Purpose: To recognize and analyze rhetorical techniques used in the speech, literature, and
media, and be more aware of these methods in your own writing.
Student of Plato
The use of language or image to persuade an intended audience.
Persuade: to convince an audience of an idea, or perspective to be true.
Intended audience: the collective group of individuals you are trying to convince.
3 ELEMENTS OF RHETORIC
Logos (the author’s reasoning or rationale/evidence)
Ethos (the writer’s credibility)
Pathos (appeals to audience’s emotions)
• isolate the key components of a writer’s argument.
• Identifying the author’s main claim and purpose are the first
-identify the main claim
-identify the premise(s) that the writer uses.
• Simplifies the evaluation process.
• Exclude any unnecessary details from your summary.
• Not exceed a substantial paragraph.
Ask yourself the following questions:
What idea is the author trying to persuade?
Who is most likely to agree with her idea?
Why would this group most likely agree?
What are some other issues that may concern this audience?
How does this issue relate to the author’s main claim?
a. What is the commercial’s main claim
b. Determine the intended audience.
Logos relies on the following:
The appeal to logic and reasoning, often referred to as “logos”.
The use of evidence and information.
Facts, data, and statistics.
a. What logos does the
speaker use in order to inductively argue for
African American Equal Rights?
Identifying Logical Fallacies
Logical fallacy is a flaw in logic or reasoning.
Arguments with these types of logical errors are called “fallacious” appeals.
Most of the time, fallacies are used as a method of manipulation to increase
audience agreement of the speaker or writer’s position.
Who Commits these Fallacies?
Purpose of Recognizing Fallacies?
To be able to realize fallacies and “be able to spot poor reasoning, and—
more importantly—to understand it”(Engal, Fallacy Files).
If you are aware of a fallacy being committed within an argument, you are
closer to knowing the “truth” of the situation and not become a victim of false
Recognizing fallacies in other’s logic, will allow you to more closely examine
errors in logic of your own, and correct them, if not ultimately prevent them.
Straw Man Fallacy
• This fallacy occurs when an opponent’s argument is distorted and the
writer intentionally leaves out certain logical strengths of the argument.
• This misrepresentation of the opponent’s argument makes it easier to
How Can This Fallacy be Prevented?
When providing a counterargument, or acknowledging the opposition,
be sure to carefully restate or reiterate their claims
without changing, manipulating or twisting any of their
This cautious consideration in argumentation
will make your position seem stronger.
Post Hoc Fallacy
This fallacy, sometimes called “false causation” or “correlation not
causation,” is when the argument claims there is a cause-and-effect
relationship between two events when there is not.
How Can you prevent this fallacy in your own writing?
Make sure you do not link two events happening one after the other,
simply based on correlation.
Consider other factors, scientific-based, or evidence-based, besides the
coincidence of timing as reasoning to justify that one event is the cause
a. Identify when Joey he commits
the post hoc fallacy.
Understanding Emotional Appeals
Also referred to as “Pathos” relies on the following:
An appeal to emotion(s) by tapping into the audience’s value system
and assumptions of conventions.
The use of an image, personal stories, music, words can be pathos.
An argument, whatever context, should not rely on pure emotional
appeal as a method of persuasion.
Some examples: anger, pity, fear, guilt.
a. write down some concrete details
of the film that stood out.
b. what types of emotions are being
Evaluating an Author’s Credibility
Sometimes referred to “ethos,” relies on the Following:
the appeal of an argument based on the speaker’s credibility, or reputation.
The author’s credibility depends on the type of audience.
A speaker, or writer without an established reputation must rely on context of her
identity and values to the situation, and be aware of modified rhetorical techniques
for that target audience, in order for persuasion to occur.
Advertisements often rely on ethos, and endorse celebrities, to wear or use their
How does Moore establish his credibility?
Who is his intended audience? How does he appeal to this audience?
How does Moore rationalize Flint Michigan’s state of poverty?
What are some images/interviews that stood out?
How does Moore use humor?