Suzan Harjo's Last Rites For Indian Dead

679 Words3 Pages

Suzan Harjo’s, “Last Rites for Indian Dead”,is a student persuasive essay criticizing the destruction of Indian remains. She strongly believes that this is an injustice to American Indians and their remains should be protected by law. She uses rhetorical appeal along with facts and her opinions to why Congress should pass a bill to make sure that her, along with her other families relative’s remains aren’t put up for show in museums. Harjo employs the rhetorical appeals of pathos and ethos effectively. However, her use of logical appeal causes her readers to doubt her claim. According to OWL, also known as Online Writing Lab, “a good argument will generally use a combination of all three appeals to make its case”. Since, her logos …show more content…

Harjo also showed many instances of logos in her writing, but it wasn 't used effectively. Logos is the appeal to reason and relies on reason and logic. She points out “...along with those of at least 4,500 other Indian people who were violated”. In other words, what she is trying to say is in the 1800s about 4,500 American Indians were violated, why do we need to continue the violation? However, Harjo needs to remember that numbers can 't "talk," but they can tell you as much as your human sources can. In order to get confident results we need a big sampling size. The bigger the sample size, the less likely errors are to occur. “For a 95% confidence level, which means that there is only a 5% chance of your sample results differing from the true population average’ a good estimate of the margin of error, or confidence interval, is given by 1/√N, where N is the number of participants or sample size”(Niles) In essence, Harjo’s main problem lies not so much in her ability to win us over as a reader emotionally and ethically. She is primarily unsuccessful in raising counterpoints to her position and her logical appeal. As it stands, however, Harjo 's argument more forcefully establishes a sense of outrage and empathy more than a sense of measured logic. This piece could have been improved if she had more logical appeal. Imagine someone who 's not very emotional reading this that wouldn 't be persuaded that we should stop digging up the

Open Document