Lecture 4 - Technical Communication Lecture 2 Persuasion...

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1 Technical Communication Lecture 2 Persuasion and Argumentation Engineering 100.300/400 Winter 2006 Copyright 2006, Erik Hildinger Persuasion What is it? How do you achieve it? Persuasion Be aware that the techniques of persuasion can be dangerous in unethical hands. Aristotle noted 2,300 years ago that rhetoric—the art of persuasion—like any useful tool, could be used for good or bad. ht p:/ www.altavista.com/image/results?q=aristotle Ethical Point Aristotle said it was necessary to be aware of the misuse of rhetoric, not to misuse it oneself, but to be on guard against it. What is Persuasion? Crudely, convincing someone to give you what you want. What might those things be?
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2 Things Engineers Might Ask For Actions Permission Money Belief Any others? What do you first consider in deciding how to persuade? You consider audience. Understanding your audience will help you with Organization Level Tone Appeal What things are useful to know about your audience? How much they know about the issue. What predispositions they may have on it. What their opinion is on the matter. What kind of personality they have. What else? Should we consider their emotional state? Three Recognized Rhetorical Appeals To Reason To Emotion To Ethics They are used in different situations.
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3 The appeal to reason is simply an appeal to rational argument. It supposes, of course, that your audience is rational. “. . . in the case of some people, not even if we had the most accurate scientific knowledge, would it be easy to persuade them… for a scientific discourse, it is the privilege of education [to appreciate], and it is impossible that this [should extend to the multitude]. . . .” Aristotle, A Treatise on Rhetoric www.livius.org/aj-al/ alexander/alexander_t38.html But Some People Are Immune to Reason The appeal to emotion tries to whip up feelings in favor of something,
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Lecture 4 - Technical Communication Lecture 2 Persuasion...

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