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Transcript of Rhetorical Appeals
The Rhetorical Appeals
An appeal to the personality, credibility, or authority of the author. People establish ethos by writing well, name dropping, using valid sources, tricks of language and turns of phrase, displaying knowledge of the subject matter, degrees, unbiased treatment of the subject, etc.
How does the author make him/herself appear knowledgeable about the subject? How does the author situate him/herself in relation to the audience? What personality is the author creating: objective observer, every-man, friend? Is the author being: sarcastic, funny, dry, intelligent? How does the personality effect the author’s credibility and/or his relationship with the reader? Does the personality make you more or less likely to agree?
Questions about Ethos
An Appeal to the Logic of the Audience using facts, statistics, experts, history, etc. in order to convince through reason.
How does the author use facts, statistics, and logic?
Are the facts/stats/logic the author uses relevant to the argument?
Do they actually prove the claims?
Is the information unbiased? Well-researched?
Are there an expert opinions included? Historical analogies?
Questions about Logos
An appeal to the emotions of the audience, pathos attempts to convince by manipulating feelings, evoking sympathy, anger, pity, horror, feeling of responsibility, etc.
How does the author play on the audience’s emotions?
Does he/she use examples or make claims that are more evocative than logical?
Are his/her emotional appeals relevant or just used to get the audience feeling (angry, excited, sad, etc.)?
Questions about Pathos
An appeal to the timeliness of the issue. Authors must make their arguments relevant to the current time, important to the audience's life.
How does the author stress the importance of his/her argument to the here and now?
What is the historical context of the article? What social, cultural, political, etc. events/beliefs are motivating this article?
Is the audience primed for this argument?
Is the argument counter to contemporary culture?
Are the examples used well known to the audience?
Questions about Kairos
Looking at the balance of the three main appeals leads to significant analysis of a text (image, commercial, etc.)
Balance of Appeals
Does the author use one appeal more than the others? Why?
Is this effective or not?
Would the paper be better served if the author included more ethos or pathos or logos?
Has the author acknowledged the opposition to the argument?
Questions about Balance
How do I make myself credible?
How do I play on people's emotions?
What facts do I need to use?