What do you think professors mean when we say audience? Why do you think it matters?
Ethos is about values. In rhetoric we connect ethos to character, credibility, and trustworthiness. At their core, these concepts have to do with values. We tend to believe and trust those individuals who exemplify the values we cherish, who live the sort of life that we would want to live. Ethos Handout from University of Maryland
Ethos is inferred, NOT possessed. Five strategies for persuading through character.
- Personal info
- Identification with Audience
- Point of View
- Balanced Presentation
5 Ways to Persuade with Character (Ethos)
Audience is quite possibly the most important thing to consider when writing an argument. You need to appeal to them, understand their problems, values, and beliefs, in order to convince them of your point of view.
Who your audience is should influence how you present your argument.
Who your audience is should influence how you present yourself.
Determine what is important to your audience. What do they really care about? What do they value?
Rhetorical Analysis Peer Review
- Is the writer’s tone appropriate?
- Who is the audience?
- Looking at the essay as a whole, what is the thesis or main idea?
- Is each paragraph adequately developed? Are there sufficient details and/or supporting quotations?
Group 4 is presenting today.
What is a fallacy? Which ones are you familiar with?
Intro to Fallacies
Your textbook has a good list of fallacies beginning on page 352. This is a good place to start researching for your fallacy project. More details will be provided on Monday.
Here is an example of a fallacy used to persuade.
- Argument: A conclusion together with the premises that support it.
- Premise: A reason offered as support for another claim.
- Conclusion: A claim that is supported by a premise.
- Valid: An argument whose premises genuinely support its conclusion.
- Unsound: An argument that has at least one false premise.
- Fallacy: An argument that relies upon faulty reasoning.
- Booby-trap: An argument that, while not a fallacy itself, might lead an inattentive reader to commit a fallacy.
This is a great resource for further reading on fallacies and how they are not so simple. The article lists 223 of the most common fallacies.
I do not expect you to know them all or to never use any. Fallacies are controversial. We appreciate logic and honesty in Western rhetorical thinking and that is at odds with many fallacies.
Fallacies are not necessarily wrong, they work very well and are very good at persuading people. Fallacies are considered unethical and so we try to avoid them. They are thought of as flaws in thought, tricks, and sneaky uses of persuasion to convince others.
Ethical Fallacies (Ethos)
False Authority – Offering yourself or other authorities as sufficient evidence.
Dogmatism – persuade by assuming a position based in biblical passages.
Moral Equivocation – suggesting that serious wrongdoings do not differ from minor ones.
Ad Hominem (At the person) – Attacks directed at character instead of the claims or argument.
- Read Cohen – Monster Culture: Seven Theses (p. 3-20)
- Journal Week 8. Look for uses of ethos, or appeals to character, or see if you notice any fallacies or mention of fallacies.
- Group 5 is presenting next week.
- Final Draft of Rhetorical Analysis due ?