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Chapter 14. Why Not See It My Way?: Pers... > A + B = C: Appeal to Reason - Pg. 154

Why Not See It My Way?: Persuasion and Argumentation 154 It Won't Be Greek to You Persuasive writing moves readers to action or belief. Aristotle, the Big Greek Daddy of Persuasion, believed that argument meant discovering all the available ways of persuasion in a situation where the truth was up for grabs. Aristotle settled on three ways that people could convince others to adopt a certain point of view or approve a course of action. Broadly stated, he identified these three elements as ... 1. 2. 3. Logos.The appeal to the audience's reason Pathos.The appeal to the audience's emotions Ethos.The degree of confidence that the speaker's character or personality inspires in read- ers. Writer's Block Today, the term "rhetoric" has gotten a bum rap, like the labels "liberal" and "conservative." We think of rhetoric as an attempt to deceive through tricky or windy language, but it wasn't always this way. The goal of these three appeals is the same, although each one takes a different approach. Each appeal can be used separately, or they can be combined to increase the persuasive mojo. When you argue a point in writing, you analyze a subject, topic, or issue in order to persuade your readers to think or act a certain way. Let's start with the first appeal on Aristotle's hit parade, the appeal to reason. A + B = C: Appeal to Reason Whether our argument concerns public affairs or some other subject, we must know some, if not all, of the facts about the subject on which we are to argue. Otherwise, we can have no materials out of which to construct argu- ments. --Aristotle, Rhetoric Appeals based on reason rely on facts rather than on emotion. In turn, each logical argument in your essay must be supported by evidence: facts, statistics, expert testimony, or details about the argument. The basic organization for a persuasive essay or letter developed on a logical argument looks like this: · Introduction.Catches the reader's attention and states your argument. Includes a concise statement of your position on an issue that will interest your readers.