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Transcript of Rhetoric
Rhetoric is the art or science of speaking and/or writing. The Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B.C.E.) defined
as "the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of
S.O.A.P.S. is a mnemonic device that offers a practical way to approach the concept of the rhetorical situation.
(Greek for "character") Speakers use this appeal to demonstrate that they are credible and trustworthy.
Appeals to ethos often emphasize shared values between the speaker and the audience. Sometimes the speakers reputation immediately establishes ethos. The speaker's ethos--expertise, knowledge, experience, sincerity, common purpose with the audience--gives the audience a reason for listening to this person on this subject.
Pathos is an appeal to emotions, values, desires, and hopes, on the one hand, or fears and prejudices on the other. An argument that appeals exclusively to emotions is by definition weak, but an effective speaker/writer understands the power of evoking an audience's emotions by using tools such as figurative language, personal anecdotes, and vivid images.
The King's Speech: Sept. 3, 1939
Speakers appeal to logos, or reason, by offering clear, rational ideas. Appealing to logos (Greek for embodied thought) means thinking logically--having a clear main idea and using specific details, examples, facts, statistics, or expert testimony to back it up.
Images and Pathos
Combining Ethos, Logos, and Pathos
Most authors don't rely on just a single type of appeal to persuade their audience; they combine these appeals to create an effective argument. And they are inextricabaly bound together: if you lay out your argument logically, that will help build your ethos. It is also possible to build your ethos based on pathos--for example, who better to speak about the pain of losing a loved one than someone who has gone through it?
Author Toni Morrison endorses (then) Senator Obama in a letter published in the New York Times.
President George W. Bush
Live Tornado Coverage
May 3, 1999
Tone & Tone Shift
is the writer's attitude toward his/her subject. The tone is reflected by the author's diction, syntax, punctuation, and overall writing style. The tone of a piece of writing is also what determines the mood.
is when enough elements of the author's writing change within a piece that it also changes the mood, or the way the reader/audience feels.