“Written vs. Spoken Words” – Day 3 of Project Citizen

Today, Project Citizen started the day with a lesson on op-eds and journalism.

We read examples including Brent Staples article, “Just Walk on By” which details what it’s like to be a black male walking the streets in a big city.

He elaborates on how black men are more likely to be interpreted  as rapists, muggers and crooks as well as how some black men have had to change their walking styles or let others pass in front of them to avoid making others feel uncomfortable.

Persuasive techniques are super important within op-eds. In this discussion, we learned three Greek terms that increase persuasiveness within an article: logos, ethos and pathos. Ethos is used to provide the audience with a reassurance that you are a reliable and credible source. Logos represents logic as well as the facts and statistics that can be provided to support your argument, while pathos focuses on the emotions you want to tap in your writing.

Using these three can help you convince your reader to agree with you opinion.

We also mentioned some key techniques such as anecdotes, which serve almost like short stories and utilize repetition. This technique conveys to the audience the writer’s persistence and can be highly persuasive.

In the afternoon, teacher, Kim Herzog, came in to discuss TEDTalks. She explained the TEDTalks are normally comprised of three main points with three minor points inside of each. We also learned about speaking and presenting tactics to engage audiences, and how different formats of presenting (Spoken word, TEDTalks, poetry, op-eds, fiction) can influence the message.

Now, Project Citizen students are considering using  TEDTalks for their presentation next Friday. Whether their TedTalk is highly informational on the problem they’ve chosen or tugs on heart strings by using a spoken word poem, we are excited to hear them.


Written by Isaiah, Paige and Joaquin

Edits by Kira

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