Blog 5 – Rogerian Argument: The other side’s perspective

Introduction: Natural gas now supplies 25% of our energy, so we all rely on it. It is also cheap and clean – a step in the right (correct) direction for the left and right wings, alike.

Audience Perspective: Starts with background information of how the process work – truth. Lets audience know that shale gas went from 1% of our energy supply in 2000 to 25% today. Also gives history of plans for energy development from ten years ago which could have been worse than what is currently underway. Doesn’t really give a solid audience perspective, though – immediately goes to something about how fracking’s dangers are mostly theoretical, without giving any consideration to that view point.

Author’s Perspective: As stated above, he jumps right in to state that the dangers are theoretical – he does so without incorporating any views from the audiences’ side. He notes that all energy production, no matter the source, will have environmental repercussions. He states that we can’t reject energy production advances because of the impacts they cause – especially since it’s theoretical. He has no real proof, just a quote from the head of the EPA, which would be credible but she just states that there are no proven cases – and nothing more than that.

Closing: Doesn’t really call for a compromise – just states that we cannot reject energy production advances and that making sure we don’t shut down natural gas reserves is necessary to our energy future. Sounds more like a call to say that my side is wrong and that we’re just impeding what should be happening by trying to hault fracking developments.


Blog 4 – Toulmin Outline

Toulmin Outline

Issue at hand – Fracking

  1. Fracking can potentially contaminate drinking water
  2. Fracking is run by many small energy companies and as US regulations get stronger support, they are outsourcing to other countries.
  3. US can do a lot to help the environment and its inhabitants by regulating the shale gas industry.

i.    Effects of fracking – drinking water
ii.    Economics – money to landowners

  1. Gasland video
  2. Companies outsourcing
  3. Countries coming in to frack
  4. Testimonials – video, at least – of tap water lighting fire


  1. Regulating fracking will protect our drinking water
  2. Regulations will allow for more public involvement
  3. Regulations can potentially result in better technology for energy consumption and/or production

i.    Not wanting to deal with them
ii.    Too expensive to change
4.   Other energy sources are regulated – why not this one?

  1. Data about where drinking water is lighting on fire – near fracking sites
  2. NEPA – EPA
  3. We’re a consumptive society – we run low on something or it gets too tricky to get through all the red tape so we invent something or do something new or different
  4. Oil is regulated, coal has mining regulations (albeit, awful ones)

Counter-Arguments and Rebuttal

  1. Regulating fracking will send more jobs and money to foreign countries
  2. Rebuttal – setting fracking regulations can set standards for the UN, etc.
  3. Regulating fracking is like invading a company’s privacy
  4. Rebuttal – disclosing “secret ingredients” in this case is a matter of international health – the public has a right to know what’s in their “drinkable” water


  1. Implications

i.    mention some chemicals used by companies who list their “slurry” ingredients
ii.    The potential for the US being a leader in sustainable energy production
2.  Summary
i.    Bring it back to sustainability and safety
3.  Evocative thought to make reader remember
i.    Imagine a world where the natural gas being sought is just an intermediary between oil dependence and sustainable, renewable energy

Blog 3 – Objective Academic Summary – “I Had an Abortion”

In the composition, “I Had an Abortion,” Swift argues that a plain t-shirt with a simple sentence printed in plain writing is a piece of rhetoric and ought be used as such to begin discourse and dialogue. She explains the reason the shirt was printed and discusses the (arguable) meaning of the words, as well as the use of simple and plain print and color. She also writes about how the rhetorical discourse can and will change depending on the wearer (rhetor) of the shirt and may also change depending where the rhetor purchases the shirt (second-hand vs. Planned Parenthood).

Blog 2 – Bitzer words

Words I can figure out with context, but not necessarily on their own:

1. Epideictic – an adjective describing something “designed to display something, esp the skill of the speaker in rhetoric” (

2. Inextricably – unable to get undone or untangled. Unable to solve or get out of.

3. Constituents – a component or piece

4. Punted – used as a verb in Bitzer’s writings, it means propelling a small, flat-bottomed boat with a large stick used to push off the bottom of a lake.

5. Pragmatic – According to it means something “of or pertaining to a practical point of view or practical considerations” or “pertaining to the affairs of state or community.”

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