: Some Persuasive Strategies and Why Writers Use
The Three Core Appeals: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos:
is an appeal based on the character of the writer/speaker.
the key tasks of a persuasive writer is to create a positive impression of him/herself
that will appeal to readers and make it more likely they’ll listen and be convinced.
example, a writer might want to do the following:
-Give the impression that he/she is fair, unbiased, and objective
-Give the impression that he/she is honest
-Give the impression that he/she is knowledgeable, informed, and experienced
(especially in the subject matter)
-Give the impression that he/she is mature and serious (that is, has credibility, can be
-Give the impression that he/she respects those who disagree with him/her
-Present him/herself as a sympathetic human being
-Present him/herself as someone who understands, connects to, or is in some way like
Some Relevant Strategies/Choices:
-The writer’s tone or voice
: what is the tone or manner of the piece (impassioned and personal
or detached and scholarly, serious or humorous)?
How can you tell?
Look at vocabulary,
sentence structure, use of footnotes, slang or contractions.
: kind of informal, written the way you might talk to a friend,
using slang, written as if the author and reader are on the same level.
A writer might
use a conversational tone to connect to readers (make him or her seem more relatable),
to create a feeling of intimacy (as if he/she is your friend) and to put the writer and
reader on a level playing field.
-Maybe the tone is
, intentionally argumentative, trying to get a rise out of
Perhaps the writer is attempting to appear strong and passionate.
-Or it could be
, trying to make you laugh and make you relate to the writer,
think he/she is funny
-A writer could be very
, sure in his/her conclusions (“This is what we have to do
to get this country up and running again; nothing else will work”)—if so, he or she might
be trying to make sure you see him/her as confident or certain.
-Or the tone could be fairly
, as if the writer is
trying to figure out what he/she
thinks as he/she goes along.
This might have the advantage of making the writer seem
honest and unbiased, like he/she isn’t trying to convince or persuade you, but just to
figure out his/her own thinking.
-An article might be
(trying to convince you of something) or
completely clear, intentionally mysterious).
The tone/voice could be some of these
combined, or something else entirely, but everything you read has some tone or voice.
How does this tone contribute to or detract from the strength of his/her position?