Putting It Together: Rhetorical Appeals

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Rhetorical appeals are powerful tools of persuasion for writers and speakers. Now that you have learned to recognize, evaluate, and establish those appeals, apply them to your own college work and keep these basic principles in mind:

  • Understand that appeals to logos are contextual and must be sufficient, typical, accurate, and relevant to be valid in an argument.
  • Note that facts and data can be easily manipulated and misused.
  • Be aware of appeals to pathos as both reader and writer. As a reader, be aware of how a piece works to connect through emotions, attitudes, values, and/or beliefs rather than through logos and ethos. As a writer, be careful not to overly rely on appeals to emotion.
  • Establish ethos appeals by highlighting relevant education and experience, acknowledging opposition and complexity, and avoiding manipulative appeals.

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