entities and clear logical relations.  Instead, probability and contested categories tend to hold sway.  To read more about “foundational” and “social constructivist” assumptions, see the course material on Essentialism and Social Construction. 

    Implications consist of what follows or can be inferred from an argument or set of assumptions. Implications involve what can be extrapolated from an argument, and/or the potential consequences that follow from a given position. 
    Arguments are often attacked for what can be shown to follow from them -i.e. their implications. A common strategy is to a) describe what ought to follow from an argument, then point out counterexamples to this, b) show that negative or unintended consequences follow from a position or assumption. One must be careful when drawing implications that one does not extrapolate too far from the author’s argument, engage in “creative interpretation” of implications, or fall into the ‘slippery slope’ fallacy. That is, of constructing a set of implications that go beyond what the author plausibly had in mind. 
    Example 1: Gun Control.  

    John R. Lott Jr. is one of the best known academic proponents of gun rights.  He is a staunch opponent of gun control. Lott is resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, has written More Guns, Less Crime (1998), The Bias Against Guns (2003), and a number of research articles.  Lott argues that permitting people to carry concealed weapons leads to a significant reduction in many different kinds of crime. Lott argues that concealed weapons significantly deter criminals and reduce violent crime. He states that “98 percent of the time that people use guns defensively, they merely have to brandish a weapon to break off an attack” (More Guns, Less Crime, p. 3)
    There are several implications we can draw from Lott’s arguments.  First, states that permit people to carry concealed weapons ought to have lower rates of violent crime than states that do not.  Second, after a state passes legislation permitting people to carry concealed weapons, rates of violent crime should decrease (assuming we can factor out other contributory causes of violent crime.)
    If we can find counterexamples to the implications listed above, we will have succeeded in problematizing Lott’s arguments.  As it happens, evidence exists that could be used to fashion counterexamples and counterarguments to both of these implications.  Some states that do not permit concealed weapons have lower rates of crime than states that do.  Some states that have passed legislation permitting people to carry concealed weapons have not seen rates of violent crime lessen.     
    Example 2: The Doctrine of Preemption 

    One criticism of the doctrine of “preemption” with regards to Iraq focuses on the potential implications of this position: if it is alright for the U.S. to attack a country before it has itself been attacked, then might not other countries adopt a similar policy?  Conversely, opponents of war are sometimes criticized for what can be inferred from their arguments regarding intervention.  Some authors argue that it is never justified to attack a sovereign country except in self-defense. However, opponents charge that this implies that some past interventions many people now consider vital (Bosnia and Kosovo) and some interventions many think should have been made but weren’t (for example, Rwanda and Burundi) would be ruled out of court. 
    Example 3: BST/BGH

    A controversy has arisen over the injection of artificial hormones into cows in order to increase milk production (BST = bovine somatotrophin; BGH = bovine growth hormone).  The process was pioneered by Monsanto, and was approved by the FDA in 1993.  Milk from BST cows is not required to be labeled.  However, there are some questions about the safety of this milk, and about the tests performed by Monsanto when determining its safety. Europe and Canada have put a moratorium on the use of the artificial hormone. Some small companies who produce milk in the U.S. have begun advertising that their milk is “BST-free.”  Monsanto is suing these companies, claiming that by stating that their milk is “BST-free,” these companies are implying that milk with BST is unsafe. 

    Implications: Drawing implications can be related to the idea of transitivity. 

    Can give the example of sports teams. Let’s say the SDSU badminton team plays team A and narrowly wins. You discover that team A recently played team X, and team X crushed team A by a huge margin. This implies that team X is probably a very good team, and may be better than SDSU. You are projecting into the future – extrapolating. 

    Notes on Fallacies & the Evaluation of Argument
    Chris Werry
    Talking about ‘fallacies’ as a laundry list of forms to avoid, or as an algorithm for finding weaknesses in authors’ arguments, is not terribly useful.  Instead, you can think of fallacies as a way of reflecting on the nature of chains of reasoning, for talking about the strengths and weaknesses of argumentative claims and the evidence, support, backing, assumptions etc. associated with them. Fallacies should get you thinking about the criteria we use to evaluate arguments; to what extent an argument works according to a particular set of relevant criteria, and what kinds of arguments work in particular contexts.
    Most fallacies are not strange or idiosyncratic forms of argument.  Often they draw on perfectly valid and common forms of reasoning, but they do so in a way that is lacking in some respect.  For example, sophisticated arguments often contain rebuttals and counterarguments that consider opposing views. If this is done well, it adds strength to an argument.  However, if an author does not accurately represent an opponent’s argument, or presents a weak, caricatured version of that argument, we can say s/he has committed the fallacy of creating “a straw man.” Obviously, fallacies are matters of degree and involve interpretation and argument – you have to make the case that evidence exists for the fallacy.  Note that when considering whether an argument contains a fallacy, you must consider questions of audience, purpose and context.  Reasoning that is weak or “fallacious” in one context may be persuasive and credible in another.


    Fallacies Related to GASCAP Chains of Reasoning

    Take a look at the criteria by which we evaluate the GASCAP strategies. When the criteria are not adhered to, this may be evidence of a fallacy.  For example, a “hasty generalization” may be identifiable when the scope of a generalization is at odds with the evidence presented, or when the sufficiency, typicality, accuracy and relevance of the evidence do not match the strength of the generalization.
    Hasty Generalization This involves a generalization from data that is inadequate in some important way.  Usually, this means that the generalization fails the STAR test – the data on which the generalization is based is not sufficient, typical, accurate or relevant. One of the most common ways in which data fails to be sufficient is when the sample size is too small. For example, if I say smoking can’t be bad for people since both my parents smoke and have lived to a ripe old age, the sample size I have based my generalization on is absurdly small – 2 people. A “hasty generalization” may be most obvious when the scope of a generalization is at odds with the amount of evidence presented – the stronger the generalization, the more evidence needed.  Anecdotal evidence may also indicate a hasty generalization – this sometimes indicates that the arguer is using a small and unrepresentative (atypical) sample.
    Example: “Quebec environment minister Lise Bacon pledged the PCBs would be moved out and broken down somehow within 18 months. She also said that PCBs couldn’t be all that dangerous because her father had washed his hands in PCBs but lived to an old age.”  (Merritt Clifton, “PCB Homecoming”, Greenpeace, November/December, 1989, p. 21.
    False Analogy Analogies involve parallels or comparisons between two cases, events or situations. They consist of comparing a specific case or example to another case or example, and reasoning that because the two examples are alike in many ways they are also alike in one further specific way.  
    What is important here is the extent to which relevant similarities can be established between the two  contexts, cases, events or situations. Are there sufficient, typical, accurate, relevant similarities?  If not, the arguer may be employing a false analogy. If the analogy is based on similarities between two examples, we need to consider whether important counterexamples exist.  We also need to consider how strong the claim is (The stronger the claim, the tighter the analogy must be).  
    Example: High-density development [doesn’t] reduce congestion. The superficially appealing idea is that if we all live closer to where we work and shop, shorter car trips and mass transit will replace all those long car rides. But the real world doesn’t work that way. Try this thought experiment. What happens at a cocktail party when a new wave of people shows up and the population density of the living room doubles? Is it harder or easier to get to the bar and the cheese tray? Is it harder or easier to carry on conversation and move around the room? As urban population density rises, auto-traffic congestion gets worse, not better, and commute times get longer, not shorter. (Steven Hayward, “Suburban Legends”, National Review, March 22, 1999, p. 36.  Quoted in The Fallacy Files website, by Gary N. Curtis)
    Fallible Sign The notion that certain types of evidence are symptomatic of some wider principle or outcome.  For example, smoke is often considered a sign for fire.  Some people think high SAT scores are a sign a person is smart and will do well in college.  
    Evaluation: 1. how strong is the relationship between the overt sign and the inferred claim?  2. Have sufficient, typical, accurate, relevant instances of this relationship been observed?  3. Have other potential influences been ruled out? If the appeal to sign is weak in any of  these 3 respects, it may be a “sign” that the arguer has committed the fallacy of fallible sign.
    Post Hoc ergo Propter Hoc (Latin for “after the fact, therefore because of the fact”)

    This involves either a) confusing correlation and causation, or (and this is usually the same thing) inferring ‘after the fact, therefore because of the fact’). 
    We can evaluate this via the STAR criteria. For an argument about cause to be reliable, we need a sufficient number of typical, accurate and relevant instances. Also important are questions concerning degree of correlation; the question of controls; elimination of other factors; the extent to which causes are partial, necessary or sufficient. If the causal argument fails these tests, it may commit the post hoc fallacy.
    Example 1:  “In an interesting book about television called The Plug in Drug, the author, Marie Winn, claims that television is responsible for many contemporary social problems including the breakdown of traditional attitudes such as respect for authority. One of her arguments in support of her thesis involves the observation that the first generation to have been largely reared with television were old enough to go to college in the late Sixties. She then notes that the college students of the Sixties were very boisterous and disrespectful, staging demonstrations and sit-ins right and left. This evidence, she believes, supports her case that television causes disrespect for authority.” (From the Fallacies Handbook).
    Example 2: “We need safe storage laws.” False. States that passed “safe storage” laws have high crime rates, especially higher rates of rape and aggravated assault against women.  (“The Media Campaign Against Gun Ownership”, The Phyllis Schlafly Report, Vol. 33, No. 11, June 2000. Quoted in The Fallacy Files website, by Gary N. Curtis)
    False Authority Appeals to authority are common ways of supporting an argument.  However, the strength of the appeal depends on the degree to which person X or text X constitutes an authoritative source on the issue in question.  We can ask whether the arguer presents us with sufficient, typical, accurate, relevant authorities. We can also ask whether the issue is one that a significant number of authorities are likely to agree on.  More broadly, we can ask if we have been presented with a sufficient number of authoritative sources, accurately cited with relevant knowledge, who are in broad agreement, and whose arguments are persuasive? If the answer to such questions is “no,” the arguer’s claim may involve the fallacy of “false authority.”
    Example: a politician from a farm state once argued that CO2 is good for plants, thus greenhouse gases will help agriculture and should not be a problem. While this person may be a political authority, he is not an atmospheric scientist, and thus citing him as an authority is weak.
    Misapplied Principle Appeals to principle involve locating a principle that is widely regarded as valid and showing that a situation exists in which this principle applies. To the extent that the following conditions are true, the appeal may be considered strong or weak: is the principle widely accepted? Does it accurately apply to the situation in question? Are there commonly agreed on exceptions?  Has the general principle been misapplied? Have rebuttal conditions been ignored? Are the practical consequences of following the principle sufficiently desirable in the context?  
    For example, refraining from killing others is generally considered an important principle.  However, there are commonly agreed upon exceptions – self-defense, military combat, etc.  Are there ‘rival’ principles that lead to a different claim?  In the war with Iraq, proponents argued for the principle of unilateral preemption, whereas others argued for the competing principle of multilateral containment/deterrence.   
    Some of the More Common Fallacies 

    Straw Man – when an author does not accurately represent an opponent’s argument, or presents a weak, caricatured version of that argument.  
    Example: consider the following silly analogy.  Imagine that I claim that I am so tough and so good at boxing that I could easily beat Mike Tyson.  To prove this, I construct a boxing ring in class.  I set up a life-size cardboard picture of Mike Tyson, knock it over, and start jumping up and down shouting “I am the greatest!”  You would probably point out that I have not in fact defeated Mike Tyson, but have merely knocked down his effigy.  You note that if I had confronted the real Mike Tyson he would have beaten me like an old mule.  This is analogous to the straw man fallacy – instead of taking on the full force of an opponent’s argument, the author sets up a weak version of his opponent, knocks it down, and claims victory.  
    Note: sometimes a writer may create a straw man by exaggerating the force of an opponent’s claim. Since stronger evidence is required to support a more forceful claim, the writer can then attack the opponent by saying that her evidence does not support her claim.  
    Slippery Slope – when an author extrapolates from an opponent’s position too “creatively.”   Often this involves drawing out implications from an opponent’s position in a way that is only loosely based on the opponent’s stated position, or which proceeds too far from the opponent’s stated position.  Claiming that certain things “follow” inevitably from an opponent’s position (in a kind of “chain reaction”) when in fact such an inference is difficult to sustain.  
    ■ Silly example: some proponents of gun rights have proposed that any weakening of gun laws is an attack on the constitution, and if successful will likely to lead to attacks on other constitutional freedoms, which may in turn undermine democracy in America, and ultimately lead to UN control of the U.S. (complete with black helicopters flying over the capital.)  This example is obviously an exaggeration (perhaps even an example of a “straw man”.)  The point to note is that one must be careful when talking about the implications of an opponent’s argument, of arguing that certain (usually bad) things “follow” inevitably from an opponent’s position. 
    ■ Gay Marriage example: “If we allow gay marriage…what will be the next step? If gays are allowed to marry because they have made a lifestyle choice, what about polygamy? What about group marriages? What about marriage between family members? What about “marriage” being whatever I subjectively decide it is?” (“Caloblog husband,”  Arguments opposing gay marriage sometimes argue that marriage is the foundation of our society, and any attempt to change the definition of marriage may shake those foundations and undermine the many other institutions of which marriage is a part. 
    ■ When California debated legalizing medical marijuana, some opponents argued that we could not do this as it would lead down a slippery slope – soon doctors would be asked for “medical heroin,” and “medical cocaine,” and addiction would spiral out of control.
    Begging the Question/Leading Question – this fallacy involves assuming something that it is the arguers responsibility to prove.  It thus typically involves the assumptions that an arguer makes.  This fallacy often takes the form of a question (“Have you stopped beating your wife yet,” “Are you still as conceited as you used to be?”) but can also be found in the definitions and categories used by an arguer (“the liberal/conservative media”, “the death tax,” etc.)  Leading questions are attempts to force a respondent to accept a particular way of seeing an issue.  Example: “will you protect our children’s future by voting for the governor’s recall?” Anyone who says “no,” regardless of his or her reasons for not wanting to vote for a recall, is made to seem uncaring.
    Example: “A major problem in dealing with Irving as a cross-examiner lay in the fact that he would frequently build into his often lengthy and elaborate questions assumptions that themselves rested on his falsification of the evidence, and so had to be disputed before the question itself could be dealt with. This tactic, whether conscious or not, did not escape the attention of the judge. ‘No, Mr. Irving, that will not do, will it?’ he exclaimed on one such occasion: ‘You cannot put a question which has as its premise a misstatement about the date when gas chambers began operating…. If you are going to ask that question, and it is a relevant question, you must premise it correctly.'”   (Richard J. Evans, Lying About Hitler: History, Holocaust, and the David Irving Trial, Basic Books, 2001, p. 202. Quoted in The Fallacy Files website, by Gary N. Curtis.)
    False Dilemma/Dichotomy – this involves oversimplifying an issue by declaring that only two alternatives or ways of viewing the issue exist.  Often one of these alternatives is clearly bad, so it is implied that there is only one reasonable position to take.  Sometimes people criticize such an argumentative strategy by saying that it is “reductive.”  Consider the bumper sticker “America – love it or leave it.”  This assumes there are only two choices.  You must “love” America (and by extension, whatever policy its leaders carry out) or you should leave.  There is no middle ground, no room for a more qualified, nuanced position (bumper stickers tend to simplify issues, perhaps in part because they can consist of only a few words).
    Example: “Either restrictions must be placed on freedom of speech or certain subversive elements in society will use it to destroy this country. Since to allow the latter to occur is unconscionable, we must restrict freedom of speech.”
    Stacking the deck – this involves favoring evidence that suits your claim, and ignoring evidence that does not support it.  We can use the STAR criteria – sufficiency, typicality, accuracy and relevance.  For example, if you were writing an argument supporting legalization of marijuana, and you only cited scientific authorities who support the legalization of marijuana, you would be stacking the deck.  You need to also consider authorities who do not support the legalization of marijuana.
    Genetic Fallacy

    The genetic fallacy is occurs when the premises in an argument for a proposition are evaluated based on the origin of the premises instead of their content. It can sometimes be misguided to either endorse or condemn an idea based on its’ past–rather than on its present–merits or demerits, unless its’ past is relevant to its present value. For instance, the origin of testimony–whether first hand, hearsay, or rumor–carries weight in evaluating it. 
    Shifting the burden of proof

    When something is at issue, the responsibility, or burden of proof, sometimes falls equally on both sides, but sometimes it falls more heavily on one side than on the other.  For example, in a legal context the accused is “presumed innocent until proven guilty,” which means that the burden of proof is on the prosecution not the accused.  The accused does not have to prove his/her innocence – burden of proof lies with the prosecution.  The prosecution must prove the guild of the accused “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
    Example: if I think aliens are being held in Area 51, it is up to me to make the case.  If I make my case by saying “unless you can show me evidence that aliens are not being held in Area 51, this must be true,” this is obviously unfair.  For it is often hard to prove a negative.  Moreover, the burden of proof is with me – I have claimed aliens are being held in Area 51, therefore it is up to me to make the case, not you to disprove it.  Arguments about religion sometimes proceed this way, for example when an atheist is asked to prove God doesn’t exist.
    Argument ad Ignoratium (from the Latin, “argument from ignorance”)

    Proposing that a claim is true primarily because it hasn’t been proved false, or that something is false primarily because it has not been proved true. Arguing that unless an opponent can prove otherwise, a claim must be true.  Note that the problem with this way of arguing is that the arguer stakes his/her claim on the lack of support for a contrary or contradictory claim, rather than basing it on reasons and evidence.  This fallacy sometimes overlaps with the fallacy of shifting the burden of proof.
    Example: Since you can’t prove that the universe was not created by God, it must therefore have been created by God.
    Example: An often-cited example is this statement by Senator Joseph McCarthy, when asked for evidence to back up his accusation that a certain person was a communist:

    I do not have much information on this except the general statement of the agency that there is nothing in the files to disprove his communist connections.  (Cited in A Rulebook for Arguments by Anthony Weston,1992.)
    As McCarthy’s critics noted, the absence of evidence that someone is not a communist is a very poor argument that s/he is a communist.  Using this logic one could accuse almost anyone of anything.
    Red Herring:  The name comes from a trick once used by prisoners to escape dogs tracking them.  Prisoners would drag a fish along the path away from their escape route and thus throw off the scent.  Red Herring involves bringing up irrelevant issues, or drawing attention away from the issue at hand by bringing up irrelevant considerations.   Example: “The governor’s economic program won’t work.  It does nothing to stop illegal streetcar racing in San Diego.”
    Ad Hominem ((from the Latin, “against the man”) – attacking the arguer and her/his character rather than the question at issue.  Note that there are contexts where the character of the arguer may be relevant to the issue.  We may reasonably disbelieve the argument of a convicted embezzler who argues s/he should be put in charge of the finances of a soccer club.  However, if this same person argued that he should play wing on the soccer team, it would be an ad hominem attack to counter by saying he should not because he has been convicted of embezzlement.  
    Note that it may be reasonable to bring into question a speaker’s ethos.  Aristotle suggests that the ethos of a speaker plays a crucial role in determining whether an argument is persuasive or not.  It may also be fair and relevant to question the way an author has constructed his/her ethos.
    Abusive – directed at speaker

    Circumstantial – directed at some group.  Similar to ‘Poisoning the Well’

    Tu quoquo (‘thou too’) 

    “You say I shouldn’t become an alcoholic because it will hurt me and my family, yet you yourself are an alcoholic, so your argument can’t be worth listening to.”
    Non Sequitor (from the Latin, “it does not follow”)

    Refers to a conclusion that has no apparent connection to the premises.  Example: “affirmative action will not work because someone stole my car.” Many examples of this can be found in advertising. Consider advertisements that sell beer or car equipment by showing them next to a beautiful woman.  The implied argument is often that you should buy this equipment/beer because the woman is there, or because doing so will make it more likely that a beautiful woman will “like” you.    
    The Fallacy of Equivocation 

    This occurs when a word or phrase that has more than one meaning is employed in different meanings throughout the argument. 
    ■”Every society is, of course, repressive to some extent – as Sigmund Freud pointed out, repression is the price we pay for civilization.” (John P. Roche- political columnist)

    ■ In this example, the word repression is used in two completely different contexts. “Repression” in Freud’s mind meant restricting sexual and psychological desires. “Repression” in the second context does not mean repression of individual desires, but government restriction of individual liberties, such as that in a totalitarian state.

    ■ “Those noisy people object to racism because they believe it is discrimination. Yet even they agree that it is OK to choose carefully which tomatoes to buy in the supermarket. They discriminate between the over-ripe, the under-ripe, and the just right. They discriminate between the TV shows they don’t want to watch and those they do. So, what’s all this fuss about racism if they’re willing to discriminate, too?” 

    ■ “The World works according to natural laws, and for laws to work there must be a lawgiver.”
    “Darwin’s theory of evolution is just that, a theory.  Theories are just ideas that are not certain or infallible. We don’t want our children to believe that theories are certain or infallible, so we shouldn’t teach the theory of evolution in school without mentioning this, and without including alternatives such as intelligent design.” 

    Demagoguery often “refers to a political strategy for obtaining and gaining political power by appealing to the popular prejudices, emotions, fears and expectations of the public — typically via impassioned rhetoric and propaganda, and often using nationalist or populist themes.” Key rhetorical elements = demonization, pathos, lack of “rhetorical fairness,” “unidimensionality.”
    Demagoguery is a kind of discourse that undermines the quality of public argument, particularly by creating a situation in which dissent is dangerous + closing down discussion. It is sometimes a precursor to the ending or truncation of democracy. Demagogic discourse is often employed by authoritarian figures, authoritarian regimes, propagandists, and certain kinds of “populists.” Hitler is perhaps the most famous demagogue. Joseph McCarthy remains probably the most well-known demagogue in American history. Demagoguery can be used for most forms of political ideology.
    1. Polarization – dividing a diverse range of things, people, issues, etc. into 2 poles or camps. Typically, there is an “in-group” (good) and an “out-group” (bad), and there are only ever 2 options, policies, groups, etc. This is sometimes called “black or white thinking.”  The in-group is differentiated and granted “interpretive generosity”; not the out-group. Opponents are “demonized” (see below) by being associated with qualities of the out-group.
    2. Oversimplification/Reduction and Simple Solutions

    Partly as a result of #1, demagogues rarely argue that a situation is complex, multi-determined, difficult to grasp. They may argue that implementation of the solution is hard, but the concept of the solution is typically simple.
    3. Scapegoating & Dehumanizing/Demonizing the Out-group

    This is a scare tactic, a unifying tactic, a displacement of guilt/anxiety, and helps construct a sense of righteousness. The out-groups’ characteristics tend to morph.
    4. A Rhetoric of Hate and Disgust
    5. Loaded questions – posing a question with an implied position that the opponent does not have, e.g. “When did you stop taking bribes?”
    6. Double Standards, Rejection of reciprocally binding rules, refusal to redeem claims

    E.g. bad behavior by some in the in-group becomes an exception, by the out-group = rule.
    7. Denial of Responsibility for situation (related to #3)
    8. Ultra-nationalism (not patriotism) – idea that one’s country/group is best and others are inferior. Nationalism = attachment to a mythic essence of one’s country, and membership is determined by belonging to in-group.
    9. Anti-intellectualism & Authoritarianism. Claims constructed in ways that can’t be falsified
    10. Motivism – the idea that people don’t have reasons for what they do, but rather can be explained primarily in terms of some dark motive (evil, lust, hatred, etc.)
    11. Pandering to popular stereotypes, criminalizing dissent, plus fallacious reasoning, especially straw man, ad hominem, false dilemma, ad populum. ALSO, A) tendency toward conspiracy theories, B) metaphors of cleansing, disease and war – because war is such a powerful metaphor and motivator, and because it is assumed that “special” measures are justified in wartime, the more one can get one’s audience to think of things as war the more inclined many will be to follow what the demagogue says.  The outgroup is often compared to disease and filth – association with them (or their defense) is connected to treachery. 

    NOTE: Aristotle warns about the dangers of demagoguery in the Politics: “When states are democratically governed according to law, there are no demagogues, and the best citizens are securely in the saddle; but where the laws are not sovereign, there you find demagogues. The people become a monarch… such people, in its role as a monarch, not being controlled by law, aims at sole power and becomes like a master.” 
    Note also that much of the design of the US political system can be seen as a guard against demagoguery.
    “Let ambition counteract ambition” is Madison’s succinct statement of the principle at work in the Constitution. The bane of republican government throughout its history had been demagoguery, the incitement of the many against their own interest or against the few by a single clever speaker. The Federalist, with its auxiliary precautions, offers a remedy against demagogues that uses the few—perhaps other demagogues—to curtail them. They thus act one against the ambition of the other and, as a whole, on behalf of the true interest of the many. This is also a remedy for the inadequacy of elections. 

    Some Ways of Examining Metaphors
    Metaphors We live (and think) by

    George Lakoff and Mark Johnson argue that underlying most of our fundamental concepts are several kinds of metaphor: 

    orientational metaphors primarily relating to spatial organization (up/down, in/out, front/back, on/off, near/far, deep/shallow and central/peripheral); 

    ontological metaphors which associate activities, emotions and ideas with entities and substances (most obviously, metaphors involving personification); 

    structural metaphors: overarching metaphors (building on the other two types) which allow us to structure one concept in terms of another (e.g. rational argument is war or time is a resource). [from Chandler, “Rhetorical Tropes”]
    Our language is full of “metaphorical mappings” from one semantic domain to another
    In other words, we constantly use clusters of words from one “domain” to talk about other domains – in fact we do it so much that these relationships become naturalized, and we no longer think of this as the use of figurative language – it’s just part of language, a transparent window onto our world.
    However, examining the way figurative relationships are embedded in our language/thought can tell us much about culture and ideology.
    Example: “Thus, head for top or beginning; the brow and shoulders of a hill; the eyes of needles and of potatoes; mouth for any opening; the lip of a cup or pitcher; the teeth of a rake, a saw, a comb; the beard of wheat; the tongue of a shoe; the gorge of a river; a neck of land; an arm of the sea; the hands of a clock; heart for centre (the Latins used umbilicus, navel, in this sense); the belly of a sail; foot for end or bottom; the flesh of fruits; a vein of rock or mineral; the blood of grapes for wine; the bowels of the earth. Heaven or the sea smiles, the wind whistles, the waves murmur; a body groans under a great weight.” (Vico 1968, 129)

    How do these metaphors reveal basic cultural assumptions?
    1. Spatial Metaphors

    The foot of the bed, the foot of the hill, the back of the house, the face of the mountain, the leg of the chair, the skin of the orange, etc.
    2. Metaphors for Arguments 

    Your claims are indefensible…I attacked the weak points in his argument…She couldn’t counter my criticisms…his criticisms were on target…she won the argument…his position is strong…his argument lacked support
    3. Knowledge & Understanding

    I see what you are saying (cf. “savoir” in French).  She showed great insight.  My view of this issue is…what is your outlook on the problem? The concept was clear to her.  
    4. Life/Career 

    He saw no way of getting ahead.  He felt he was falling behind.  Where do you want to be in 5 years?  His career path was working out well.  She felt her life was finally on the right track.  He was approaching his forties.  Things were going well (note how the auxiliary verb “go” is often used to indicate the future, as in “I’m going to be a lawyer.”)  

    [Life is a journey (the person is a traveler, purposes are destinations, means are routes, difficulties are obstacles, counselors are guides, achievements are landmarks, choices are crossroads]
    Metaphors Create “Frames” and Involve “Entailments”

    Examples: “war on drugs”; society as machine/organism; society as Darwinian survival of fittest.

    Social problems: some have argued that liberal and conservative positions on social problems tend to involve different assumptions.  The more one explains problems such as crime, homelessness, unemployment etc. in terms of individual flaws, the less likely one is to support social service spending, and the more likely one is to support tough laws (three strikes) and the death penalty.  The more likely one is to consider such problems in terms of social explanations, the more likely one is to support social service spending, and the more likely one is to be against the death penalty. 

    The Significance of Metaphor 

    “Are we not coming to see that the whole works of scientific research, even entire schools, are hardly more than the patient repetition, in all its ramifications, of a fertile metaphor?  Kenneth Burke, Permanence & Change”
    “What, then, is truth? A mobile army of metaphors, metonyms, and anthropomorphisms – in short, a sum of human relations, which have been enhanced, transposed, and embellished poetically and rhetorically, and which after long use seem firm, canonical, and obligatory to a people: truths are illusions about which one has forgotten that this is what they are; metaphors which are worn out and without sensuous power; coins which have lost their pictures and now matter only as metal, no longer as coins.”  Nietzsche, “On Truth and Falsity in Their Extra-moral Sense”
    “Each major philosopher seems to take a small number of metaphors as eternal and self-evident truths and then, with rigorous logic and total systematicity, follows out the entailments of those metaphors to their conclusions wherever they lead. They lead to some pretty strange places. Plato’s metaphors entail that philosophers should govern the state. Aristotle’s metaphors entail that there are four causes and that there cannot be a vacuum. Descartes’ metaphors entail that the mind is completely disembodied and that all thought is conscious. Kant’s metaphors lead to the conclusions that there is a universal reason and that it dictates universal moral laws. These and other positions taken by those philosophers are not random opinions. They are consequences of taking commonplace metaphors as truths and systematically working out the consequences.”  (Lakoff, Interview, 1999)
    Metaphor as Creative Resource in Scientific Writing

    Example 1: Lakoff’s Neural Theory of Language

    Lakoff argues for a “neural theory of language,” and discusses the role that metaphors for cognition play in this theory.  In a recent interview Lakoff reflects explicitly on the root metaphors he draws on in constructing theories of language, and of the uses and limits of these metaphors.  Lakoff (1999) considers metaphors as a crucial creative resource:
    Metaphors for the mind, as you say, have evolved over time — from machines to switchboards to computers. There’s no avoiding metaphor in science. In our lab, we use the Neural Circuitry metaphor ubiquitous throughout neuroscience. If you’re studying neural computation, that metaphor is necessary. In the day to day research on the details of neural computation, the biological brain moves into the background while the Neural Circuitry introduced by the metaphor is what one works with. But no matter how ubiquitous a metaphor may be, it is important to keep track of what it hides and what it introduces. If you don’t, the body does disappear. We’re careful about our metaphors, as most scientists should be.

    1. Look for the “root” metaphor in an argument or discourse, the “God term” (Burke) or “transcendental signifier” (Derrida) and the “entailments” the metaphor constructs.  This will often tell you much about the conceptual logic governing an argument or discourse.  Look for the interests, silences, ideologies and values identifiable in particular uses of metaphor.
    Example: analyses of the visualism or “ocularcentrism of Western philosophy.  See texts such as Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature by Richard Rorty, Modernity & the Hegemony of Vision, David Levin (ed), or Downcast Eyes by Martin Jay.

    Example:   The conduit metaphor for communication (Reddy)

    Example: The “phonocentrism” of Western theoretical language (Derrida)

    Example: The “desktop” metaphor could perhaps be thought of as the “root” metaphor for much personal computing. It is used to organize information in terms of files, file folders, a trash can, etc.
    Burke undermines the foundational primacy of a “God term” by showing that it is a function of a particular terministic screen, that other screens are possible, and that other “ratios” of terms can be constructed. Social constructivists undermine the foundational primacy of a root metaphor by foregrounding its status as metaphor, by relativizing it in some way (culturally, historically, temporally, contextually, etc.)
    Derrida undermines the foundational primacy of a root metaphor by showing how the self-sufficiency of this metaphor is illusory, and dependent on its “supplement.”
    2. Identify a cluster or network of related metaphors and examine the “entailments” this constructs

    Example: the conduit metaphor is often associated with a set of interlocking metaphors, such as the mind/language as mirror, the speech circuit metaphor, the knowledge as vision metaphor, etc.

    Example: Chomsky’s account of language relies on a cluster of metaphors, which include language and the mind as computer; knowledge as vision, and the conduit metaphor.
    Chomsky talks of the “rule-governed, algorithmic, digital character of syntax,” and states that “the human mind/brain developed the faculty of language, a computational-representational system based on digital computation with recursive enumeration and many other specific properties. The system appears to be surprisingly elegant, possibly observing conditions of nonredundancy, global least effort conditions, and so on.” Chomsky argues that “at some early stage of human evolution the capacity to deal with systems of discrete infinity by systems of recursive computational rules developed in the mind,” which in turn gave rise to “the language faculty’s computational capacity to generate an infinity of expressions, with compositionally determined structural properties, form, and meaning.” 
    ENTAILMENTS: The metaphor of language as computational machine promotes the idea that language functions in terms of design and production processes, systems of pre-existing units, interconnected parts and combinatorial operations.  This foregrounds principles that are uniform, generative, autonomous and automatic.  Sentences are considered primarily as sequences of rule-governed operations carried out on discrete, compositionally structured units.  There is little place for reception, prosody, irregularity, variation, and the dialogic, interactive, rhetorical aspects of communication. There is no place for figuration, the non-literal, silence. Language is autonomous and decontextualized, constructed as conduit and code.
    3.  Examine how a particular metaphor is “inflected,” appropriated and contested by opposing interests.  This can help you understand the ways in which cultural and political struggle are mediated in language. 

    Example: democracy, freedom, free market, etc.

    Example: competing appropriations of frontier metaphors and narratives in the genesis of the Internet.
    4.  Examine shifts in metaphors that occur over time.  This can tell you a lot about how an object or event is being constructed, and the forces, actors, and ideologies at play in that construction. 
    Example: the shift from visual to non-visual or “alternative” visions of knowledge in the move from structuralist to post-structuralist theory.
    Example: The shift from visual metaphors to aural and other non-visual metaphors in legal discourse (see Bernard Hibbits, “Making sense of metaphors: visuality, aurality and the reconfiguration of American legal discourse.”)
    Example: Shifts in the rhetorical construction of the internet and “netizens” from 1992-2000.
    5. Consider how some new object of event is captured in metaphor; how metaphors can function as creative resources in imagining new visions of an object or event, or as a creative resource in constructing new knowledge.

    Example: Neural Circuitry metaphor; network as immune system. 

    Critical Discourse Analysis, Language & Power – The Quick ‘n Dirty Guide
    Language naturalizes particular categorizations of the social world, and these categorizations are shaped by power, culture and ideology.  (Language and the order of discourse [Foucault]; language as a “terministic screen” [Burke]).  

    Language and the construction of subject positions/identities. (Mr., Miss, Mrs., Ms., etc.)

    Language as a site & stake in struggle (Bakhtin.)  Example: standards constructed as “neutral,” the construction of “high” & “low” discourse/culture, [French/Latin; London English; middle class English] etc.

    Language and cultural capital (Bourdieu)

    Language and Silence/the Unsayable
    Useful Texts: Huckin, Tom, “Critical Discourse Analysis & the Discourse of Condescension”

    ■ Fairclough, Norman. 1992. Discourse and social change. Cambridge: Polity.

    ■ Fairclough, Norman. 1995. Critical Discourse Analysis. London: Longman.

    ■ Fowler, R., B.Hodge, G.Kress, and T. Trew. 1979. Language and control. London: Routledge.
    CDA: Some principles 

    1. There is not an external relationship between language and society, but an internal and dialectical one – social structures determine discourse and are the product of discourse. Discourse has effects on social structures, as well as being determined by them, and so contributes to social continuity and change.  Each involves the other without being reducible to the other.

    2. Language is a social practice through which the world is represented – it involves action, and it partakes of structure and agency.  Language is socially conditioned; people internalize socially conditioned language; thus the forces that shape society have a foothold in the psyche.

    3. Discourse/language use as a form of social practice in itself not only represents

    and signifies other social practices but it also constitutes other social practices

    such as the exercise of power, domination, prejudice, resistance and so forth.  

    4. Orders of discourse mediate social order and power, and shape actual discourse.

    5. Linguistic features and structures are not arbitrary. They are purposeful whether or not the choices are conscious or unconscious.

    6. Power relations are produced, exercised, and reproduced in part through discourse.
    CDA provides you with the resources to describe and analyze at the micro-level many issues that rhetoricians talk about in general terms.  

    Example: In The Feminist Critique of Language, Cameron examines the patriarchal ideology inscribed in the language of two newspaper reports of an attack on a married couple.  The newspaper reports begin with the following sentences:
    A man who suffered head injuries when attacked by two men who broke into his home in Beckenham, Kent early yesterday was pinned down on the bed by intruders who took it in turns to rape his wife. Daily Telegraph. 

    A terrified 19-stone husband was forced to lie next to his wife as two men raped her yesterday. The Sun.

    How might we analyze this?

    Some things CDA analysts look at: 

    Agency – who is the primary actor, what are they doing, and to whom?

    How is agency constructed through tense, mood, syntax, aspect and foregrounding, use of nominalization, modality, etc.


    How are objects and events emplotted? Who/what is the main character, event, objects? What point of view is provided, what is foregrounded/backgrounded? What larger cultural narratives are drawn on?

    Subject positions

    How are pronouns, categories, forms of address, grammar, etc. used to establish subject positions, participant positions and roles, patterns of identification, power relations, etc. 

    Categories and definitions


    Patterns of coherence construct what is “presupposed,” and reveal assumptions and values.


    How word choice constructs ethos, authority, patterns of identification, etc.

    Point of view/Perspective


    How  the source and authority of information is indicated through tense, grammar, modality, indexicality, lexis, phrasealogical regularities

    Naturalization of social/political order

    Example: Analyzing Newspaper headlines:


    Example: framing news events. 

    “An infant left sleeping in his crib was bitten repeatedly by rats while his 16-year-old mother went to cash her welfare check.” 

    “An eight-month-old South End boy was treated yesterday after being bitten by rats while sleeping in his crib. Tenants said that repeated requests for extermination had been ignored by the landlord. 

    “Rats bit eight-month old Michael Burns five times yesterday as he napped in his crib. Burns is the latest victim of a rat epidemic plaguing inner-city neighborhoods. A Public Health Department spokesperson explained that federal and state cutbacks forced short-staffing at rat control and housing inspection programs.” (from Charlotte Ryan, Prime Time Activism)

    Extracts President Bush speech October 2001

    ■ On September the 11th, enemies of freedom committed an act of war against our country…on September 11, this great land came under attack, and it’s still under attack as we speak…Our war on terror begins with Al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group has been found, stopped and defeated.

    ■ Freedom and fear are at war. The advance of human freedom, the great achievement of our time and the great hope of every time, now depends on us. Our nation, this generation, will lift the dark threat of violence from our people and our future. We will rally the world to this cause by our efforts, by our courage. We will not tire, we will not falter and we will not fail.

    ■ We are at the beginning of what I view as a very long struggle against evil. We’re not

    fighting a nation and we’re not fighting a religion. We’re fighting evil. And we have no choice but to prevail” (GWB-6/62-64). [37] 
    Public Speech Cincinnatti, May 03.

    ■ Tonight I want to take a few minutes to discuss a grave threat to peace and America’s determination to lead the world in confronting that threat.  The threat comes from Iraq. It arises directly from the Iraqi regime’s own actions, its history of aggression and its drive toward an arsenal of terror….Since we all agree on this goal [disarming Saddam Hussein], the issue is how best can we achieve it. Many Americans have raised legitimate questions about the nature of the threat, about the urgency of action. Why be concerned now? About the link between Iraq developing weapons of terror and the wider war on terror.  These are all issues we’ve discussed broadly and fully within my administration.  And tonight I want to share those discussions with you.

    ■ Our immediate focus will be … defending the United States, the American people, and our interests at home and abroad by identifying and destroying the threat before it reaches our borders.

    ■ Forming coalitions of the willing and cooperative security arrangements are key to confronting these emerging transnational threats…We will defend this just peace against threats from terrorists and tyrants…America will act against such emerging threats before they are fully formed.  
    Frames are typically constructed through the use of metaphors, definitions, narratives, categories and metalinguistic commentary. They are used to get an audience to attend to certain elements of a situation and ignore others; to construct a particular way of seeing an issue, event, person or group, and to shape the way an audience understands the context of communication.  They can have persuasive effects.  
    DRAMATISM/PENTAD – a way of exploring frames, motive and explanation

    Do we stress 1. Act 2. Scene 3. Agent 4. Agency, 5. Purpose (What, Where, Who, How, Why?)
    Example: Hurricane Katrina. How do we frame what happened? What importance do we give to the scene/context (where it happened)? What role did the chief actors play in the event? What elements had the greatest agency/by what means did they act? Why did they act the way they did?

    Example: how do we frame the homeless problem, and what “ratio” do we set up (what weight do we give one element of pentad over others?)
    Exercise: construct what you think are the major frames used to discuss homelessness
    One Event: Three Frames, Three Solutions

    Charlotte Ryan, author of Prime Time Activism, offers a good example of how one event can be framed in many ways, with a profound impact on the event’s meaning. Consider the following three different versions of one news story:

    “An infant left sleeping in his crib was bitten repeatedly by rats while his 16-year-old mother went to cash her welfare check.” 

    “An eight-month-old South End boy was treated yesterday after being bitten by rats while sleeping in his crib. Tenants said that repeated requests for extermination had been ignored by the landlord. He claimed that the tenants did not properly dispose of their garbage.”

    “Rats bit eight-month old Michael Burns five times yesterday as he napped in his crib. Burns is the latest victim of a rat epidemic plaguing inner-city neighborhoods. A Public Health Department spokesperson explained that federal and state cutbacks forced short-staffing at rat control and housing inspection programs.”

    Rhetorical Strategies – an introduction
    Rhetorical strategies are tools that help writers craft language so as to have an effect on readers.  Strategies are means of persuasion, a way of using language to get readers’ attention and agreement.  
    In your writing or your discussion, you will need to ask and answer certain questions.  Why does the author choose to use that strategy in that place?  What does he or she want to evoke in the reader?  How do these strategies help the author build his or her argument?  How do these strategies emphasize the claims the author makes or the evidence he or she uses?
    When describing why a strategy is used, you may also want to consider alternative strategies, and think about how they would work differently.  It might be helpful to consider what would happen if the strategy were left out – what difference would it make to the argument? This may help you figure out why the particular strategy was chosen.
    Remember that any term we have looked at that can be used to describe an argument, can be used strategically.  This includes evidence, definitions, metaphors, the GASCAP terms, rebuttals and qualifiers, framing, etc.

    When Discussing Rhetorical Strategies, Remember to:

    Identify rhetorical strategies in the text

    Describe how they work

    Describe why they are used – what purpose do they accomplish?

    Always include a discussion of how this strategy helps the author develop and support the argument.  
    The following is a list of commonly used strategies and questions that will help you consider why the author may have chosen to use those strategies.  
    Authorities or “big names” – Frequently an author will quote from a famous person or well-known authority on the topic being discussed.  

    How does this appeal to authority build trust in her argument that the consensus can be trusted?

    How does this appeal tap into assumptions about scientific method
    Cause and effect analysis: Analyzes why something happens and describes the consequences of a string of events. 

    Does the author examine past events or their outcomes? 

    Is the purpose to inform, speculate, or argue about why an identifiable fact happens the way it does?

    Commonplaces – Also known as hidden assumptions, hidden beliefs, and ideologies.  Commonplaces include assumptions, many of them unconscious, that groups of people hold in common.  

    What hidden assumptions or beliefs does the speaker have about the topic? How is the speaker or author appealing to the hidden assumptions of the audience?

    Who is the intended audience of this piece?  What are some assumptions of this intended audience?
    Comparison and contrast: Discusses similarities and differences. 

    Does the text contain two or more related subjects? 

    How are they alike? different?

    How does this comparison further the argument or a claim?  

    Definition –When authors define certain words, these definitions are specifically formulated for the specific purpose he or she has in mind.  In addition, these definitions are crafted uniquely for the intended audience.  

    Who is the intended audience?  

    Does the text focus on any abstract, specialized, or new terms that need further explanation so the readers understand the point?

    How has the speaker or author chosen to define these terms for the audience?

    What effect might this definition have on the audience, or how does this definition help further the argument?  
    Description:  Details sensory perceptions of a person, place, or thing. 

    Does a person, place, or thing play a prominent role in the text? 

    Does the tone, pacing, or overall purpose of the essay benefit from sensory details?

    What emotions might these details evoke in the audience?  (See Pathos)

    How does this description help the author further the argument? 

    Division and classification: Divides a whole into parts or sorts related items into categories. 

    Is the author trying to explain a broad and complicated subject? 

    Does it benefit the text to reduce this subject to more manageable parts to focus the discussion?
    Exemplification: Provides examples or cases in point. 

    What examples, facts, statistics, cases in point, personal experiences, or interview questions does the author add to illustrate claims or illuminate the argument?  

    What effect might these have on the reader?  

    Ethos –  Aristotle’s term ethos refers to the credibility, character or personality of the speaker or author or someone else connected to the argument.  Ethos brings up questions of ethics and trust between the speaker or author and the audience.  How is the speaker or author building credibility for the argument? How and why is the speaker or author trying to get the audience to trust her or him?  See the discussion on Aristotelian Appeals in the textbook.  

    Aristotle says that a speaker builds credibility by demonstrating that he or she is fair, knowledgeable about a topic, trustworthy, and considerate.  

    What specifically does the author do to obtain the reader’s trust?  How does he or she show fairness? Understanding of the topic? Trustworthy? Considerate of the reader’s needs?  

    How does she construct credibility for her argument? 
    Identification – This is rhetorician Kenneth Burke’s term for the act of “identifying” with another person who shares your values or beliefs.  Many speakers or authors try to identify with an audience or convince an audience to identify with them and their argument.  

    How does the author build a connection between himself or herself and the audience?
    Logos – Loosely defined, logos refers to the use of logic, reason, facts, statistics, data, and numbers.  Very often, logos seems tangible and touchable, so much more real and “true” than other rhetorical strategies that it does not seem like a persuasive strategy at all.  See the discussion on Aristotelian Appeals in the textbook.  

    How and why does the author or speaker chose logos?  

    How does the author show there are good reasons to support his or her argument?

    What kinds of evidence does he or she use?  
    Metadiscourse – Metadiscourse can be described as language about language.  It announces to the reader what the writer is doing, helping the reader to recognize the author’s plan.  (Example:  In my paper . . .)  Metadiscourse can be used both to announce the overall project or purpose of the paper and to announce its argument.  It also provides signposts along the way, guiding the reader to what will come next and showing how that is connected to what has come before.  See the discussion of Metadiscourse in the textbook for more details.  

    Metadiscourse can signal the tone the author wants to convey.  What is the author’s voice in this paper?  How does she enter in and guide the reader through the text?

    What role does she adopt?  What voice does she use?  
    Metaphors, analogies, similes –An analogy compares two parallel terms or situations in which the traits of one situation are argued to be similar to another—often one relatively firm and concrete, and the other less familiar and concrete.  This allows the author to use concrete, easily understood ideas, to clarify a less obvious point.  
    Similarly, metaphors and similes assign help an author frame the argument, to pay attention to some elements of a situation and ignore others or to assign the characteristics of one thing to another.  For example, see “The Power of Green” by Thomas Friedman in this reader.  

    What two things are being compared?  

    How does this comparison help an audience view the argument in a new way?  How does this frame shape the argument?  

    Motive – Sometimes an author may reference the motives of his or her opponents.  

    Why we should or shouldn’t trust someone’s argument –(ex. if the CEO of Krispy Kreme doughnuts argues against nutritional information on product packaging)
    Narration: Recounts an event. 

    Is the narrator trying to report or recount an anecdote, an experience, or an event? Is it telling a story?

    How does this narrative illustrate or clarify the claim or argument? 

    What effect might this story have on the audience?  

    How does this narrative further the argument?  

    Pathos – Pathos refers to feelings.  The author or speaker wants her audience to feel the same emotions she is feeling, whether or not they agree on the actual topic.  That way, because they feel the same emotions, they are more likely to agree with the author later on.  
    What specific emotions does the author evoke? 

    How does she do it? 

    How does the author use these emotions as a tool to persuade the audience? 
    Precedent – When an author or speaker argues from precedent, he or she references a previous situation, one that can be compared to the author’s situation.  

    Does the author reference any historic instances that he or she claims are similar to the one being discussed?  

    What details about this historic situation help the author’s argument? 
    Prolepsis – Anticipating the opposition’s best argument and addressing it in advance.  

    Readers interact with the texts they read, and often that interaction includes disagreement or asking questions of the text.  

    Authors can counter disagreement by answering anticipating the opposition and introducing it within the text.  Authors then respond to it.  
    Process analysis: Explains to the reader how to do something or how something happens.

    Were any portions of the text more clear because concrete directions about a certain process were included?

    How does this help the author develop the argument? 
    Rhetorical question – A question designed to have one correct answer.  The author leads you into a position rather than stating it explicitly.  

    What is the most obvious answer to this question? 

    Why is it important to have the reader answer this question?  How does it help the author persuade the audience?
    Transitional questions – Lead the reader into a new subject area or area of argument.  

    What role do these questions play?  How do these questions lead the direction of the argument? 

    How is this helpful for the reader?
    Structure and Organization

    It is important to consider the organization of information and strategies in any text. 

    How does this structure or organization help strength the argument?

    What headings or titles does the author use?  How do these strengthen the argument?

    Analysis of the Film of Romeo and Juliet

    William Shakespeare wrote the play of Romeo and Juliet. It is a very exciting play of love between Romeo and Juliet who fall in love while in a party (Arafat 25). Romeo and Juliet come from families that dislike one another but they aware that they cannot be allowed to do so by other members of the society. Because of fear, they marry each other in secret for their love to continue (Bly, 2001). Although they have strong love, Romeo kills her cousin in their wedding eve when fighting each other. Romeo drops the issue of marriage in the next morning because if he goes back to the city, he will be killed.

    The family of Juliet insists that she must be married to Paris because they do not know that she is already married to Romeo. Juliet does not accept to marry Paris in the beginning but agrees later because she wants to forget that she is dead so that she marries Romeo secretly. She is to be assisted by Friar Laurence to disappear with Romeo because he is the one who designs the disappearance plan (Arafay, 18). He pretends that Juliet is dead and buried so that Juliet’s parents can drop their intention of Juliet marrying Paris. Romeo himself has no knowledge of the plan and eventually visits her tomb with the knowledge that she is alive. He eventually kills himself because his love is already dead and buried. Immediately Juliet wakes up; she realizes that Romeo is dead and also decides also to kill herself. Eventually, no marriage takes place between Juliet and Romeo and Juliet and Paris.


    This film rightly introduces Juliet when acting on stage and ensures that there is a strong exploration of the theme of marriage. The scene I observes clearly demonstrates how the theme of marriage and love relates to each other. The scene also shows how Juliet views marriage and love (Arafay, 2005). According to my observation in the film, marriage is a relationship between two people and couples should be allowed to choose their marriage partner. According to the film, Juliet’s parents tries to force a marriage between Juliet and Paris. It, therefore, shows that parents play a little role in helping their daughters find a husband. In the film, the theme of young against old age is clearly depicted in the play. It can also be observed from the film the distinction in attitudes between the Nurse, Capulet, and Juliet towards marriage and love.

    In the film, the nurse is comical and seems to have similar frustration as Juliet, finding the distinction of Juliet’s young virtuousness with the Nurse’s Older, coarser viewpoint on life (Bly, 2001). The memories of the Nurse concerning that Juliet’s are weaned and acquiring knowledge to walk indicates her motives towards sexual maturity. The response of Juliet towards Romeo in the film is a strong sign of love which cannot allow her to marry another person. Romeo understands how to tease Juliet although he is not in good terms with Juliet’s parents. There are some comments that Juliet makes which indicates that she is still a very young to be in womanhood.

    Capulet is not happy to see Juliet marrying Paris although; the family of Juliet wants it. Capulet is cold about the relationship between Juliet and Paris, and she tries not to be part of it by all means. It is like she sees that there is no match between the two regarding age. It seems that she wants Juliet to just accept marriage for the sake of it in order not to disobey parents. Juliet is not ready to please her parents but clearly, disagree with them for the first time and later agrees to the marriage arrangement to please parent (Arafay, 2005). The Juliet’s parents believe that the marriage of Juliet and Paris can increase social condition of their family because Paris is a rich man and they will have a share in his riches. From there, there is an observation that Juliet’s parents want Juliet to get marriage to Paris for social gain but not that there is a complete match between Juliet and Paris.

    Juliet’s parents only see the marriage between Paris and Juliet as a way of gaining high social class for the family instead of looking at her Juliet. The parents only want to use her to gain wealth, but they should see marriage as a physical relationship. Parents only believe that marriage only increases personal condition of a woman but not through pregnancy. According to their definition, both the parents are not able to address romantic love that Juliet harbors. They only display female oppression to Juliet (Bly, 2001). It, therefore, means that her parents want her to get marriage to acquire wealth.

    Juliet agrees to the proposal of her mother cleverly "I’ll look to like, if looking liking move, But no deeper will I hurt my eye." Her reply to her mother shows that Juliet is emotionally mature because she can make her personal decision to get married to a man that she does not like. She is also strong enough to reject the opinion of her mother and Nurse. Juliet understands that her parents only believe that love is about materials and sex, but according to her, she believes that it is about personal feelings. Juliet also knows that there is also something important in marriage more than materials and sex that binds the couples together.

    It is depicted from the film that her attitudes towards marrying Paris is against the wish of her parents and this can be seen clearly because the relationship between Juliet and her parents is becoming sourer (Bly, 2001). Juliet views her love to Romeo as much stronger and is of spiritual quality than that of Paris which mainly associated with wealth and sex (Arafay, 2005). Due to the difference in the perception of love, Juliet views the opinion of her parents negative and that makes her believe that the wish of her parents is based on family feuds, and women oppression.


    This film is entertaining and makes the play of Romeo and Juliet to be easy to understand. It clearly provides a visual explanation of love and marriage. The film also enhances the flow of the play as one can quickly know what takes place in every scene. From the play, one can easily distinguish true love which is not based on women oppression. The use of video also makes the play more interesting, and one can see the actual thing which is happening between Juliet and her family and between Romeo and Juliet.

    Work Cited

    Arafay, Mireia (2005). Books in Motion: Adaptation, Adaptability, Authorship. Rodopi. ISBN978-90-420-1957-7.

    Bly, Mary (2001). "The Legacy of Juliet’s Desire in Comedies of the Early 1600s". In Alexander, Margaret M. S; Wells, Stanley.Shakespeare and Sexuality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 52–71.

    ROMEO AND JULIET X.edited.doc