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Analysis of Rhetorical Strategies in the Articles by Alex Tapscott and Jong-Hyouk Lee

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The financial crisis of 2008 bred a new technology. Blockchain technology was born from a desperate attempt to try and alleviate trust from big banks and government after they failed to protect people’s money when the market crashed. Hundreds of millions of dollars lost, families broken, and lives destroyed. When blockchain was invented in 2009 naturally at first, barely anyone even noticed this technology existed. As time evolved and people saw the value of this technology applied in Bitcoin, people despised the idea, and slapped a label on it claiming it would be “used by mainly criminals”. As more time goes by, people and corporations have realized that blockchain tech has endless possibilities”. More time goes by, until recently people realize we have the power to form a centralized digital system, yet people get more satisfaction from dismissing it. Now major companies such as Nasdaq, JP MorganChase, and many others invest millions of dollars in blockchain technology, the technology used behind Bitcoin. The future that we are undoubtedly heading towards, a shift towards digital economies is coming sooner than later, and blockchain, the technology behind Bitcoin, is our first prototype digital currency, as well as ledger for many digital innovations to come outside of just money. The two articles that I will be cross-analyzing for rhetorical strategies primarily consisting of ethos, logos, and pathos are; Alex and Daniel Tapscott’s “How Blockchain is Changing Finance”, and Jong-Hyouk Lee’s, “How the BlockChain Revolution Will Reshape the consumer Electronics Industry”. Both the authors, Alex Tapscott and Jong-Hyouk Lee argue through establishing a series of rhetorical arguments such as ethos, logos, and pathos. Both of these articles rely heavier on statistical as well as tested factual data, and therefore have less to almost no account of pathos, however, Alex Tapscott’s article attempts to make a slight connection to account for all rhetorical strategies. Meanwhile, Jong-Hyouk Lee sticks to the scholar approach and wins over the reader by giving multiple accounts of statistical data, as well as arguments for and against this technology.

Alex Tapscott, in “How Blockchain is Changing Finance” establishes Logos by proving our current economic system is flawed by introducing statistics on Economic crime that happens in America every year. He states that 45% of all intermediaries suffer economic crime, such as banks and government. The author’s purpose in introducing this logos strategy is by proving that our system is so flawed that not even the banks and our own government have yet discovered a truly efficient way to protect themselves. The author continues to present more statistical truth to truly entice the reader and implants true intimidation by citing statistical data of economic crimes that businesses, and we the people such recurrently every year without realizing. One such statistic mentions that 37% of all economic activity suffers economic crime, which is a terrifyingly high number for a Government that makes trillions of dollars a year, and a society that on average spends about 18,000 a year on just nonessentials. (Tapscott 2017) This statistic establishes logos by presenting statistical data and it is important to establish logos to the audience because it makes them feel engaged as a statistical reference as they read through this. It makes them feel smart that they are in fact learning something from the article, and even ask themselves, “Am I part of that statistic?”.

Alex Tapscott establish ethos by deeply diving into the curriculum and background work that went into this paper. The structure of the paper makes it easy so that before you even begin reading. It is an online article on the Harvard Business Review, and upon opening, you are greeted by a 5 step dropdown menu that explains exactly how blockchain technology works. I think the structure of the article is great, because although while modern, has a credible source, credible publisher, and long history of earned credibility. I don’t believe that this being an online article affects the rhetorical strategies the author is trying to use at all, as he still makes his points clearly, and outlines the essay effectively and efficiently. Near the end of both articles, there are links to highly credible authors. For example, in the Harvard Business Review, they make accounts of contributors such as Daniel Tapscott, ranked the fourth most important living management thinker in the world, and a plethora of cited sources which enhance credibility. This is established by thinkers50, recognized as the world’s most reliable resource for identifying, ranking, and sharing the leading management ideas of our generation. This is given its own section at the bottom of the paper and is hard to miss, the author’s purposely presented their credentials in fairly large sections at the bottom of the paper, and recognize themselves as a credible source. This was smart of the authors, as establishing ethos is important to magnify their expertise and draw themselves as respectable authority figures of this topic who can be trusted by the audience to receive reliable information.

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The way pathos is established by Jong-Hyouk Lee, “How the BlockChain Revolution Will Reshape the consumer Electronics Industry” is a bit different. The authors from the IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine, establish pathos by taking the side of the average consumer. I don’t think Jong-Hyouk Lee makes any effort to establish pathos or logos in his paper. Jong-Hyouk’s paper seems to be made for such a specific audience that you have to be specifically looking for this article in order to run into it, and even more dedicated to a field to read through it. While Jong- Hyouk does not do a good job, or an effort at all to appeal to pathos or ethos, it does do a good job at establishing credibility; logos. Side-by-side comparison would be, in Jong-Hyouk’s paper, he has a full page with roughly about 30 references. Since Jong-Hyouk’s is writing a professional journal, he provides no graphs, no charts, or any visuals for that matter, strictly, text and little to no statistical data. Jong-Hyouk’s long list of references include reference points for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, statements made from the French Senate, as well as Consensus reports, and many other professional financial journals. How the author Jong-Hyouk includes is I don’t believe is the most effective way, because during the Journal there are few to almost none in-text citations. I think he would have made a better case, and had a stronger article if he did in-text citations and would have a line with some information followed by (Department of Homeland Security). However, I can also see one sentence having multiple references and not being able to do in-text citations for 10 references after a single statement.

For example, in Tapscott’s paper, “How Blockchain is Changing Finance”, the author starts his own paper with an opening statement basically questioning the legitimacy of efficiency in our banks and our governments. He states, “Why is our financial system so inefficient? First, because it’s antiquated, a kludge of industrial technologies and paper-based processes dressed up in a digital wrapper.”(Tapscott 2017) In the same article, “How Blockchain is Changing Finance.” The author establishes a layer of trust between himself and the reader, as most people who show interest in this technology have skepticism in our government, banks, and the financial industry, and by taking the side of the financial industry, and they take share similar ideologies.

In conclusion, both articles argue positively for blockchain technology. The information presented at hand is very valuable to defend the rhetorical strategies both authors are trying to pimplement. If the authors would have included visuals to support their arguments, whether that be visualizing statistical data it would have made a highly more significant impact on readers in both the beginner level and scholar-academic level. Jong-Hyouk Lee’s work in the IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine is a much more professional, detailed, and targeted paper. Meanwhile, Jong-Hyouk Lee’s paper clearly has a specific target demographic audience as this was posted on a very specific magazine that more than likely targets scholars, and career professionals. The other article, “How Blockchain is Changing Finance”, by Alex and Daniel Tapscott is not directly targeting any audience, rather defending and promoting the acceptance or at the very least conserving the ideology that we must accept the transitional gap that is happening in our generation.

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Analysis of Rhetorical Strategies in the Articles by Alex Tapscott and Jong-Hyouk Lee. (2022, August 12). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 21, 2024, from
“Analysis of Rhetorical Strategies in the Articles by Alex Tapscott and Jong-Hyouk Lee.” Edubirdie, 12 Aug. 2022,
Analysis of Rhetorical Strategies in the Articles by Alex Tapscott and Jong-Hyouk Lee. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 21 Feb. 2024].
Analysis of Rhetorical Strategies in the Articles by Alex Tapscott and Jong-Hyouk Lee [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Aug 12 [cited 2024 Feb 21]. Available from:
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