Persuasive Techniques: John Edwards

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Persuasive Techniques
The art of persuasion is a feature that can oftentimes, work to one’s advantage. In order to be persuasive, one must use persuasive techniques to convince a reader or listener to one’s viewpoint. Old sermons, such as Jonathan Edwards, “Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God”, are written to drive home a message or to bring the sinful back to the church. Beth Chapman’s modern speech, “Stand Up for America Rally Speech”, is proposed to convince Americans to support the troops who are laying down their lives for our freedom. The two authors use the persuasive techniques of repetition, appeal to emotion, through charged words and the appeal to reason, through common sense, in order to influence their listeners and persuade their audience that their viewpoints are correct.

In “Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God” Edwards uses the persuasion technique of repetition. Edwards uses “…The wrath of god…” (110) many times which make the people feel uneasy and scared of their sinful ways. He implies that God is furious with them and has them on the edge of hell. Beth Chapman also uses repetition with “…human shields…” (1). She feels that our troops go to war to fight for our country and celebrities are mentioning that they want to become “human shields” when they don’t do nothing. She is frustrated that all the “human shields” are the cops, military and other public authority while celebrities are mentioning that they want to help but they don’t really do anything. Repetition is used to enforce the message and or get to the main point or idea to an issue. A technique that is found in both “Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God” by Jonathan Edwards and Beth Chapman’s “Stand Up for America Rally Speech” is emotional appeal. Jonathan Edwards describes “And now you have an extraordinary opportunity…” (111) by stating that the people still have a chance to be able to save his or her self and go to heaven. He uses it to make the people in the church...
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