The 3 Appeals: in order to persuade an audience, a writer or

The 3 Appeals: in order to persuade an
audience, a writer or speaker will appeal to
the logical, emotional, or ethical
sensibilities of the audience.
What makes the message of this
billboard powerful?
Logos (logical): A logical appeal is
when the writer or speaker appeals to
the audience’s logic by using a well
reasoned argument.
A strong logical appeal has 2 components
1. A claim or assertion
2. Evidence or Reason
Let’s identify the difference between a poorly
reasoned argument and a well reasoned
Which of the following arguments is more
of a logical, well reasoned argument?
A. Barry Bonds obviously used steroids because
he looks more muscular now than he did in
his 20s.
B. Barry Bonds obviously used steroids because
medical records indicate that human growth
hormones (HGH) were identified in blood
samples taken from Bonds at various times
during his career.
Here’s what to look for when you’re trying
to find logical appeals.
Referring to experts (professors, doctors,
lawyers, scientists)
• Cause and effect relationships
Long story made short: Logical appeals are
persuasive, because it’s difficult to argue
against hard evidence.
Why is this a powerful billboard?
What is it meant to do to people who see it?
Emotional Appeals
Pathos: a speaker or writer uses pathos by appealing
to the audience’s emotions by stirring up strong
When a speaker or writer does this, it is called an
emotional appeal.
A writer or speaker is essentially persuading the
audience by playing with their feelings.
Here are some methods used to create
Emotional Appeals
• Connotative Diction – emotional, highly
charged words
• Imagery – descriptive writing the reader can
see, smell, taste, feel, or hear
• Figurative Language – metaphors, similes,
• Carefully crafted syntax – sentence structure
• Personal anecdotes – personal stories about
one’s life
Connotative Diction
- Words that have connotations, or attached feelings, to them.
Diction refers to a writer’s or speaker’s word choice.
With diction, we are talking about single words.
So, when you hear or read connotative diction (words with emotional
attachments), other ideas and thoughts pop into your head, because the
connotative diction triggered those thoughts.
When you hear the following connotative words, what do you think of?
Ethos: Ethical Appeals
Ethos in Greek translates to
In effective argumentation (persuasion), effective writers not only possess
good character, but they also try to reveal their good character in their
How a person argues or supports a claim can determine whether or not the
person has a solid base of personal integrity.
Therefore, Ethos is all about a writer or speaker proving that he has good
character, that he is trustworthy.
The audience should see the speaker or writer as someone just
like themselves.
Writers must establish credibility with the audience.
Would you trust a doctor to perform surgery on you if he did not
have a medical license and could not explain what he was going
to do to you?
If you were in an unfamiliar city and needed directions, would
you ask a policeman or a stranger?
A persuasive writer must convince the audience
that he has the audience’s best interest at heart.
That what an ethical appeal does. It shows that
the speaker cares more about the audience than
he does himself.
It’s like he’s saying, “Look at me! I’m a good
person! Trust me!”
When analyzing ethos, there are 2
questions to ask yourself:
• How does the writer or speaker present
herself or himself as reliable or good?
• How does the speaker or writer aim to build
bridges with the audience or opposition?
Here are the strategies speakers and
writers use to make Ethical Appeals:
• They use first person plural pronouns we and us to
establish a relationship with the audience. It creates a
sense of unity.
• Acknowledges opposing vies accurately and fairly
• Associates himself or herself with relevant authorities
and makes relevant allusions. (I’m a member of the
NAACP, and I am here to talk to you about race
relations today.)
• States qualifications and expertise. (I’ve been working
in the field of medicine for 20 years, and I’ve served on
the Board of Directors at 4 hospitals….)
Remember: Ethical Appeals are
basically implying – “Trust me, I’m a
good person and I know what I’m
talking about.”
How does the following advertisement
make an effective ethical appeal?

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