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Audience and Layering Your Persuasive Argument (UWP)

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Kerri Flinchbaugh

on 31 August 2015

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Transcript of Audience and Layering Your Persuasive Argument (UWP)

The goal of argumentative (or persuasive) writing is to persuade your audience that your ideas are valid or at least more valid than someone else's. Aristotle viewed persuasion as an art form, and he thought
that people who have the ability to speak
and write convincing arguments have the
ability to succeed in life.
In order to teach his students, including Alexander the Great, how to be effective writers, he identified three main strategies for persuasive writing.
If it doesn't fit, you must acquit.
Key questions: What are the appropriate strategies for this paper? This audience? This context? Why?
an ethical appeal
a logical appeal
This strategy involves convincing an audience by the character of the author. Because audiences tend to believe people who they respect and trust, it is important for a writer to create the impression that she is someone worth listening to.
Prove that you are knowledgeable on the topic.
Avoid careless errors your writing.
Be mindful of the tone and style of your writing.
For example
an emotional appeal
This strategy involves appealing to the audience's emotions. While the content of the writing may appeal to audience emotion, things like language choice and organization should also be considered.
For example
Finding a way to connect to your audience is essential.
Like most other things, balance is key in creating an effective argument.
Depending on context and audience, certain emotional appeals may be useful. These may include the use of metaphors, narratives, humor, visuals, and delivery.
This strategy is often discussed in terms of the internal consistency of a message - clarity of a claim, logic of reasoning, and effectiveness of supporting evidence. Two ways of approaching logos may involve deductive or inductive reasoning.
For example
Logos works to give authority to what you are actually saying.
A logical organization of the information can assist in your authority and your audience's understanding.
Depending on the context and audience, using logos to create an effective argument may include evidence like statistical data or generally accepted facts. The key to this idea is knowing what fact or data to use.
Persuasion, Context, & Audience
Three approaches to creating an effective argument: ethos, pathos, and logos
Rhetorical Situation
the circumstances surrounding any writing situation.
The better you understand the circumstances that prompt you to write, the better you can respond and construct an effective argument to suit the specific context.
the person or people for which you are writing.
Some questions to consider:
Who is your primary audience? Who else may encounter this text?
What does your audience already know about the topic?
What ideas may be most important to them? What are they least likely to care about?
What kind of organization would best help your audience understand and appreciate your argument?
What do you want your audience to think, learn, or assume about this topic?
What impression do you want your writing or your research to convey?
For additional information and resources, please visit
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