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Yu

huang

Yu huang
ENG335
Explication one
Due date: 09/30/15

Explication of Ethics and its Impact on Professional Writing


When I start my first explication, I initially come up with the rhetorical
concept ethic we discussed and studied in class. The concept ethics we discussed is
from Katzs article The Ethic of Expediency: Classical Rhetoric, Technology, and the
Holocaust. I think this article is very interesting and I want to know more about
ethics. What does ethics mean generally? I personally think ethics means moral
principles that govern a persons or groups behavior. In here, I want to talk about a
general ethical concept; specifically I would like to focus on ethics about human
consequence and life.
I have read Katzs article a couple times and found something interesting. In
the article, Katz gave us some examples to discuss the concept ethics. He uses a
letter written during the holocaust as an example. This letter asks for modifications
of vans to make them more efficient, and is a nearly perfect example of technical
writing. The problem with the letter is that these modifications are to make the
process quicker and easier to exterminate people. The expediency was taken to an
extreme. The author of the letter, Just, used ninety seven thousand, load and
pieces in his memo, instead of using people or Jewish people. These wordings
really reflect the ethic of expediency in his memo by ignoring human consequences.

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I think the rhetoric he used is unethical because he ignored human quality and
consequence. After reading Justs memo, I have to say that Just was an excellent
professional writer from the technical perspective because I can see his objective
and coldbloodednss from his dehumanized writing: he didnot use any personal
pronouns in his memo, he did not use any emotional adjective; but instead, he listed
the three tasks logical. In his memo, it feels like Just is describing tasks without
any emotion. Katz claimed the memo was technical and logical, and I agree with him
because Just used short and intelligible sentences in his article. I think that Justs
memo is dehumanized because he used words like a piece of dirt and load
instead of what the pieces of dirt and loads actually represented. After reading this
article, I realized that writing could be used for both positive purpose and negative
aspects .
I do think an understanding of ethics is important to professional writing
because it allows the audience to think more about the human consequences. Katz
said, ethics, defined as human character manifested in behavior, is an important
consideration in deliberative rhetoric. All deliberative rhetoric is concerned with
decision and action(Katz, p.187). He also said, the problem in technical
communication and deliberative rhetoric generally, then is not only one of
epistemology, the relationship of argument, organization, and style to thought, but
also one of ethics, of how that relationship affects and reveals itself in human
behavior(Katz, p.187). Katz emphasized that ethics and its relationship affects and
reveals itself in human consequence. If a professional writer composes her writing
unethically, I think that she is not an eligible professional writer because the public

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community cannot accept her work. If a writer writes a book that teaches people
how to steal goods from a store, I dont think the audience would agree with the
author and accept his book. The most important aspect of professional writing is the
writers ethics. If professional writing has no ethics, the result will be unacceptable,
potentially dangerous writing like Justs memo. For example, a captain of a boat
requires that he has accurate directions. Knowing the right direction is an
indispensable and important element, for without it, he would lose his way and not
arrive at his destination. Another example, ethics is to professional writing as an
essential organ is to humans. Without that organ, the human cannot live.
Professional writing would lose its ethical value without ethics, just like a captain
would lose his way without accurate direction, and also like how a human being will
not survive without an essential organ.

So far, Ive discussed how an ethic of expediency can be damaging to

professional writing. Also, Ive said that I think ethics is an essential aspect of any
good writing. Now that weve determined that an ethic of expediency can have bad
effects, what is the future of expediency? Does expediency ever play a positive role
in writing or the world in general? If possible, how could expediency improve
writing? Personally, I believe expediency always leads to negative consequences.
For example, I can think of a scenario where a student focuses very hard on a paper
prompt and how they can get the highest grade. However, in focusing so much on
the prompt and how to get the paper done quickly and efficiently, the student could
ignore critical thinking and other important steps in writing a good paper.

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In conclusion, ethics is an essential factor in professional writing. Katz essay

shows how a lack of ethics in writing can have disasterous effects. However, what
further role does expediency and ethics play in writing? Can an ethic of expediency
be positive, or is it always negative?