Specific thesis: Expository documentary give people a false sense of logos by its use of pathos and ethos.


Specific reason 1 in effort to prove my point: “The expository and poetic modes often harvest, glean, or compile images from the world with relative indifference to the specific individuals or situations captured in order to shape proposals or perspectives on a general topic (Nichols, Introduction to Documentary).” By using other image sources not of their own, expository mode gains a sense of credibility, or ethos, because the gleaned clips say what the documentary film maker is trying to prove. This could something like the President of the United States saying he is sorry about a certain issue as we saw in the movie Fahrenheit 9/11. If one was to see this on the screen, would the audience then believe that what the author is saying is logical? He even has the President of the United States on his side, or he agrees with the President. The result is one having ethos. Or we can feel confused by the multiple clips being used like we saw in The Cooperation. Wasn’t the overload of images overwhelming? If you didn’t get emotion from that, maybe you got emotion from people protesting. Either way, you will find that an emotion linked to something absorbed visually. Pathos is real.


Specific reason 2 to prove my point: “I think, therefore I am.” (Rene Descartes). Another reason that we give expository documentaries power is because of this quote. The thesis of expository mode tells us what the documentary thinks. The rest of the documentary it is proving that it is (is being a word that has power to it). An audience can give it its credibility by believing what the documentary is, or is saying on a subject. This though is not logos. Logos was defined in class saying that logic is logic because it can’t be classified as law. Therefore, it is not giving audience a false sense of logos.


Specific reason 3 to prove my point: There once was a theatrical philosopher (and forgive me for forgetting who exactly) who believed that there is nothing that can play on a stage that one won’t learn from. No matter what, visually watching a performance, you will always learn something. This causes the audience to start learning about something. Learning might cause someone to give credibility to someone.  It also might tap into your emotions and teach you something about yourself. But, I would like to argue that logic is never present because of the way the filmmakers treat their thesis. But when it gets down to the nitty gritty. We cannot come to terms that we learn logic from any performance. Logic is meant to be a studied out answer. We must know of both sides to make logic function purely. Expository modes, for the most part, will never show you the other side of the wall, therefore, we are always one sided and our logic is broken.


Specific conclusion. Because of Pathos and ethos, we are deceived to think that logos is being taught, is and is used throughout any expository mode film. But that is purely my opinion.





Nichols, Bill. Introduction to Documentary. Bloomington, IN: Indiana UP, 2001. Print.


Fahrenheit 9/11. Dir. Michael Moore. Perf. Michael Moore. Lionsgate Films, 2004. DVD.


The Corporation. Dir. Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott. Perf. John Beard and Micheal Moore. Zeitgeist Films, 2004. DVD.

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