persuasion and argumentation the art of rhetoric n.
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Persuasion and Argumentation: The Art of Rhetoric. TERMS. Rhetoric. 1 the art of speaking or writing effectively: as a : the study of principles and rules of composition formulated by critics of ancient times

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  • 1 the art of speaking or writing effectively: as

a: the study of principles and rules of composition formulated by critics of ancient times

b: the study of writing or speaking as a means of communication or persuasion

  • 2

a: skill in the effective use of speech

b: a type or mode of language or speech; also: insincere or grandiloquent language

  • 3 verbal communication : discourse

  • Claim – the writer’s position on a problem or an issue
  • Support – includes reasons and evidence that help to justify the claim
  • Counterargument – a brief argument that negates objections to the claim that “the other side” is likely to raise

p. 632, textbook

types of examples and strategies
Types of Examples and Strategies
  • Anecdotes
  • Appeals by Association
  • Emotional Appeal
  • Appeal to Values (ethical appeal)
  • Loaded Language
  • Type of example that may be used to prove a point in writing or speaking
  • A short narrative or brief account detailing particulars of an event
emotional appeals pathos
Emotional Appeals (pathos)
  • means persuading by appealing to the reader's emotions.
  • We can look at texts ranging from classic essays to contemporary advertisements to see how pathos, emotional appeals, are used to persuade.
  • Language choice affects the audience's emotional response, and emotional appeal can effectively be used to enhance an argument.

pathos emotional appeal
Pathos (Emotional Appeal)
  • [P]athos (Greek for 'suffering' or 'experience') is often associated with emotional appeal.
  • But a better equivalent might be 'appeal to the audience's sympathies and imagination.' An appeal to pathos causes an audience not just to respond emotionally but to identify with the writer's point of view--to feel what the writer feels.
  • In this sense, pathos evokes a meaning implicit in the verb 'to suffer'--to feel pain imaginatively.... Perhaps the most common way of conveying a pathetic appeal is through narrative or story, which can turn the abstractions of logic into something palpable and present. The values, beliefs, and understandings of the writer are implicit in the story and conveyed imaginatively to the reader.
  • Pathos thus refers to both the emotional and the imaginative impact of the message on an audience, the power with which the writer's message moves the audience to decision or action.

Ramage, John D. and John C. Bean. Writing Arguments. 4th Edition. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon, 1998, 81-82.


Appeal to Emotion – when the arguer manipulates emotions in order to get people to accept a claim as beingtrue.


  • Appeal to Popularity (also bandwagon appeal): “The new UltraSkinny diet will make you feel great. No longer be troubled by your weight. Enjoy the admiring stares of the opposite sex. Revel in your new freedom from fat.
  • Appeal to Fear: If you don’t buy our security system, you will never rest in peace!
  • Appeal to Flattery: Might I say that this is the best class I’ve ever taken. By the way, about those two points I need to get an A. ..
  • Appeal to Novelty: Our company has to be on the cutting edge. That means new ideas and new techniques have to be used. This method is new, so it will do better than the old method.
  • Appeal to Pity: I’m positive that my work will meet your requirements. I really need the job since my grandmother is very sick.
  • Appeal to Ridicule
  • Appeal to Spite: You can’t be serious about nominating John for president. Remember what he pulled last year?

ethos credibility or ethical appeal
Ethos (credibility or ethical appeal)
  • means convincing by the character (moral/ethical character) of the author
  • We tend to believe people whom we respect.
  • One of the central problems of argumentation is to project an impression to the reader that you are someone worth listening to, in other words making yourself as author into an authority on the subject of the paper, as well as someone who is likable and worthy of respect.

  • Ethos (Greek for 'character') refers to the trustworthiness or credibility of the writer or speaker.
  • Ethos is often conveyed through tone and style of the message and through the way the writer or speaker refers to differing views.
  • It can also be affected by the writer's reputation as it exists independently from the message--his or her expertise in the field, his or her previous record or integrity, and so forth.
  • The impact of ethos is often called the argument's 'ethical appeal' or the 'appeal from credibility.'

Ramage, John D. and John C. Bean. Writing Arguments. 4th Edition. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon, 1998, 81-82.

logos logical appeal
Logos(Logical Appeal)
  • means persuading by the use of reasoning
  • giving reasons is the heart of argumentation
  • Logos (Greek for 'word') refers to the internal consistency of the message--the clarity of the claim, the logic of its reasons, and the effectiveness of its supporting evidence.
  • The impact of logos on an audience is sometimes called the argument's logical appeal.

Ramage, John D. and John C. Bean. Writing Arguments. 4th Edition. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon, 1998, 81-82.

  • a brief argument that negates objections to the claim that “the other side” is likely to raise
  • disprove a claim
  • disagree with a claim
  • question the assumptions made or suggested
  • refutation does NOT prove that you are right
  • refutation proves only that the other side is probably wrong<b>RHETORICALSTRATEGIE</b>...

refutation continued
Refutation (continued)

WHY Use Refutation in Your Essay:

  • When sides are polarized on a controversial issue
    • If there are only 2 sides & you demonstrate weaknesses in your opponent’s argument, then your side looks better BUT your side is NOT proven right
  • “Deconstruction”:
    • “Decenter” your opponent’s argument by attacking its core, center, heart
    • Without a center, their argument cannot hold
  • Similarly, pointing out flaws in your opponent’s logic
    • demonstrates your insight & logic
    • builds your ethos, your credibility rises
    • forces them to reconsider or clarify or rethink
  • Pointing out counter-arguments
    • Is not just criticizing
    • moves the argument along<b>RHETORICALSTRATEGIE</b>...

  • An acknowledgement of objections to a proposal

  • an admission in an argument that the opposing side has points; to grant, allow or yield to a point

deductive reasoning
Deductive Reasoning
  • Deductive reasoning begins with a generalization and progresses to a specific case.
  • Deductive Reasoning Example: When it rains, John’s old car won’t start. It’s raining. Therefore, John’s old car won’t start. (Applies a broad generalization to a specific case.)
  • What we think of as formal logic is typically deductive.
inductive reasoning
Inductive Reasoning
  • Inductive reasoning begins with a specific case or observation and progresses toward a generalization.
  • Inductive Reasoning Example: John’s old car won’t start. It’s raining. Therefore, John’s old car won’t start when it’s raining. (Uses a specific case to reach a broad generalization.)
  • “An inconsiderate driver just cut me off! The driver is from New Jersey. Therefore, all drivers from New Jersey are inconsiderate drivers.”
  • A formula for presenting an argument logically.


  • Major premise: All public libraries should serve the people.
  • Minor premise: This is a public library.
  • Conclusion: Therefore, this library should serve the people.

A Handbook to Literature, 8th Edition

  • A type of syllogism informally stated and omitting either the major or minor premise.
  • The omitted premise is understood.

Example: “Children should be seen and not heard. Be quiet, John.”

The reader understands the minor premise – that John is a child.

A Handbook to Literature, 8th Edition

organizational structures for persuasive writing
Organizational Structures for Persuasive Writing
  • Classification – organizing by type/category, arranging/grouping details/examples
  • Cause/Effect – If/then, exploring what has happened or will happen as a result of a particular event, situation, etc.
  • Problem/Solution – exploring a situation and the solution/remedy/recommendations
  • Comparison/Contrast – pointing out the similarities and differences to make a point

(These structures are also used in expository writing)

other rhetorical terms and devices
Other Rhetorical Terms and Devices
  • Parallelism
  • Chiasmus
  • Connotation vs. denotation
  • Diction
  • Exigence
  • Persona and Voice
  • Rhetorical shift
  • Tone/Tone shift
  • Unspoken Assumptions
  • Hasty Generalizations