The purpose of this table is to provide a breakdown of rhetorical strategies and how one can identify them in a message. The persuasive appeals, or what could also be known as the rhetorical triangle, were developed by Aristotle to ensure effective communication, and are a cornerstone within the field of Rhetoric and Writing. It is common to see the three persuasive appeals depicted as the points of a triangle because like the points of triangle they each play a role in the ability to hold the message together. Aristotle was a Greek philosopher that believed all three of these rhetorical appeals were needed to effectively communicate an intended message to a pre-determined audience.
Aristotle's three rhetorical appeals are: Logos, Ethos, and Pathos; they are discussed in detail throughout the remainder of this section. Logos is most easily defined as the logical appeal of an argument. Deductive reasoning begins with a generalization and then applies it to a specific case. The generalization you start with must be based on a sufficient amount of reliable evidence. Inductive reasoning takes a specific representative case, or facts, and then draws generalizations or conclusions from them.
Inductive reasoning must be based on a sufficient amount of reliable evidence. In other words, the facts you draw on must fairly represent the larger situation or population. Both deductive and inductive reasoning are discussed more in depth further down on this page. Example of Logos: Say that you are writing a paper on immigration and you say "55, illegal immigrants entered this country last year, of those, only 23, did it legally. Although saying 55, immigrants were "illegal" makes for an impressive statistic, it is apparently not correct if you admit that 23, of these people immigrated legally.
The actual number of illegal immigrants would then be only 32,, a significantly lower number. The purpose of this example is to demonstrate how having logical progression to an argument is essential in effectively communicating your intended message. Ethos is the appeal to ethics, the use of authority to persuade an audience to believe in their character. And while ethos is called an ethical appeal, be careful not to confuse it solely with ethics; it encompasses a large number of different things which can include what a person wears, says, the words they use, their tone, their credentials, their experience, their charge over the audience, verbal and nonverbal behavior, criminal records, etc.
Ethos gives the author credibility. It is important to build credibility with your audience because without it, readers are less inclined to trust you or accept the argument presented to them. Using credible sources is one method of building credibility. A sure way to damage your ethos is by attacking or insulting an opponent or opposing viewpoint. The most effective ethos should develop from what is said, whether it is in spoken or written form. The most persuasive rhetoricians are the ones that understand this concept.
Example of Ethos: To elaborate, the construction of authority is reflected in how the rhetorician presents herself, what diction she uses, how she phrases her ideas, what other authorities she refers to, how she composes herself under stress, her experience within the context of her message, her personal or academic background, and more. In academia, ethos can be constructed not only by diction, tone, phrasing, and the like, but by what the rhetorician knows.
A works cited page reflects this. It says: this author has read these sources, and knows their contents. And if those sources are relevant, reputable, and well regarded, the author has just benefited from that association. At the same time, authors want to make sure they properly introduce their sources within their writing to establish the authority they are drawing from. Pathetic appeals the use of pathos are characterized by evocative imagery, description, visuals, and the like to create within the reader or listener a sense of emotion: outrage, sorrow, excitement, etc.
Pathos is often easily recognizable because audiences tend to know when what they hear or read swells emotion within their hearts and minds. Both use emotion to make their point, but the fallacy diverts the audience from the issue to the self while the appeal emphasizes the impact of the issue. Although argument emphasizes reason, there is usually a place for emotion as well. Emotional appeals can use sources such as interviews and individual stories to paint a moving picture of reality, or to illuminate the truth.
For example, telling the story of a specific child who has been abused may make for a more persuasive argument than simply stating the number of children abused each year. The story provides the numbers with a human face. However, a writer must be careful not to employ emotional appeals which distract from the crux of the debate, argument, or point trying to be made. Example of Pathos: A good example of pathos is in public services announcements.
Some of the most popular include drug warnings: A woman is at the stove in the kitchen with a skillet. Audiences are not meant to pity these individuals; rather, the audience is meant to reel in horror at the destruction meth can cause to a person in a short amount of time. In this case, horror or shock is the emotional tool rhetoric wields to persuade. Either of the pictures alone would not be rhetorically effective, it is only by placing them together that the audience is passionately moved.
A deductive logical argument is one that works from the top to the bottom. It begins with what is known as a "major premise," adds a "minor premise," and attempts to reach a conclusion.
In a Nutshell...
A major premise is a statement that names something about a large group, a minor premise takes a single member, and the conclusion attempts to prove that because this single member is a part of the larger group, they must also have the trait named in the original statement. For example:. Now, if it is true that men are tall, and that Bob is a man, then we can safely infer that Bob must be tall. However, beware the logical fallacy.
Though it may be true that in certain cultures men are, on average, taller than women, certainly this is not always the case. Being that our major premise is not altogether true, we can now say that this argument is flawed. Furthermore, we might ask what our definition of "tall" is. Tall is different if we are talking about the average population, or basketball players. Also, what is a man? Do transgendered individuals count?
We see that the problem becomes far more complex the more we look into it.
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As some would argue that a deductive argument works from the top down, toward a conclusion, some comment that an inductive argument works from the bottom up. This is mildly misleading. What is meant by this is that an inductive logical argument begins with a firm affirmation of truth, a conclusive statement. By getting the audience to agree with this statement, the argument moves to the next "logical" step.
It proceeds in this manner until the argument has led you from one seemingly reasonable conclusion to another that you may not have originally agreed with. Take the following as an example. Move through the argument slowly, making sure you understand and agree with each step in the process and please forgive the religious content, you'll come to see it is irrelevant anyway. The human soul is inherently free. This is its very nature. We are confined to our mortal, earthly bodies, but our souls must be kept free, or the nature of the soul is entirely negated.
If one chooses to believe in a soul, they can only believe that it embraces this vague idea of freedom. At conception, a child is given a soul.
4. What Are the Different Types of Arguments in Writing?
Some may argue that it is not until birth, but if those very same persons are pro-life, they confuse their arguments. Thus, if someone is pro-life, and believes in a soul, they must believe in the freedom of that soul, and also accept that the soul is granted upon conception.
A soul cannot die. By the same means by which it is free over the body, a soul claims immortality while the body decomposes and is ruined.
Manual Persuasion--Annotated, with Commentary (Literature in Its Context)
To deny that a soul is immortal is again to deny the very essence of a soul. Thus, if someone is pro-life, and believes in a soul, they must believe in the freedom of that soul, the immortality of the soul, and also accept that the soul is granted upon conception. A soul cannot be born. It is immortal and cannot die, it is not earthly, it forever exists, and cannot be born.
She was not born. She existed previously, as Milton writes the Son in Paradise Lost.
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Thus, if someone is pro-life, and believes in a soul, and does not accept reincarnation, they must believe in the freedom of that soul, the immortality of the soul that is always and forever which cannot be born and cannot die , and also accept that the soul is granted upon conception. A soul being always an essence, and not being able to be reincarnated, can only exist outside of the body, somewhere, until the act of conception occurs.
That soul must then be placed in the body that was forever intended to receive it, as it belongs nowhere else. The soul is fated to that one body.
Related Persuasion--Annotated, with Commentary (Literature in Its Context)
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