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Writing Persuasive Arguments. Rhetorical Devices. How Do Arguments Start?. Before looking at the construction of arguments, it is first necessary to recognize that arguments occur within a social context They are the process or product of people interacting , and relating.

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how do arguments start
How Do Arguments Start?
  • Before looking at the construction of arguments, it is first necessary to recognize that arguments occur within a social context
  • They are the process or product of people interacting, and relating
  • Aristotle was the first to notice the similarities of arguments and stories.
slide3

For Aristotle, the act of storytelling consisted of three elements: a story, a storyteller, and an audience.

Storyteller-------------->Story-------------->Audience

  • Arguments also require three elements:

Speaker/Writer------------>Message---------->Audience

  • Aristotle defined the relationship between the speaker/message, speaker/audience, and message/audience as the “Rhetorical Triangle”
the rhetorical triangle
The Rhetorical Triangle
  • Three elements make up the sides of the Rhetorical Triangle: Ethos, Logos, and Pathos

Logos Pathos

(message) (audience)

  • There must be a balance of all three

Ethos

(speaker)

ethos
ETHOS
  • Means"character" in Greek
  • Refers to the credibility of the writer/speaker
  • A writer/speaker can develop ethos in a number of ways:
    • Tone and Style
    • Evidence and Support
    • Treatment of Opposing Views
ethos1
ETHOS
  • The writer/speaker must always be conscious of the appearance or impression that he/she creates in the mind of the audience.
  • Some questions that the writer/speaker must always consider when attempting to persuade:
    • Who is my audience and what do they expect from me?
    • How can I use this context and these expectations to present myself effectively ?
tips on persuading ethos
Tips on Persuading (Ethos)
  • Be Knowledgeable--Know what you are talking about; present evidence and support for your position and reasons.
  • Be Fair--Be a reasonable participant (no skeptics or fanatics). Be tolerant and understanding. Just because someone differs in opinion does not mean that they are stupid and wrong.
  • Build a Bridge to Your Audience--Useaudience-based reasons; build your reasoning around the shared assumptionsof your audience. Show your audience that you care about the same things they do.
logos
LOGOS
  • LOGOS means "word" in Greek
  • LOGOS refers to the logical consistency of an argument.
  • A writer develops LOGOS by supplying two key ingredients:

A Claim A Reason

logos1
LOGOS
  • Claims & reasons must be:
    • Logical,
    • Complete structures, and must
    • Take into consideration any unstated assumptions
  • The writer/speaker must always be conscious of the logic and reasoning he/she provides the audience.
logos2
LOGOS
  • Some questions that the writer/speaker must always consider when attempting to persuade:
    • Who is my audience and what do they think is logical?
    • How can I use this context and these expectations to present myself effectively ?
    • How can I make an argument that is internally consistent and logical?
    • How can I find the best reasons and support them with the best evidence?
tips on persuading logos
Tips on Persuading (Logos)
  • Have a Clear and Consistent Claim--Always make it apparent and understandable to your audience what you are arguing.
  • Provide Logical Reasons--Always make sure that the unstated assumptions you create are not false or misleading.
  • Use Effective Evidence--Always make sure that the evidence you provide adequately supports both the stated reason and the unstated assumption.
pathos
PATHOS
  • PATHOSmeans"suffering" or "experience" in Greek.
  • PATHOS refers to the "emotional appeal" that the writer/speaker makes to the audience.
  • The writer/speaker can develop PATHOS in a number of ways:
    • Tone and Style
    • Anecdotes and Analogies
    • Classical or Delayed Thesis
pathos1
PATHOS
  • Aristotle understood that humans are not moved by intellect alone; emotions can play a role in the effectiveness of arguments.
  • A writer/speaker must always be conscious of the cares and concerns of the audience.
  • Questions to consider when attempting to persuade include:
  • Who is my audience and what do they care about?
  • How can I use this context and these concerns to present myself effectively ?
tips on persuading pathos
Tips on Persuading (Pathos)
  • Use Concrete Language--The use of vivid description allows the audience to imagine themselves in a certain situation and can increase their reaction to that situation.
tips on persuading pathos1
Tips on Persuading (Pathos)
  • Use Specific Examples and Illustrations--These have two purposes: they can serve as evidence and support; and they can provide presence and emotional resonance.
tips on persuading pathos2
Tips on Persuading (Pathos)
  • Use Narratives--Arguments can benefit from stories embedded within them. These stories appeal directly to the audience's sympathies and imagination. Like concrete language, stories allow the audience to envision themselves within the situation and their reaction to it.
two last things
Two last things…
  • Diction--The choice of words, metaphors and analogies depends on the writer/speaker's purpose.
    • The use of synonyms, antonyms, similes, and metaphors can reveal a writer/speaker‘s prejudice. When would you want to refer to someone as "homeless" as opposed to "displaced," or "meek?"
  • Classical vs. Delayed Thesis—
    • Classical Thesis – is used if the writer/speaker believes his/her audience will generally accept his/her position .
    • Classical Thesis – appears in the beginning of the argument and is stated explicitly and immediately.
    • Delayed Thesis – is used if the writer/speaker believes his/her audience will resist his/her message.
    • Delayed Thesis – appears later in the argument after the writer/speaker has presented his/her evidence and reasoning.
sources
Sources
  • Ethos (Taken from Writing Arguments, Chapters 4 and 7)
  • Logos (Taken from Writing Arguments, Chapter 4)
  • Pathos (Taken from Writing Arguments, Chapters 4 and 7)
  • The Rhetorical Triangle (Taken from Writing Arguments, Chapter 4)
  • Melissa Weeks Noel, National Council of Teachers of English