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APPEALING TO YOUR AUDIENCE Taken from: http://www.puhsd.k12.ca.us/placer/pages/teachers/grundmeier/pathos- ethos-logos.htm When analyzing someone else’s argument or constructing your own, always ask yourself these questions: Who is the speaker? Who is the speaker or author’s intended audience? How do I know who the audience is? How has the audience influenced the speaker or author’s choice of argumentative strategies? PATHOS - EMOTIONAL Arguments from the heart are designed to appeal to audience’s emotions and feelings. Emotions can direct people in powerful ways to think more carefully about what they do. In hearing or reading an argument that is heavy on emotional appeals, ask yourself these questions: How is the speaker or author appealing to the audience’s emotions? Why? Always try to name the emotions being appealed to (love, sympathy, anger, fear, hate, patriotism, compassion) and figure out how the emotion is being created in the audience. Emotional appeals are often just examples - ones chosen to awaken specific feelings in an audience. Although frequently abused, the emotional appeal is a legitimate aspect of argument, for speakers and authors want their audience to care about the issues they address. Here are some, but not all, techniques that are used in this type of appeal: moving stories and anecdotes that prove your opinion using emotional language or “catchy words” to appeal to people’s values or guilty consciences. slanting omitting or not using information that may conflict with or weaken the author’s opinion. predicting extreme outcomes of events/dire predication in order to create a sense of urgency LOGOS - LOGICAL Loosely defined, logos refers to the use of logic, reasons, facts, statistics, data, and numbers. Logical appeals are aimed at the mind of the audience, their thinking side. Very often, logos seems tangible and touchable. When a speaker or writer uses logical appeals, he or she will avoid inflammatory language, and the writer will carefully connect its reasons to supporting evidence. Ask yourself why the author or speaker is using logos? Here are some, but not all, techniques that are used in this type of appeal: logical reasons—why your audience should believe you (keep in mind that not all reasons are equally persuasive for all audiences). evidence that proves or explains your reasons facts using information that can be checked by testing, observing firsthand, or reading reference materials to support an opinion. statistics—percentages, numbers, and charts to highlight significant data expert opinion statements by people who are recognized as authorities on the subject. examples—giving examples that support each reason use of cause and effect, compare and contrast, and analogy ETHOS – ETHICAL Ethical appeals depend on the credibility or training of the author. Audiences tend to believe writers who seem honest, wise, and trustworthy. An author or speaker exerts ethical appeal when the language itself impresses the audience that the speaker is a person of intelligence, high moral character and good will. Thus a person wholly unknown to an audience can by words alone win that audience’s trust and approval. Aristotle emphasized the importance of impressing upon the audience that the speaker is a person of good sense and high moral character. Organization of Arugumentative Essay Organization is critical because without it, the reader will lose sight of the main issue or argument. The most common method of organization is (1) State a thesis that is the opening statement of the author’s opinion or position on an issue. (2) Support that point of view with more than one argument and solid evidence (3) Give a summary of the writer’s argument – ending perhaps with a call to action. Other methods of organizing persuasive writing include: State a thesis then refute it State a thesis, refute the other side, and then support your side with evidence Suggest possibilities and dismiss all but one Pose a problem and solve it Form a hypothesis and test its implications Tell a story that has a strong argument Narrate several unrelated episodes and link them in a surprising way THE OTHER SIDE When writing a argumentative essay, you need to look at the other side of your issue. There are two possible ways to do this: refute and concede-counter. Refute is when you disprove or rebut the other side. A concede-counter gives in to one or two points on the other side and then refuting the stance of the opposition. Does your essay acknowledge the opposition and provide evidence to refute that opposition?
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