Idea map to outline
The Art of Persuasion: the Rhetorical Triad
Persuasion or argumentation required proof or evidence
Rhetoric: the art of persuasion
Aristotle, Rhetoric, 330 BCE
Develops from the observation that not all legitimate thinking takes the form of Socratic dialectic
Written partly against Socrates’ claim that rhetoric is mere flattery, that only philosophy leads the way to truth
Aristotle’s text introduced the basic elements of oratory, many of which we continue to recognize today in modern essay writing (arrangement, style, evidence, expression, audience, purpose)
Is the art of persuasion ethical or unethical?
It depends what you do with it!
Highly respected ethics
Aristotle considered the rhetorical ability to persuade as an ethical responsibility:
To be on guard against deceivers and manipulators: verbal self-defense
To deliver your own moral arguments and insights in the most effective way possible
3 kinds of proof/evidence:
Ethos (have to sound believable be credible speaker)
The credibility of the speaker: is the speaker ethical? Does he inspire confidence?
Ideally the speaker should not rely upon pre-existing reputation, but should establish it in the text
Ideally, a strong appeal of ethos reveals:
Good will towards the audience Intelligence
A sense of upstanding values
Pathos (ability to connect emotionally)
An appeal to audience’s emotional intelligence
Ensures a favourable reaction to what is presented: the audience cares about the topic and feels that the speaker is right
The audience might be aware of the emotional appeal or may be caught up to notice
The appeal of pathos can include:
Loose, associative, implied connections between ideas that can’t be proven logically
Metaphors, images and humor
Tone of voice or word choice
Logos (expression of reason)
An appeal to human reason
The most objective form of evidence, and therefore, the most respected form of proof in university essays
Conclusions that are drawn from true premises according to the formal rules of argumentation
Can be deductive (Derived from clear premises) or inductive (generalized from proven truths)
Are more than observation or description: they are the result of pushing a problem to figure out its implications and consequences
Aristotle worked with this rhetorical triad in very specific, highly stylized, formalic ways. From Rhetoric
Ethos: “Addressing the young”, “addressing the old”, “Addressing the wealthy”, “Addressing the powerful”
Pathos: “Arousing anger and calmness”, “arousing shame and shamelessness”
How can you work with ethos in your essays?
What can you do to make your audience feel confident about you as a writer? How can you convince your audience that your ideas are worth reading?
Follow the rules of grammar & formatting: if your writing looks correct on a technical level, professors will be more inclined to believe that your work offers intelligent insights
Quote credible secondary sources: their authority rubs off on you
Avoid over-quoting: it will seem as if you don’t have any of your own ideas
If appropriate to the assignment, incorporate person anecdote or experience
How can you work with pathos in your essays?
Is there room for emotion in your essays?
Get curious about your topic; make it