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Persuasive Writing (3): Writing for Academic Purposes Colin Neville
LogosPathosEthos Logos are appeals to reason and an attempt to persuade an audience or reader through sound reasoning. Pathos is concerned with an appeal to the emotions of the audience or reader. Ethos is the appeal of the speaker or writer to the audience or readership, in terms of his or her credibility, trustworthiness, and/or experience.
Three elements of persuasive communication. Effective writing usually contains all three elements. Pathos Ethos Logos
Role of Emotion (Pathos) in Essay Writing? (p.5) There is a need to distinguish the term ‘emotion’ from ‘emotive’ and ‘emotional’. The term emotion describes a range of feelings, which may be hidden or publicly expressed e.g. concern, happiness, anger, sadness etc. The five senses can provoke feelings associated with our emotions
Emotive ‘Emotive’: this term often used to label actions that are designed to, or have the effect of, inflaming strong emotional responses in others.
Essays (see p.7 ) Academic writing in UK connects with the values of rationalist perspectives in traditional philosophy Within these values, only valid evidence is worthy of consideration Rationalist perspectives also encourages an ‘objective’ stance: presenting a balanced and considered view, that takes into account a range of opinions and arguments Persuasion in essay writing is done by weighing up the balance of arguments, supported by evidence, and presenting an intelligent and considered personal view to the reader
Manipulative arguments (see p.7) Certain types of argument have always been mistrusted within the rationalist perspective: 1.Arguments that use emotive language which manipulates popular sentiment or prejudices 2.Appeals to pity (that do not present full picture) 3.Appeals to fear (if causes of fear based on tenuous evidence) 4.Appeals to ‘authority’ (without supporting evidence), e.g. the government knows best (see examples on pages 6 & 8)
However… However, there is a place for pathos in essay writing Good academic writing does not have to dry and lifeless It does not have to be obtuse and unfathomable (see example p.9) It can (and should) be readable, whilst remaining objective within the rationalist perspective
Role of Pathos The role of pathos is to entice and interest your reader Start well - and keep their attention Have a clear set of central points Remind your reader of your main points- and particularly in the conclusion Here are some specific writing strategies…
Role of Pathos (Emotion) in Essay Writing Give examples to make theories come to life for the reader Use quotations (sparingly) Use words that connect with our senses Use words that convey a sense of action, or evoke memories Pose rhetorical questions (sparingly) Strive for variety in sentence length Try and ‘sound’ natural in your writing: avoid the type of jargon shown on page 9; use clear English The more complex the theory, the simpler your language should be to explain it to others
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