Book Report/Review, History
What counts as evidence depends in large part on the rhetorical situation. One audience might find personal testimony compelling in a given case, whereas another might
require data that only experimental
studies can provide. Imagine that you want to argue that advertisements should not include demeaning representations of chimpanzees and that the use of primates in
advertising should be banned. You’re encouraged to find out that a number of companies such as Honda and Puma have already agreed to such a ban, so you decide to
present your argument to other companies’ CEOs and advertising officials. What kind of evidence would be most compelling to this group? How would you rethink your use
of evidence if you were writing for the campus newspaper, for middle schoolers, or for animal-rights group members? What can you learn about what sort of evidence each
of these groups might value — and why?