Rhetorical Essay

Topics: Rhetoric, Persuasion, Ethos Pages: 3 (899 words) Published: February 19, 2013
Mind Games
The goal of argumentative writing is to persuade the audience that their ideas are valid or more valid then other authors. Greek philosopher and writer, Aristotle, divided persuasion into three sections: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. These persuasion guidelines give readers a sense of credibility, emotion, and reasoning.

Ethos is associated with credibility or ethical appeal (Ch. 3, Ethos). Does the author portray the characters as people who are worthy of respect? One problem with argumentation is the ability to impress the reader. By making the character someone that is respected and therefore likable the reader is more interested in the work. An example of this would be a doctor, lawyer, or veteran. Even though all of these jobs serve our community in different ways, they are all respected by society. Another example of logos that the book noted was “If a company is well known, liked, and respected, that reputation will contribute to it’s persuasive power (Ruszkiewicz, 56).” If its character is problematic in any respect, it may have to use argument to reshape an audience’s perception (Ruszkiewicz, 56). Authors will also use ethos from personal experience. Writer and activist Terry Williams attacks those who poisoned the Utah deserts with nuclear radiation (Williams, 58) Terry Williams is a women worth listening to because she has lived with the nuclear peril. These are just some of the ways authors can show authority.

Pathos is emotional and persuades by appealing to the reader’s emotions (Ch. 2, Pathos). Language choice affects the audience’s response, and emotional appeal can enhance an argument. The book gives an example of a teacher telling her students that she is legally blind (Kleege, 45). While reading this example, you are probably envisioning yourself sitting in the classroom in shock from what you just heard. When someone gives you information about them or reveals a truth, as the listener, you are taking in everything the speaker is...
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