Reading selections for this module:
Edlund, John R. “Three Ways to Persuade.” Expository Reading and Writing Course: Semester One. Long Beach: CA State UP, 2008. 29-32.
Edlund, John R. “Letters to the Editor in Response to ‘A Change of Heart About Animals.’” Expository Reading and Writing Course: Semester One. Long Beach: CA State UP, 2008. 36.
Rifkin, Jeremy. “A Change of Heart About Animals.” Los Angeles Times 1 Sept. 2003: B15.
In this assignment sequence, you will learn how to use Aristotle’s concepts of ethos, logos, and pathos to analyze editorials and opinion pieces. You will read an opinion piece about scientific studies of animal behavior and learn how to write a letter to the editor of a newspaper.
Activity 1: Getting Ready to Read
This activity focuses on ways to persuade. Your teacher will give you an opportunity to define the term “persuade.” Then read “Three Ways to Persuade” by John R. Edlund. When you finish the article, engage in the option assigned by your teacher.
Option 1: Think of something you tried to persuade a parent, teacher, or friend to do or believe. It might have been to buy or pay for something, to change a due date or a grade, to change a rule or decision, to go somewhere, or some other issue. What kinds of arguments did you use? Did you use logic? Did you use evidence to support your request? Did you try to present your own character in a way that would make your case more believable? Did you try to engage the emotions of your audience? Write a short description of your efforts to persuade your audience in this case.
Option 2: In a small group, discuss the strategies your friends use when they are trying to borrow a car, go to a concert, buy new clothes, or achieve some other desired result. Pick a situation and write a short skit showing those persuasive strategies in action. Each skit should employ logical, emotional, and