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English 1C. Wednesday, August 15, 2012 Melissa Gunby. Chapter 2. Arguments Based on Emotion: Pathos. What is being parodied in this ad? What is the emotional appeal that is being used? Who is the target of this “ad?”. Emotional Appeals.

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english 1c

English 1C

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Melissa Gunby

chapter 2

Chapter 2

Arguments Based on Emotion: Pathos


What is being parodied in this ad?

  • What is the emotional appeal that is being used?
  • Who is the target of this “ad?”
emotional appeals
Emotional Appeals
  • “Secondly, persuasion is effected through the audience, when they are brought by the speech into a state of emotion; for we give very different decisions under the sway of pain or joy, and liking or hatred.”
    • The Rhetoric of Aristotle, page 9
understanding how emotional appeals work
Understanding How Emotional Appeals Work
  • Words, images, and sounds can arouse emotions.

What does the word “fag” or “nigger” arouse?

What does the image of an American flag arouse?

How about the sound of a

crying baby?

understanding how emotional arguments work
Understanding How Emotional Arguments Work

Sometimes speakers have to reach a larger audience made up of more than one particular group. For example, a stump speech given today in Reno to members of the Republican party is different than Obama’s State of the Union Address in who the audience is.

This speech, given by Prime Minister Winston Churchill during WWII, had to address the entire nation of Britain.

What in this speech would appeal emotionally to an audience of a war-torn country?


Arguments of emotion work best when persuading rather than arguing.

    • When arguing, you’re trying to get someone to realize a truth; when persuading, trying to get them to take action.

Think, for example, about the Sarah McLaughlin pet adoption commercials we spoke about last week. What is the purpose of those commercials? Why is the emotional appeal more effective than a talking head asking you to contribute?

Freewrite on this image for three minutes. What emotions does this image rouse in you? Do you respond to the image then the logos? What clashes of emotional appeals do you see, and how do you feel about that. How would you caption this image?
using emotion to build bridges
Using Emotion to Build Bridges

Sometimes authors want to use emotions to connect with the audience to assure them that he understands their experiences, especially when the topic is sensitive.

Can someone read the excerpt from Steve Jobs’ speech on page 44?

How does Jobs build bridges with what he says?

group work
Group Work
  • The right side of the class, take a look at the example from Georgina Kleege on pg 45.
  • The left side of the class, look at Michael Pollan’s example.
  • Discuss as a group, then report back to the class:
    • How are these effective examples of using pathos, or connecting emotionally with the audience.
    • Are they effective? In what way?
using emotion to sustain an argument
Using Emotion to Sustain an Argument

Emotional appeals can also be used to sustain an argument, and to make logical claims stronger.

using humor
Using Humor
  • Humor has always been used, something like Mary Poppins used sugar to make the medicine go down (and yep, that’s pretty much a quote from the textbook).
  • Humor can be used to put readers at ease before you slip in a proposal.
    • Many public speakers open with a joke to lighten up the atmosphere
    • It’s hard to say no to someone when you’re laughing at something they said
  • Makes people suspend their judgments and/or prejudices
being careful with humor
Being Careful with Humor
  • Not all humor is good intentioned.
  • Be careful of not being in bad taste
using emotional appeals
Using Emotional Appeals
  • Argument emphasizes reason, but used properly there is often a place for emotion as well. Emotional appeals can use sources such as interviews and individual stories to paint a more legitimate and moving picture of reality or illuminate the truth. For example, telling the story of a single child who has been abused may make for a more persuasive argument than simply the number of children abused each year because it would give a human face to the numbers.
  • Only use an emotional appeal if it truly supports the claim you are making, not as a way to distract from the real issues of debate. An argument should never use emotion to misrepresent the topic or frighten people.
chapter 3

Chapter 3

Arguments based on character: ethos


“The character of the speaker is a cause of persuasion when the speech is so uttered as to make him worthy of belief; for as a rule we trust men of probity more, and more quickly, about things in general, while on points outside the realm of exact knowledge, where opinion is divided, we trust them absolutely. This trust, however, should be created by the speech itself, and not left to depend upon an antecedent impression that the speaker is this or that kind of man. It is not true , as some writers on the art maintain, that the probity of the speaker contributes nothing to his persuasiveness; on the contrary, we might almost affirm that his character is the most potent of all the means to persuasion.”

    • The Rhetoric of Aristotle, page 9
which of the following
Which of the following…

Would be the most credible?

Sarah McLaughlin selling Pepsi?

Bill Clinton selling McDonald’s

Dr. Phil giving a seminar on how to live a frugal life?

Brittany Spears lecturing on having a successful marriage?

What makes these speakers credible or not in these given situations?

creating ethos
Creating Ethos

Through the reputation of the speaker or product

Through the langage, evidence and images used by the speaker or in the text

why ethos matters
Why ethos matters

Before we can accept the authority of a speaker, we have to first respect their authority (understand that they are a “master” of what they’re speaking about), respect their integrity and motives (if it’s someone making a sales pitch, we should know that in advance), or at least acknowledge what they stand for (though I don’t love the recent politics of Komen, INC, I do still support the organization for their cause in trying to get access for all women to screening for breast cancer).

However, character alone can’t carry an argument. It can’t speak to everyone, therefore, ethos must be used along with pathos or logos to create a complete argument.

understanding how arguments work based on character work
Understanding how arguments work based on character work

We look for shortcuts to help us make decisions over time.

What kind of jeans should I buy? Who should I vote for? What movie should I see?

We usually turn to experts for these answers. Fashionistas, political pundits, movie reviews in magazines and websites. But how can we trust these people?

claiming authority
Claiming Authority

All authors must expect to face the question “What does he know about the subject? What experiences does she have that make her an expert?”

Bold and Personal claim to authority: “I belong to the Clan of One-Breasted Women.”

False Modesty: “having spent five years at Harvard striving for a Ph.D….and…living either as a student…or a journalst…in China and southeast Asia.”

Self-assured Prose: interweaving phrases that assure your audience of your credibility: see the example from Mike Rose’s blog on page 59.

establishing credibility
Establishing Credibility

Crediblity speaks to a writer’s honest, respect for the audience and its values, and likeability.


Make reasonable claims and back them up with evidence


Connecting beliefs to core principles

more group work
More group work!

Left side of the room, tackle Andrew Sullivan’s excerpt on page 61-62

Right side, look at Oprah’s on page 63-64

Be prepared to discuss these with the class.

How do these two authors establish their authority and credibility in the small samples we have?

Do you believe them?

cultural contexts for argument
Cultural contexts for argument

Please look at the grey/green box on page 64

coming clean about motives
Coming clean about motives

It’s important to question the motivation of an author.

Can someone read the excerpt from Swift’s A Modest Proposal on page 65?

How does this present Swift’s reasons and motivations for writing?

establishing your own credibility
Establishing your own credibility

Use only credible, reliable sources to build your argument and cite those sources properly.

Respect the reader by stating the opposing position accurately.

Establish common ground with your audience. Most of the time, this can be done by acknowledging values and beliefs shared by those on both sides of the argument.

If appropriate for the assignment, disclose why you are interested in this topic or what personal experiences you have had with the topic.

Organize your argument in a logical, easy to follow manner. You can use the Toulmin method of logic or a simple pattern such as chronological order, most general to most detailed example, earliest to most recent example, etc.

Proofread the argument. Too many careless grammar mistakes cast doubt on your character as a writer.

with a partner or with a small group
With a Partner or with a small group…

Please look at the “Not Just Words” activity on pages 54-55. Complete each of the three bullet points, and turn in 1 per group (make sure everyone’s name is on it).

quick review
Quick Review

What is ethos?

What is pathos?

What examples of ethos and pathos can you identify in the ad shown here?

chapter 4
Chapter 4

Arguments Based on Facts and Reason: Logos


Spock: Logic and practical information do not seem to apply here.

McCoy: You admit that?

Spock: To deny the facts would be illogical, Doctor.

-from Star Trek “A Piece of the Action”

  • “Thirdly, persuasion is effected by the arguments, when we demonstrate the truth, real or apparent, by such means as inhere in particular cases.”
    • The Rhetoric of Aristotle, page 9
  • Appeals to logos: arguments based on facts, evidence, and reason.
  • Aristotle divided logical proofs into two categories:
    • Inartistic appeals: hard evidence (facts, clues, statistics, testimonies, and witnesses)
    • Artistic appeals: reason and common sense (things commonly accepted by the general population as being generally true).

In 1962, the US ambassador to the UN confronted his Soviet counterpart to deny the existence of missiles placed in Cuba; he had hard evidence of spy photos to support his claim.

In February of 2003, US Secretary of State argued to the UN Security Council that Iraq harboured weapons of mass destruction without having hard proof. He had only “an accumulation of facts and disturbing patterns of behavior” from which to build his case.

Who had the stronger case and why?

  • Arguing from logos, or using logical reasoning, also relies on the use of either inductive or deductive logic.
  • Inductive logic: generalization from multiple examples:
    • Fair trade agreements have raised the quality of life for coffee producers, so fair trade agreements could be used to help other farmers as well.
  • Deductive logic: conclude from assumptions that something will follow
    • Genetically modified seeds have caused poverty, hunger, and a decline in bio-diversity everywhere they have been introduced, so there is no reason the same thing will not occur when genetically modified corn seeds are introduced in Mexico.
not just words
Take a look at this image (also on page 71). What do you think is the overall point of this poster? How do words and image work together to make the point? Who is the audience?

With the people at your table, discuss whether this poster appeals to logic and reason, and why or why not.

Not Just Words
providing hard evidence
Providing Hard Evidence

People mostly want arguments based on facts and testimony to those grounded only in reasoning (see previous example we discussed).

In shows like CSI, they’re always looking for the “smoking gun,” or DNA evidence which is hard to discredit/disprove.

This is backed up by our discussion of the Casey Anthony case from last week, where we talked about how the prosecution failed to gather the right evidence and put together the right argument for the jury to convict her of murdering her daughter.

factual evidence
Factual Evidence

Statement + Proof or Claim + Supporting Evidence

Look at the example on page 75

  • “Facts are stubborn things.” –John Adams
  • This makes them good at making strong arguments
  • Faithful transmission of facts helps us make distinctions between professional journalism and scholarship.
    • If someone we don’t normally agree with can overwhelm us with facts, we are willing to give them the benefit of the doubt in most cases.
    • See the example on page 76.
logos link to ethos
Logos’ link to Ethos
  • This is where we see how ethos, credibility of the speaker, also plays into logos or the presentation of facts.
    • If an author who is well regarded cites Wikipedia as a source, what is our general response/reaction to his overall credibility?
    • How does this differ from sources like MSNBC or Wall Street Journal, or Sacramento Bee or KCRA 3 news?

What we have to consider here is bias.


Look at the sample on page 78-79. Pay particular attention to the italicized words. What does this tell us about the use of statistics?


Facts and figures can be manipulated just as much as other information to provide the desired result.

“The crime rate in this city has been cut in half during our time in office.” – A mayor and police chief running for re-election.

“One in twenty citizens are going to be the victim of a crime this year” – the opponent.

The same statistic can be cited for cause of celebration or alarm.

surveys and polls
Surveys and Polls

Right now, we’re hearing a lot of poll data on the news because of the Republican Nominee election.

How much faith do you put in the following two polls?

considering polls and surveys
Considering Polls and Surveys

Like other sources of statistics and facts, remember to consider the credibility of the source.

Remember to look at the date of a poll, since there are factors that can influence those taking the poll or survey.

testimonies and narratives
Testimonies and Narratives

Anyone who has ever watched a crime drama knows how unreliable witness testimony can be.

However, these are still important sources to be considered.

Look at the two examples on pages 83-84. With those on your side of the room, discuss which, if either, of these two examples are good uses of testimony and narratives for a logical or factual appeal. Why or why not?

other rhetorical terms
Other Rhetorical Terms
  • Syllogism: chain of argument which leads to a definite conclusion from universal truths = if, then, therefore
    • Men are mortal
    • Socrates is a man
    • Therefore, Socrates is mortal.
  • Enthymeme: something that, at best, is only probably true; certainty is not possible in the realm of contingent human affairs
  • Endoxa: common knowledge/accepted positions

In a valid syllogism, the conclusion follows logically (unlike the cartoon example with the penguin).

  • Relies on the audience to agree with the assumption.
    • We’d better cancel the picnic because it’s going to rain
    • Flat taxes are fair because they treat everyone the same
    • I’ll buy a PC laptop instead of a Mac because it’s cheaper.
    • NCAA football needs a real play-off to crown a real national champion.
  • Looking at the above statements, what are the implied assumptions?
endoxa cultural assumptions and values
Endoxa: Cultural Assumptions and Values

Endoxa is Aristotle’s term

Please look at the example on page 87.

providing logical structure
Providing Logical Structure
  • Degree
    • More of a good thing or less of a bad thing is good.
  • Analogy
    • Explaining one idea or concept by comparing to something else.
      • He is as slow as molasses; war is hell.
  • Precedent
    • Also uses comparison, but on a larger scale than analogy
      • If motorists in most other states can pump their own gas safely, surely the state of Oregon can trust its own drivers to be as capable. It’s time for Oregon to permit self-service gas stations.
chapter 6
Chapter 6

Academic Arguments

what is academic argument
What is Academic Argument

In general terms, academic discourse or academic argument is addressed to an audience that is well informed about the topic, that attempts to convey a clear and compelling point in a somewhat formal style, and follows agreed-upon conventions of usage, punctuation, formats, etc.


Browse through the examples in the book (134-137) on migraines. Which of these seems to be the most academic of the arguments provided. Why or why not?

academic argument
Academic Argument…
  • Is authoritative (written by experts who are addressing an audience of their peers and therefore need to establish a strong ethos)
  • Review what is known about a topic and creates new knowledge about it
  • Focuses on issues (facts, definitions, evaluations or causes and effects) that are important to the writer’s academic peers
  • Includes logical appeals based on careful research (such as field, lab, and library research)
  • Cites every source carefully and provides full bibliographical references so that others can find the sources
  • Is written in a clear and formal style
  • Has an evenhanded tone, deals fairly with any opposing points of view, and avoids appeals to emotion.
developing an academic argument
Developing an Academic Argument
  • Choose a topic you want to explore in depth
  • Get to know the conversation surrounding your topic
  • Assess what you know and what you need to know
  • Begin formulating a claim about your topic
  • Consider your rhetorical stance and purpose
  • Think about your audience(s)
  • Concentrate on the material you are gathering
  • Take special care with documentation
  • Think about organization
  • Consider style and tone
  • Consider design and visuals
  • Reflect on your draft and get responses
  • Edit and proofread your text