You are on page 1of 6


Ashley Ferraro
Professor Brandi Bradley
ENC 2135
3 September 2015
Florida State University has a plethora of opportunities to get involved in a community
on campus. Whether it's a small club, or a large organization, everyone fits in somewhere. For
example, the school has a very active Greek Life community. Whether you are directly involved
or not, Greek Life will probably affect you in some shape or form. These organizations are
always hosting events for their philanthropies that are open for anyone to
participate. Specifically within the community, I am a new member of the Delta Zeta
sorority. With almost two hundred active members in the chapter, it can be difficult to
communicate information to every woman. However, there are many formal and informal
methods of communication that have proven to be effective throughout this community.
One of the first forms of communication that the members, and even strangers walking
by notice is the big painting on the side walk that says "Delta Zeta" in large colorful letters with
a turtle underneath. This is a creative way to communicate Delta Zeta's name and mascot with a
very broad audience. Many elements of design are included in the artwork to be visually
appealing. The Bedford Book of Genres expresses the relevance of design to helping to reach an
audience, the design features you and other writers choose can play an important role in the
level of success in achieving purposes and reaching audiences. The bold and colorful artwork
outside of the house represents the chapter in a positive light to make the sisterhood seem more
welcoming, which is the goal to often strive for. To the sisters who approach the house,
overwhelming feelings of love and acceptance bombard them. This is essentially the purpose of

Ferraro 2

the artwork, to extend a warm invitation to the sisters and make everyone feel welcomed. The
creative communication definitely instills pathos to those who feel a deep connection to the
sisterhood. However, sometimes the audience is not the sisters of Delta Zeta, but random
students strolling past the house. Delta Zeta strives to have a positive image within the broader
community of Florida State, and something as simple as a nice design can be a platform for that
image. Another method of communication that utilizes design in order to connect with the
audience is the decorated banners that hang outside of the house to announce a sisters twentyfirst birthday. These banners are usually large, colorful, neat, and relevant to the theme of her
party. This is mainly used to inform all of the sisters whose birthday is coming up, and the
theme they should dress up as for the party. However, the design features of the banner can
function to persuade sisters to attend the event. The composer is aware that the audience is
looking to have a good time, so she usually wants to communicate with a fun style, which
hopefully will parallel the party.
Sorority girls love food, so it is very important that they have access to a weekly meal
menu. There is a paper in the kitchen which is replaced every Sunday with a weekly menu of
lunch and dinner. This method of communication is to inform everyone what to expect each day,
and even to persuade them to attend certain meals that they may particularly favor. As
mentioned in the Bedford Book of Genres, appeals to pathos are very effective in communicating
information, Pathos is an appeal to an audiences emotions or values. I believe that the menu
posted in the kitchen does appeal to pathos, because many sisters get very emotionally involved
when it comes to food. However, coming to meals is more than just for the food, it provides
greater opportunities for socialization among the members. The ethos instilled by the menu is
the reason that so many girls makes a long uncomfortable, trek to the house twice a day.

Ferraro 3

When a message needs to be mass communicated, either the Facebook group or the
GroupMe app are used. On Facebook, usually an older sister on the executive board will post
something such as meeting times or any other important message. Everyone involved in Delta
Zeta is basically forced to constantly be checking their Facebook notifications for these
updates. These announcements posted in the group appeal to ethos because the poster is usually
an authority figure within the chapter, such as the president or the standards chair. Since their
purpose is usually to inform, it is helpful that the informational source posting in the group is
someone reliable. These messages fall under a professional genre because the goal is to have
their audience take their information seriously. An example of this form of communication
would be when the president posted a link to sign up for Relay for Life. In addition, there is
another Facebook group that relays information to everyone regarding t-shirts and other apparel
with the "DZ" letters on them that are available to be ordered. The purpose is to inform the girls
of their options regarding what clothes they are able to purchase. However, there is also a
persuasive purpose involved. With the high quality photos that feature beautiful designs, these
advertisements become difficult to resist, especially to an audience of 200 young women who are
most likely obsessed with clothes. Regarding, the GroupMe app, it is also able to mass
communicate information. It is similar to a group chat, but much more effective. The new 2015
Pledge Class has their own Group me, which allows the girls in that subgenre of Delta Zeta to
communicate to everyone in a more casual style. For example, a girl sent a message in the
GroupMe asking if anyone would be interested in going to the mall with her. Obviously this is
not something urgent, but she was able to offer this option to a large group which was definitely
easier than asking individuals. Her purpose was to find someone to shop with, and since her
audience was other girls her age, as you can imagine, it was not very difficult for her to find what

Ferraro 4

she was searching for. The GroupMe is also very convenient because it allows each individual
to stay in the loop, without having to constantly be contributing to it.
There is also quite a lot of communication through the mode of text message utilized by
the members of Delta Zeta. This enables more personal messages to be sent and received, rather
than a message that needs to be heard by a big group. The audience is just one person, and the
subject is usually something lighthearted, so it is common for the style to be humorous.
Throughout this communication, ethos, pathos, and logos will probably be appealed to because
there is such a broad spectrum of topics being discussed. Of course, the selection of which appeal
to use depends on the purpose. If one girl is trying to convince another to go out with her, her
purpose is to persuade, and she might include facts (appealing to logos), or even get her emotions
involved (appealing to pathos) by saying something like, dont make me go alone I wont have
fun. There are many other subjects and purposes communicated through text message, but most
often they fall under a very casual style.
One of the most obvious forms of communication, and everyones favorite, is an
authentic face to face conversation. From asking someone to pass a napkin, to complaining about
how hot it is outside, to planning nightly adventures, to comforting each other in sadness, there is
nothing that can compare to the true bond that is felt in a genuine conversation. When the
purpose of the conversation is to persuade, the appeal is usually pathos. The emotional
connections made are effective in strengthening the trust among the girls. However, these words
spoken can often appeal to ethos- when an older girl is giving advice to one of the newer
members. For example, being aware that the freshmen dont know much about Strozier, one of
the older girls informed them that the library gets quieter the farther up you go. In this case, the
older girl is a source of credible information due to her age and experience.

Ferraro 5

There is also face to face conversation that can be very unfavorable. This would include
when a member violates a rule of the sorority and must face the consequences of the executive
board. In this case, the entire executive board would sit down with one girl and discuss her
behavior. The audience, the girl at fault, is very inferior to the executive board, who inform the
girl of what the circumstances are, appealing to ethos because of their authoritative image. They
will also appeal to logos by presenting the rules violated and the reasons why that rule has been
implemented and enforced. The speakers must use a particular style to effectively
communication their message. According to the Bedford Book of Genres, Style refers to
particular ways we communicatethe techniques that individual writers use- and to what extent
these techniques reflect the style of others composing in the same genre. Although the executive
board is usually speaking rather than writing, their style is often defined by a serious tone and
strong voice, which shapes their authoritative image. In return, when and if the audience is given
a chance to respond and become the speaker, she will most likely follow the same style of
composition when formulating her words, because she will hopefully understand how intense the
circumstances are. In some cases, if the girl at fault is responding, she may be smart and appeal
to pathos in this case. Her audience, although strict about rules, are still her sisters. She may be
able to find a way to communicate deeply with her sisters and persuade them to understand her
point of view, and hopefully be more lenient on her.
Sometimes, Delta Zeta communicates outside of the sorority to fraternities/sororities or
other organizations. For example, when it comes time for our philanthropic events, the president
will reach out to the leaders of other Greek organizations, the audience, and encourage them to
support the event. This audience needs to be persuaded in order to make this happen, so Delta
Zeta will often promise to return the favor of attending their events.

Ferraro 6

Braziller, Amy, and Elizabeth Kleinfeld. The Bedford Book of Genres: A Guide & Reader. Boston:
Bedford/St. Martin's, 2014. Print.