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Three Rhetorical Appeals

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Brittany Bridgman

on 31 January 2014

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Transcript of Three Rhetorical Appeals

Three Rhetorical Appeals
in Persuasive Writing

Three Rhetorical What?!?
So you want to persuade somebody that the Miami Dolphins play a much better game than the New England Patriots? You might be wondering how on earth to begin your persuasion. Well, luckily for you there are three main ways you can persuade somebody to see things your way. These three magic ways are called Rhetorical Devices, and they are affectionately known as: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos.
Ethos
Ethos is an appeal to ethics, or a shout-out to credibility. Your audience will be more likely be willing to listen to what you have to say if you they believe you are an honest, reliable, and credible source. For example, an individual would be likely to take the advice of a doctor when asking about which vitamins to take, rather than take the advice from a stranger at the nearest Starbucks. Why? Because a doctor is a credible and reliable source when it comes to issues concerning the health of the human body.
Pathos
Pathos is an appeal to emotion. Whether you are persuading your audience to donate to a specific cause, or to completely outlaw homework, you want to make them feel something. Pathos can stir up any and all types of emotion in the hearts of the audience. A persuasive piece employing pathos may make the reader or audience laugh, cry, or may even evoke feelings of anger.
Logos
Logos is an appeal to logic or reason. Logos quite often appears in the form of statistics, data, and concrete evidence. Unlike pathos, logos is less interested in evoking an emotion from the audience, and is more concerned with presenting the listener with unarguable facts to support a claim.
Ethos * Pathos * Logos
Now, you should no longer be asking rhetorical what?! You have seen and experienced the three appeals to persuasive writing in action. To drive this lesson home, let's watch some more examples of how the three rhetorical appeals are applied in adverting. After all, what is effective advertising without some persuasion?
Before we get ahead of ourselves let's watch this brief clip to begin to understand the three rhetorical appeals.


Watch the clip below. How is pathos being used to convince the audience of something? What is the audience being persuaded to do? Is this an effective use of pathos? Why or why not?
How does the commercial for the Kindle Fire HD employ logos? Ask yourself: is the commercial presenting facts? By comparing the Kindle's features against the iPad's, logos is being used as a rhetorical tool.
How is ethos used in the alarm advertisement? Keep your ears open for key words and phrases that suggest ethos is at work.
An appeal to ethos can be a little confusing. One of the easiest ways to recognize to recognize ethos in action is in advertisements employing
celebrity endorsements.
So, you saw the funny pet adoption commercial. But can we use pathos, to evoke a different emotion, and still have the same desired outcome? Both the cat commercial, and the clip to the right, use pathos to persuade an audience to adopt a pet, or donate to an organization. How do the commercials differ in their approach to using pathos?
You be the expert...
You have now learned the three rhetorical appeals to persuasive writing. After watching and discussing the different video clips you should have a grasp on how to make these different appeals for you. So here is your task:
At the beginning of class you were handed a brown bag. In the bag are three different types of candy.
Using the graphic provided, taste each of the candies and complete the description chart.
Now choose your favorite candy
Create an advertisement - print, web, video, that uses one or two of the rhetorical appeals we learned.
You must be able to explain how the appeal is used, why you decided to use that appeal, and why you feel it is an effective way to sell your candy.
Have fun with this!
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