Persuasive Appeals Powerpoint

How to win an argument
“The aim of argument, or of
discussion, should not be
victory, but progress.”
Joseph Joubert
Rhetoric is the art of
using language to
It involves three
audience appeals:
logos, pathos, and
From ancient Greece to the late 19th
Century, it was a central part of Western
education, filling the need to train public
speakers and writers to move audiences
to action with arguments.
Persuasive strategies
• Logos – Logical appeal
• Pathos – Emotional appeal
• Ethos – Ethical appeal
I. Logos – Logical Appeal
Logic, reasoning, and evidence are the hallmarks
of logos, loosely translatable to “logic.”
1. Writers and speakers appeal to logos, or
reason, by offering clear, rational ideas.
• Logical appeal petitions the audience’s
mind rather than the audience’s heart.
I. Logos – Logical Appeal
2. A second tool to employ in persuading an audience
through logos is a counterargument.
The three parts of a counterargument are:
a. Acknowledging- the writer lets the reader know he
or she is aware of the opposing position
b. Accommodating- the writer validates objections to
his or her arguments (validation)
c. Refuting- the writer proposes his or her objections
to the reader’s position by asserting that an
opponent’s arguments are flawed and arguing
against them. (debate)
I. Logos – Logical Appeal
3. A logical fallacy is a flaw in logic.
– If a student studies for 30 minutes, then I
should make a passing grade.
– If a student has an 80 average in English II
and makes a 100 on a quiz, then his/her
grade will improve.
I. Logos – Logical Appeal
4. Logical reasoning will rely on…
• Facts as evidence
• Research
• Tradition (precedent)
• Authorities
• Cause and effect relationships
• Metaphors
II. Pathos - Emotional Appeal
• Passion, not logic, stirs most people to take a
• Writers employ the emotional appeal, pathos,
which, in Greek, loosely translates to “pain”
to stir their audience’s emotions.
• Wise writers must evoke their audience’s
emotions judiciously and fairly; otherwise, the
appeal is seen as sentimentality or
II. Pathos - Emotional Appeal
1. Pathos uses a more relaxed tone and
appeals to the basic needs that all
people have:
a. Physical needs – life and health of the
b. Psychological needs – a person’s need for
love and self-respect
c. Social needs – the need for freedom,
status, power, and acceptance
II. Pathos - Emotional Appeal
2. Words are carefully selected for their
connotative value rather than their
denotative meaning
3. Appeals to pity and compassion
4. Usually includes vivid, concrete description
and figurative language.
5. Photographs and other visual images may
strengthen the pathos-based argument
III. Ethos – Ethical Appeal
• Ethos in Greek loosely translates to
• In effective argumentation, the
presenter must not only possess
good character but also argue in
ways that reveal that good character.
III. Ethos – Ethical Appeal
1. The audience should see presenters as people
very much like themselves (or the way they
ideally would like to be.)
a. Therefore, presenters must establish
credibility, (trustworthiness), with the
b. Skilled persuasive writers will avoid
inflammatory language.
c. Inflammatory language - language that
provokes the audience or language that
makes the audience feel attacked
III. Ethos – Ethical Appeal
2. Makes qualified claims
3. Notes exceptions to rules, using terms such as
perhaps, some, and many.
4. Restates opposing view(s) accurately and fairly
5. Associates self with relevant authorities and
makes relevant allusions
6. Uses first-person plural pronouns, we and us,
to establish a relationship between the writer
and reader.

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