Rhetorical Appeals

Goal: to make arguments more persuasive by using appeals to emotion, values, character, and reason

Our texbook argues that all writing has a similar purpose: to persuade. In order to persuade, your writing must appeal to its reader, evoking emotion and creating a call to action. It is not easy to change somone's mind on a topic so you must use the proper tools. Those tools, as described by Aristotle 2300 years ago, are logos (logic), pathos (emotion or value), and ethos (character).

refers to a factual or logical appeal. It means that a writer has carefully considered all aspects of the topic, and has come to a sound conclusion regarding the outcomes. It also means that the author uses statistics, facts, evidence, and clear logic. Pathos refers to the use of emotions or values to move the reader to change opinions. It means that the author attempts to form a common bond with the reader by using humor, anger, happiness, or sadness that is shared by members of a a community. Ethos refers to the author's ethical qualifications. Writers with authority seem smart, those with credibility seem trustworthy.  The tone of your argument must match your purpose and your intended audience.
All in all, your words and your examples should show authority, modesty, formailty, and credibility.

Instructions: In this activity you will evaluate an online article based on its use of appeals. Read the article, then answer the questions in each category.

Logos (Appeal to logic):

Which arguments make the most sense?
What evidence does the argument offer?

Pathos (Appeal to emotion and values)

What emotions does the article evoke?
Which group or community does the article appeal to?
What shared values does the author assume its readers have?
What parts of the article seem like a call to action?

Ethos (Appeal to character)

Why should you believe the author?
What research has the author done?
What tone does the article have, and how does the author create it?