Category Archives: Work in Progress

On the topic of our paradigm shift papers, I’m a bit nervous because research papers are not exactly me area of expertise. I’m just worried that I’ll make the completely wrong conclusions about my topic and that it’ll nullify my whole essay. Also, the fact that I’m making not-very-positive claims about a topic such as polygamy in Mormonism makes me think that I should be pretty careful with what I write, but I guess I’ll have a clearer vision post-conference…

I guess my current Work in Progress would be the Paradigm Shift paper. I have a new idea for it, which just came to me in the last class, interestingly enough while discussing the group projects…which is the concept of polygamy in Mormonism. What I mean by that is how in the origins of Mormonism, polygamy was the accepted norm (within the Mormon community, I mean). Since then, though, it has become taboo even within their own communities, having to form a separate sect. My question is how did Mormons come to reject one of the very principles of their religion, and to what extent did social norms affect the change.

For my upcoming paradigm shift paper, I’ve been browsing through some of the online library databases we have available to us in order to create some interesting ideas for comparisons. So far I’m leaning towards something to do with representations of certain demographics or interests in the media/entertainment industry, as well as how those representations have changed and been molded over time. For example, perhaps an essay on subcultures and how exposure to the general public has had an effect (whether positive or negative) on their attractiveness or even their ethos towards their original audiences.

Sounds a bit vague, I know, but I’m working on creating a more specific concept…


The advertisement I chose to analyze is a YouTube ad from the National Organization for Marriage. Known for being a deeply conservative group, they are putting forward a video that encourages people to become more involved with preserving traditional marriage values by highlighting personal evidence of discrimination and complaints.

The ad is obviously targeted towards people who already agree with conservative values of marriage being between a man and a woman, so there’s no aspect that is trying to persuade people to change their minds, per se. The goals of the ad are to further polarize those who are for and against the legality of gay marriage by villainizing society for being so insensitive to these people’s beliefs.

In terms of pathos, the advertisement uses fear as a medium for communication. A lot of the dialogue involves scaring the audience with potentially disastrous (to them) situations, such as

“My freedom will be taken away” is a statement expressed by one of the actors in the ad. This organization want to make it clear that changes in this aspect of society would have a huge negative impact on the way these people currently live their lives. Another woman suggests that she’ll have to choose between her faith and her job. The point the ad is getting at is that the acceptance of gay marriage as a viable option will hurt their lives and make them have to sacrifice important aspects of their day to day lives.

Rhetorical Essay Outline

Topic: WWII Poster


  • slogans
  • common words

Audience Assumption

  • patriotism
  • group mentality
  • common enemy

Rhetorical Proofs (and examples)

  • ethos
  • logos
  • pathos


  • final effectiveness of poster
  • does it inspire change?