Elements of Persuasion
The great rhetorician, Aristotle, proposed that the persuasiveness of any argument is based on three elements: ethos—the credibility of the speaker, logos—the strength of the argument, and pathos—the communicator’s ability to emotionally move an audience (O’Quinn, 2009). The ethos of an argument is established by the speaker conveying trustworthiness, expertise in the subject, and an appropriate tone towards the audience. The element of logos is concerned with the logical power of the argument and the strategy utilized to present the argument. Lastly, pathos is the way in which the argument is presented. A persuasive argument should use vivid yet simple language, be applicable to the audience, and cite credible facts. Furthermore, Aristotle’s rhetorical elements are closely mirrored by Myers’ (2008) primary ingredients of persuasion: 1) the communicator; 2) the message; 3) how the message is communicated; 4) the audience. In our campaign to bring awareness of the human rights violation of human trafficking, we have sought to utilize both the elements of logos and pathos to convey the seriousness of the situation. The logical power of the argument is built upon the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 and 2003 (TVPA), which stipulates that induced commercial sex, labor, or services is punishable under the law and victims of said induced acts are eligible for government benefits (Human Trafficking, 2008). The subject of human trafficking affords itself its own weight and means of emotional persuasion, but we will seek to utilize the mechanisms of social reciprocity and social responsibility to lend authority to our argument. The persuasiveness of our argument is constructed on: 1) the logical power of our assertions (logos), as built on TVPA and; 2) the weight and means of conveying our argument (pathos), as exemplified through the social mechanisms of social reciprocity and social responsibility. Motivations of...
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