Can You Be Persuaded? The Art of Rhetoric
Think About This… • Are you strong minded or are you easily swayed? • What are the various modes of persuasion that you encounter that help you make decisions? • Which modes of persuasion are most effective?
Rhetoric • Definition: language that effectively accomplishes its purpose by evoking or provoking the audience. • In persuasion, that purpose is to convince the audience that the writer’s opinion/position is the correct one. • The best arguments rely on using three rhetorical strategies: logical, ethical, and emotional appeals.
Rhetorical Appeals Logos, Pathos, & Ethos
Logos • Appeals to reasoning and evidence • More intellectual than emotional because it uses inductive (specific to general) and deductive (general to specific) reasoning • Inductive: All of the swans we have seen are white. Therefore, all swans are white • Deductive: All dogs are mammals. All mammals have kidneys. Therefore all dogs have kidneys.
Examples of Logos: • Cites traditional culture • Alludes to history, religion, literature or mythology • Provides testimony • Draws analogies/create metaphors • Orders chronologically • Cites authorities • Quotes research • Provides and classifies evidence • Facts/Statistics
Pathos • When writers and speakers attempt to evoke the audience's emotions, they use pathos. • It is an appeal to our basic human needs, the writer/speaker uses a friendlier, more relaxed tone. • Physical—life and health of the body • Psychological—a person’s inner life, the need for love and self-respect • Social—the need for freedom, status, power, and acceptance • It is most effective when words are based on the connotation of a word ( House vs. Home; childish vs. childlike)
Examples of Pathos: • Uses language that involves the senses • Includes a bias or prejudice • Includes an anecdote • Includes connotative language • Explores euphemisms (word or phrase used in place of a term that might be considered too harsh, unpleasant, or offensive; for example: passed away instead of died.) • Uses description and figurative language • Develops tone
Ethos • Ethos in Greek loosely translates into “character” • Writers/speakers argue in ways that reveal good character. Here, the writer/speaker must present themselves as fair, just, and trustworthy
Examples of Ethos: • The person is presenting themselves as reliable and good • The person tries to find a fair middle ground with the audience • Restates the opposing view accurately and fairly • Associates self with authorities • Makes relevant allusions • Uses “we” and “us” to establish a bond
Rhetorical Devices Repetition (Anaphora): Uses the same word or words more than once for emphasis: “Freedom leads to prosperity. Freedom replaces ancient hatreds among nations with comity and peace. Freedom is the victor” (Ronald Reagan)
Rhetorical Devices Parallelism: is the use of similar grammatical constructions to express ideas that are related or of equal importance “ Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination. And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge to make America what it ought to be” (Martin Luther King, Jr.)
Rhetorical Devices • Loaded Language—certain words that can help to make readers feel positive or negative about an idea • Using words like healthy or safe cause a positive reaction from most people, but germs or caution might cause a negative reaction. • Words like this are called loaded words because they are loaded with the potential to generate emotions or feelings
Let’s look at an example… • “I Have a Dream” Speech—Martin Luther King, Jr. • Read through this speech • Annotate (mark) examples of • Parallelism • Repetition • Loaded Language • Ethos • Pathos • Logos • Complete the SOAPSTone • Complete the Rhetorical Devices sheet
What is a Persuasive Essay? • It allows writers to take a positionFOR or AGAINST an issue and write to convince the reader/audienceto BELIEVE or DO something in response. • It uses logic and reasonto show that one idea is more legitimate than another idea. • It attempts to persuade a reader to adopt a certain point of view or to take a particular action.
Persuasive Essay • Purpose: to convince, to persuade • Tone: Passionate (pathos), yet reasonable • Introduction:strong position statement at the end • Organization: use transitional words and phrases for logical progression of arguments and paragraphs (logos) • Conclusion:addresses a counterargument and ends with a call to action (ethos)
Producing an Effective Argument • Be well informed about your topic • Test your thesis • It must have two sides (in other words, it must be debatable) • Disprove the opposing argument • Understand the opposite viewpoint of your position • Concede a legitimate point showing that you are ethical • Support your position with evidence • Evidence must appeal to reason, appeal to ethics/morals, and appeal to emotions of the audience
The Analysis of an Argument A strong argument typically includes: • Claim(position statement) —the writer’s position on an issue, problem • Support (CD) —reasons and evidence that help support the claim • Commentary/Explanation (CM) —writer’s logic of the connection between the support (CD) and claim (position statement) • Counterargument & Call to Action—anticipation of the other position’s objection and a brief argument that proves it wrong. Call to action is asking to reading to act or think in response to their argument.
Beginning the Argument Essay You must do the following: • Have or develop several solid, logically based reasons. • What do YOU think and how will YOU support your opinions? What evidence will YOU use? • Target your reasons for the specific audience you are trying to convince. • Have a strong position statement with strong evidence to back it up. • Use persuasive techniques appropriately and effectively.
What type of evidence can I use? • To give writing more credibility and depth—evidence includes facts, anecdotes, statistics, details, opinions, observations. • Personal(anecdotal): happened to you and has some meaning • Typical (logical--facts, statistics, details): happened to someone else or you read, saw, or heard about it from books, movies, culture, history, current events • Hypothetical (observations): made up—Suppose that…, Imagine that…, Let’s assume that… • Generalization (opinions): generally accepted—Few people believe…, Most people consider…Some would argue… Also a good way to address your counterargument!
Organization & Structure • Body Paragraph 1 • Logos • Topic Sentence • Concrete Detail • Commentary • Transition/Connector Sentence • Introduction • Pathos • Grabber Sentence • Connecting Sentence • Position Statement • Body Paragraph 2 • Logos • Topic Sentence • Concrete Detail (Strongest Piece of Evidence) • Commentary • Transition/Connector Sentence • Conclusion • Ethos • Counterargument • Sum up argument (restate position statement) • Call to Action
Why do I need a counterargument? • By addressing the opposition you achieve the following goals: • Demonstrate a lack of bias • Enhance the level of trust (ETHOS) that the reader has for both you and your opinion • Give yourself the opportunity to refute any arguments the opposition may have thereby strengthening your argument diminishing your opposition’s argument
H=History Is there a historical event, document, or person that helps prove my thesis? B=Books Think of a story that you have read that makes the same point as your thesis B-HIP Strategy P=People Is there a real-life person who life story will help prove your thesis? I=Imagine that a person… Create a hypothetical situation that proves your thesis.
Practice Let’s practice with this prompt: Should teachers be allowed to carry handguns in schools? Agree or Disagree?
4 Corner Response • Divide the provide sheet in half and then in half again so that you have 4 quadrants. • Answer the following questions in each quadrant: • 1st quadrant: What’s your position statement? • 2nd quadrant: What evidence could you use to support your position? • 3rd quadrant: What would a counterargument be? • 4th quadrant: Could you come up with a call to action?