“Rhetoric is nothing, but reason well dressed, and argument put in order.”- Jeremy Collier
In her article, “The Science Behind Crystals”, Risha Joshi uses well-dressed reasoning and “argument put in order” to deliver perceptive implications to her audience on the unknown potential that crystals have to influence humans. The way in which Joshi attempts to pique the interest of her readers and open them up to the idea of crystal healing is subtle, yet clever, and her use of rhetorical strategies to push her agenda deserves further examination.
In the opening paragraphs, Joshi uses ethos to catch the reader’s attention in two ways; the first way comes in the opening statement, when she writes, “Still not convinced by the amazing properties of crystals? Well, you have come to the right place my friend! Be prepared to have your mind blown.” Not only does she promise extraordinary revelations to the reader but also implies that she holds the key to understanding these extraordinary claims. Secondly, she admits that she too was once a skeptic of crystal healing, but since then has become a “true convert”. By using these techniques, Joshi elevates her status in the minds of the readers from just another “woo-woo-hippy” crystal advocate to someone who has changed their views after making an informed decision.
After establishing a sense of trust and credibility with her audience, Joshi uses a combination of logos and kairos to validate her claims throughout her argument, as she focuses mainly on the known properties of crystals. This approach of the topic of crystals from a scientific lens may be intriguing to skeptics in her audience, as most pseudoscientific advocates rely heavily on anecdotal evidence. Nevertheless, Joshi’s presentation of facts is not used to merely educate her audience. As the article progresses, a pattern evolves: Joshi presents a few facts about crystals, such as their structure, properties, and their beneficial uses in the electronics industry, then follows each new chunk of facts with a rhetorical question or suggestive remark. Take for instance Joshi’s statements on piezoelectricity:
“Quartz crystals possess a very unique property called piezoelectricity. …When an electric charge is applied to the quartz, the crystal distorts, and as the voltage is removed, the crystal creates an electric field…. it vibrates…sometimes 30,000 times per second! Considering our bodies are constantly producing electrical signals, the interaction between us and crystals is pretty clear.”
Notice the imperial writing used in the lasting statement. Joshi writes that there is an evident interaction between human beings and crystals yet does not elaborate or explain the connection. Thanks to the credibility established in her the introduction, Joshi’s audience is more inclined to not question her conclusion of the preceding information.
There are several examples of this strategical timing and presentation of information, but one of the my most compelling ways that Joshi attempts to persuade her audience is through her personable and conversational tone. Often times, readers become turned off to an author’s message when his or her writing appears to be pretentious or abrasive. Rather than presenting her information in a likewise fashion, Joshi comes off as genuinely enthused to share her fascination with crystals with her audience. She makes her voice clear and expressive through her use of exclamation marks, ellipses and casual diction which aids in allowing her article to read like a conversation rather than a written piece. Additionally, her choice to write in both a first- and second-person perspective, where she directly addresses the reader using terms like “my friend”, coupled with her use of informal phrases such as “Crazy, huh?” and “Hmmm…” further serves to create the friendly tone of the article. Not only does this tone and sense of enthusiasm keep the audience engaged, but it also acts as an effective method of sparking the curiosity of less skeptical readers on the potential powers of crystal healing.
All things considered, Joshi’s writing comes off as objective and unbiased at a glance, but underneath lies a plethora of rhetorical strategies that aid in promoting the “underappreciated and poorly researched” benefits of crystals. Although she provides few explanations of how crystal healing works, or why they are beneficial to humans, her article succeeds in prompting her audience to look into crystals. As a whole, her article seems convincing to the common reader, as she uses a combination of several rhetorical techniques such as ethos, logos and kairos to plant curiosity in the mind of her audience.