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Are you familiar with Reddit’s “Change My View” subthread? Basically, it’s a place where, within the online community of Reddit, folks can post a (sometimes controversial, unpopular, and/or offensive) opinion, and then other folks use their powers of persuasion (re: rhetoric) to change the person’s view.

by | Jun 21, 2022 | English | 0 comments

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Week 3: Change My View
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Are you familiar with Reddit’s “Change My View” subthread? Basically, it’s a place where, within the online community of Reddit, folks can post a (sometimes controversial, unpopular, and/or offensive) opinion, and then other folks use their powers of persuasion (re: rhetoric) to change the person’s view.
The first step toward completing this week’s post is to head on over to the “Change My View” thread and spend a good 20-30 minutes reading through some of the posts. Make sure that you click on the “comments” so that you can see people’s arguments in response to the original authors’ claims. Also, do some digging. There are pages and pages of CMV posts to look through.
DISCLAIMER: This is an open internet community, which means, as with all things, there are some trolls. Many of the “views” are mundane. Some are down-right ignorant. Please keep this in mind as you skim.
https://www.reddit.com/r/changemyview/
After you have read through multiple threads on the Reddit site, come back here and write a 300-350 word response to what you saw. You can begin with a couple subjective reactions, but the bulk of your response should consist of your evaluating how people used the various argumentative techniques we’ve discussed over the past couple of weeks to persuade others to change their view. That is, in your mind, what were some of the most effective responses? How were the most convincing arguments made? Did you see frequent use of pathos? Ethos? Logos? What were some examples of each? How did the commenters make use of rhetorical modes in order to make a point?
Then, at the end of your post, I want you to all write your own “Change My View” view. In other words, I would like for you to write one sentence of a belief and/or opinion you have, in response to which you invite others to try to persuade you otherwise.
Please keep in mind that you all have to respond to others’ CMV views in this thread. That will be much easier if your CMV statements are clearly arguable (meaning there are clearly two sides, and each side feels pretty passionately about the issue). It will be hard for your classmates to respond to your view if it isn’t very arguable. Just something to think about.
Here are my parameters for your own “Change My View” views:
Don’t write more than one sentence, and make sure that one sentence is clear and concise.
Don’t be a jerk. In other words, don’t purposely try to get folks riled up, and don’t try to offer contrary views just to incite a debate. In other words, don’t say it unless you believe it, and don’t be hyperbolic.
Be respectful. I do not want to censor your views because this is a college class–and a place where we should all grow and learn. That said, consider that 24 people will read what you write. How will what you say impact them? That doesn’t mean you have to change your view; that does mean you should think about how you say it.
Don’t state a fact. Arguments, by definition, are arguable. That means that “the sky is blue” is not an argument. “Joe Biden is President of the United States” is not an argument. An argument must have people who would fall on both sides of the issue.
Finally, for your critical responses this week, as I’ve already mentioned, you will be doing exactly what the Reddit commenters do on the “Change my View” thread. You must choose at least 2 of your classmates views to argument against, using the argumentative techniques we’ve discussed and modeling your responses off of the ones you saw on Reddit. Of course, it’s fine to use some credible, reliable internet resources here. However, please link us to any sources you use in your response.
Update: This is a reminder that the comments for this week’s post are an exercise in argument–and an illustration of how to use ethos, logos, and pathos effectively. That is, you don’t actually have to disagree with one of your classmates’ CMV statements in order to argume against it. For instance, a student from last year’s statement argued, essentially, that we don’t need zoos. I happen to agree with her. However, I could still argue in favor of zoos, just as an exercise, using pathos, logos, and ethos.

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