Glossary

Argument

A proposition supported by one or more reasons or pieces of evidence.

Backing

Foundational evidence which supports a claim, such as examples, statistics, or testimony.

Causal Pattern

A speech designed to explain a cause-effect relationship between two phenomena.

Causal Reasoning

The process of formulating an argument by examining related events to determine which one caused the other.

Claim

The proposition you want the

audience to accept.

Coercion

A process whereby thoughts or behaviors are altered through deceptive or harmful methods.

Data

Preliminary evidence on which a claim is based.

Deductive Reasoning

The process of formulating an argument by moving from a general premise to a specific conclusion.

Demographics

Statistical information that reflects the make-up of a group, often including age, sex, ethnic or cultural background, socioeconomic status, religion, and political affiliation.

Direct Method Pattern

A speech designed to present a claim with a list of several supporting pieces of data.

Ethos

The audience’s perception of a speaker’s credibility and moral character.

Evaluation Criteria

A set of standards for judging the merit of a proposition.

Fallacies

Errors in reasoning that occur when a speaker fails to use appropriate or applicable evidence for their argument.

Hostile Audience

An audience that is opposed to the speaker or to the persuasive proposition.

Identification

A connection that is fostered between the speaker and their audience by highlighting shared attributes or attitudes.

Inductive Reasoning

The process of formulating an argument by moving from specific instances to a generalization.

Logos

The logical means of proving an argument.

Monroe’s Motivated Sequence

An organizational pattern that attempts to convince the audience to respond to a need that is delineated in the speech through five sequential steps.

Neutral Audience

An audience that is neither open nor opposed to the persuasive proposition.

Pathos

The use of emotional appeals to persuade an audience.

Persuasion

The art of influencing or reinforcing people’s beliefs, attitudes, values, or actions.

Persuasive Speeches

Speeches which aim to convince an audience to think or behave in a particular way.

Proposition of Fact

An argument that seeks to establish whether something is true or false.

Proposition of Policy

An argument that seeks to establish an appropriate course of action.

Proposition of Value

An argument that seeks to establish the relative worth of something.

Receptive Audience

An audience that is generally supportive of, or open to, the persuasive proposition.

Refutation Pattern

A speech designed to anticipate the negative response of an audience, to bring attention to the tensions between the two sides of the argument, and to explain why the audience should change their views.

Speeches to Actuate

Persuasive speeches which seek to change or motivate particular behaviors.

Speeches to Convince

Persuasive speeches which seek to establish agreement about a particular topic.

Status Quo

The current situation.

Syllogisms

Reasoning beginning with a major premise, then moving to a minor premise, before establishing a specific claim.

Warrant

The (often unstated) connection between data and claim.