Saturday, April 4, 2015

Persuasive Strategies for Organ Donation

On your own personal blog, analyze your strategies you used in your post. Did you use all three appeal (ethos, pathos, and logos)?  Why or why not? Which approach do you think works best to connect with a blog and its reader?

In my persuasive blog post "Don't wait to DONATE your organs!" http://english209winter2015.blogspot.com/2015/04/dont-wait-to-donate-your-organs.html, I believe I used ethos, pathos, and logos equally, providing for a well-balanced argument that I sincerely hope will persuade readers to take action.

My ethos and pathos are inextricably intertwined, but I will analyze them separately.

Ethos: I have lost a cousin to kidney failure, so I have an intense personal experience to share. I also admit that my cousin and I were not very close - I don't pretend that we were best friends. There's an honesty to that that I believe adds credence to my ethos. I'm also up front about the financial situation that was vexing me that summer  - a situation that now seems trivial in comparison to Cassie's death. (We always think that we have it so much harder than anyone else, but boy are we wrong!)  I am also, and perhaps most importantly, registered with the Michigan Organ Registry, so what I am asking readers to do is something I have already done myself. (I'm also registered as a potential blood marrow donor with Be the Match, but as that is not related to kidney donation I decided to leave that part out.) 

Pathos: The tragedy of a 29 year old beautiful young woman falling asleep one night and never waking up is simply heartbreaking, as is the toll it took on her immediate and extended family. I did not want to make this maudlin in any way; the reality of the situation is horrifying enough without me embellishing her illness and passing. There's also a delicate situation here: I don't know as many details about her life or her death as I should or could, and I would never want to call her parents to glean those details for a blog. I know they still suffer every day, and I respect their privacy.

Logos: I cited information and statistics from Gift of Life Michigan, The University of Michigan Medical System, and the Secretary of State. I gave specific numbers and bolded and enlarged them in order to catch the reader's eye. I gave links to all of the sources I used and explained the ease with which someone can sign up to be an organ donor and provided links to make that happen if the reader felt persuaded enough to do so.

I think the strongest persuasive tactic I use is when I ask readers to join me on the registry. I can't go back in time to see if I would be a match for Cassie as a living donor, but I can move forward by maintaining my name on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry. 

Weaknesses: I could have addressed myths about organ donation (disfigurement, closed coffins) and religious issues, but I chose purposefully not to because that leads readers down a road that discourages them from taking action. I tried to be as straightforward as possible to avoid that kind of thinking, which often deters would-be organ donors from signing up.

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