is used to accomplish one of two basic purposes:
1) To change the reader’s attitudes or beliefs.
2) To get the reader to do something.
Logical Persuasive Arguments
are built on an opinion supported by reasons and
Reasons tell why everyone should accept an opinion
Ex: A ban on smoking in public places would
reduce the risk of developing lung cancer via
secondhand smoke inhalation.
- Facts & statistics -are strong because it’s hard to
argue with the facts.
Ex: Prolonged exposure to secondhand smoke
increases one’s risk of developing cancer by 55%.
- Expert testimony- statements made by experts in
the field are convincing.
Ex: “The risk of developing lung cancer from
secondhand smoke is significant,” said Dr. Jim
Williams, a leading pulmonary oncologist at
Johns Hopkins Medical Research Center.
Logical fallacies are statements that sound logical and
factual, but they’re not.
is coming to a conclusion on the basis of insufficient
Ex: All of my friends whose parents smoke have asthma
and are certain to develop lung cancer as a result.
is attacking the person who holds the view rather
than the view itself.
Ex: Mayor Smith is calling for restaurant and bars to
ban smoking, but he recently was arrested for DWI
and cannot be trusted.
is describing a situation as though there were only
two choices when there may actually be several.
Ex: Either smoking be banned in public places, or
citizens are doomed to die slow, painful deaths.
False Cause and Effect
asserting that because Event B followed Event A, A
Ex: Since Arlington banned smoking in restaurants and
bars, my favorite restaurant chain went out of business
two weeks later.
should reinforce logical arguments, not replace them.
are words that are heavy with emotional
Ex: Smokers endanger the lives of innocent children
and sentence them to lives riddled with health
A type of loaded words, they are so strongly positive
that they “glitter” and make you feel good.
Ex: Smoking a Camel after a satisfying meal---it’s the
the belief that something should be done because the
majority of people do it (or wish to do it).
Ex: 20 of the 30 major U.S. cities have already enacted a
ban on public smoking and Dallas shouldn’t be the
when a celebrity endorses a product unrelated to his
or her field of expertise.
Ex: Tony Hawk supports the ban on smoking in public
• appealing mostly to logic (facts & expertise)
• keeping emotional appeals to a minimum
• avoiding all fallacies