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Argument Essays & Ethos, Pathos, and Logos

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Nathan Eilers

on 12 September 2010

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Transcript of Argument Essays & Ethos, Pathos, and Logos

Argument Essays
and
Ethos, Pathos, and Logos What is an argument? Most people hear "argument" and imagine people shouting at each other, but that's not an argument in academic writing. Academic arguments... Take a position on an issue.
Present evidence to back up one's position.
Examine assumptions.
Anticipate objections and engage them.
Use logic and reasoning.
Always explore topics on which rational people can disagree. Academic Arguments are NOT... Based on topics that are inarguable.
Slogans.
Rude.
Based solely on assumption or opinion.
A means to prove anything true or untrue. Note: Arguments do not have to be on controversial issues only; the topic can be anything debatable. Two Types of Argument Papers 1. Position Arguments (theoretical):
define issue and take a clear stance
present multiple points with evidence
acknowledge other viewpoints

2. Proposal Arguments (practical):
define problem and offer solution(s)
give evidence for why solution is feasible
acknowledge weaknesses of your solution

cf. BPH p. 85 Ethos, Pathos, and Logos Ethos, pathos, and logos are three main types of evidence used in argument papers.
Using multiple types of evidence improves your argument. Ethos: Appeal to Authority Ethos is evidence that shows the character and trustworthiness of the author.

You believe the author because...
She is an expert in the field.
She has personal experience in her topic.
She has credentials. "My intention, in telling this story from the very beginning, is to show the full life cycle of alcohol abuse."--Zailckas 176 We believe her because she's been through it. Ethos in Action 2 Michael Jordan is a great athlete who drinks Gatorade.
If you want to be a great athlete, drink Gatorade. Pathos: Appeal to Emotions and Values You believe the author because...
You feel moved by the argument.
You want to help.
Other viewpoints feel wrong. "I try to imagine what life must be like for these [married couples staying together for their kids]. I envision hushed rooms, heavy drapes, the quiet shutting of doors. The rooms are dark, the colors muted.... How do they trudge through every day, not to mention holidays and family vacations?"--Mattheissen p. 442 We are persuaded because we feel how hard that life would be. Automatic visceral reaction against the image.
You are persuaded by the negative emotions you feel. Logos: Appeal to Logic, Reasoning, and Evidence Logos is evidence that persuades you using numbers, facts, and logic.

You believe the author because...
She has statistics to back her up.
You follow her line of reasoning.
Her logic is solid.
She makes sense. "The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that one in four farmhands in the United States is an undocumented immigrant, and that they make up a significant portion of the people who build our houses, clean our office buildings and prepare our food."--Quindlen p. 876 You are persuaded by facts and reasoning. Logos in Action 2 Visual image demonstrate claim of more coverage.
You are persuaded by facts (or asserted facts anyway). Arguments using pathos convince you by making you feel a certain way about the claim. Pathos in Action 2 Pathos in Action 1 Logos in Action 1 Ethos in Action 1
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