English 104:  Appealing to Audiences
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English 104: Appealing to Audiences



Presentation delivered to the English 104 class at Victor Valley College.

Presentation delivered to the English 104 class at Victor Valley College.



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English 104:  Appealing to Audiences English 104: Appealing to Audiences Presentation Transcript

  • English 104 Appealing to Audiences
  • Emotional Appeals: Pathos Aims to generate emotions (fear, pity, love, anger, etc.) in the audience, in order to persuade the audience to accept a claim Often involves concrete, descriptive language to move the reader/audience
  • Emotional Appeals: Pathos Think about how you want your readers to feel as they consider your argument  What emotional appeals might persuade them? Think about the effect an emotionally-charged story can have on readers  You can use a particular incident to evoke sympathy, understanding, outrage, etc.
  • Emotional Appeals: Pathos  Example #1: Abortion is a violent procedure that involves the grotesque mutilation and murder of a well-developed, healthy, unborn child. Techniques used include the ‘dilation and extraction’ method: Once the cervix is sufficiently dilated, the doctor uses […] forceps to grasp the fetus's leg. The fetus is turned to a breech position, if necessary, and the doctor pulls one or both legs out of the cervix, which some refer to as 'partial birth' of the fetus. The doctor subsequently extracts the rest of the fetus, leaving only the head still inside the uterus. An incision is made at the base of the skull, a blunt dissector (such as a Kelly clamp) is inserted into the incision and opened to widen the opening, and then a suction catheter is inserted into the opening. The brain is suctioned out, which causes the skull to collapse. (“Intact Dilation & Extraction”) Here, a child who could have matured into a healthy adult is brutally dismembered, his limbs cut from his body and his brains suctioned from his skull. It is immoral and against the very fabric of human decency to allow such a barbaric procedure to continue. • Detailed descriptions are used to elicit emotions of disgust, outrage, and sympathy in the reader.
  • Emotional Appeals: Pathos  Example #2: It is clear that more drastic gun control measures are needed in order to prevent tragedies like that at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which took the lives of 20 children, including Ana Grace Marquez-Greene. Because of loose gun control measures, instead of playing with their children on playgrounds, parents of the Sandy Hook victims are dedicating playgrounds to their deceased children: On Friday kids scrambled all over the new purple playground in Elizabeth Park in Hartford dedicated to Ana Grace Marquez-Greene. "It‘s just a way she lives on, and as a parent who's lost a child so young, you do want your children to live on. And this is a way for us to do that," said Ana's mom Nelba Marquez-Greene. Born in Hartford, Ana spent a lot of time at the park, so it was important her playground stood there. It's all part of the Sandy Ground Project, which is building 26 playgrounds for each of the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting. Covered with her artwork, Ana's opened on what would have been her eighth birthday. (Ratliff) One can’t help but think that stricter gun control could have kept children like Ana alive, and that her parents would be playing with her at this park on her eighth birthday.  A short, emotionally-charged story is used to elicit emotions of sadness and sympathy in the reader.
  • Emotional Appeals: Pathos  Example #3: Now, it is the position, generally speaking, of our intellectual community that while we may not like this, we might think of this as “wrong” in Boston or Palo Alto, who are we to say that the proud denizens of an ancient culture are wrong to force their wives and daughters to live in cloth bags? And who are we to say, even, that they’re wrong to beat them with lengths of steel cable, or throw battery acid in their faces if they decline the privilege of being smothered in this way? Well, who are we not to say this? Who are we to pretend that we know so little about human well-being that we have to be non-judgmental about a practice like this? I’m not talking about voluntary wearing of a veil – women should be able to wear whatever they want, as far as I’m concerned. But what does voluntary mean in a community where, when a girl gets raped, her father’s first impulse, rather often, is to murder her out of shame? Just let that fact detonate in your brain for a minute: Your daughter gets raped, and what you want to do is kill her. (Harris)  Descriptive examples are used to elicit emotions of sadness, horror, disgust, and outrage in the audience.
  • Ethical Appeals: Ethos When evaluating arguments, consider the writer’s or speaker’s credibility  Ethos is a Greek word meaning ‘character’  Consider the author’s character Ask yourself:  What is the author’s ethos?  What is the author’s background? What are his/her credentials? Is s/he qualified to make this argument? What does s/he know about the subject? What experiences make him/her knowledgeable about the issue? What’s his/her reputation?
  • Ethical Appeals: Ethos Ethos involves:  Trustworthiness/credibility  A person, group, or institution is or is not trustworthy or credible on this issue  Authority  A person, group, or institution does or does not have the authority to speak on this issue  Unselfish or clear motives  A person, group, or institution does or does not have unselfish or clear motives for addressing this subject
  • Ethical Appeals: Ethos Example: Although the National Rifle Association (NRA) claimed sympathy for the Sandy Hook victims and their families, its underlying motives against gun control are inherently selfish. Shortly after the Sandy Hook shootings, Newtown residents were bombarded with pro-gun postcards from the NRA proclaiming that “anti-gun legislators in the Connecticut General Assembly are aggressively forging ahead with numerous proposals that are designed to disarm and punish law-abiding gun owners and sportsmen” (Wilkie). Such an act shows no concern for the victims and their families; instead, the NRA is concerned with defending the interests of ‘gun owners and sportsmen,’ namely people like themselves who own guns for recreation and sport. For the NRA, the recreational pastimes of ‘sportsmen’ are more important than the lives of children.  NRA’s character is discredited, its motives criticized as callous self-interest.
  • Ethical Appeals: Ethos How you can establish credibility:  Cite trustworthy sources and acknowledge them properly with the correct citation style  Demonstrates you’ve done your research and know the subject  Present ideas clearly in a well-organized manner, with correct spelling and grammar  Demonstrates you’ve mastered the basics and you know what you’re doing