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ENG110 Ethos, logos and pathos Analysis

Question Description

Forum Objective: Analyze ethos, logos and pathos in a persuasive article from your field.

When a persuasive argument has ethos (credibility), pathos (emotional appeal/hook), and logos (appeal to logic, credible research, thesis and supporting paragraphs), then you have a valid persuasive argument with no fallacies (illogical arguments). It is when an argument lacks ethos (credibility) or lacks logos (credible evidence/research) that you have a fallacy (illogical argument). As long as a persuasive argument has all three appeals (ethos, pathos and logos), then you know you can believe in that persuasive argument. The objective of this forum is for students to recognize a valid argument from an invalid argument (fallacy). This is a very important critical thinking skill–to be able to tell fact from fiction, fact from fake news, fact from propaganda. Never trust a statement with only pathos and no logos and ethos. To learn how to recognize a valid persuasive argument, you need to learn how to analyze ethos, pathos and logos in persuasive writing. For this forum assignment, find a persuasive piece of writing and analyze its ethos, pathos and logos.

For your Initial post:

Step 1: In your chosen discipline, find an example of persuasive communication. This can be an editorial, an essay, or another appropriate genre of writing (If you have questions, ask your instructor). Using the Library, navigate to the Articles & Databases tab of the large search box at the center of the library homepage. Screen shot of library home page with the search box powered by Summon

Step 2: Use the Week 5 Position Paper Grading checklist and evaluate the piece. Remember, this is the same grading checklist based on the rubric that will be used to evaluate your Position Paper that is due this week.

Step 3: In your initial post this week in the forum, provide the link to the piece you evaluated and discuss the effectiveness of the piece based on your “grading” of it.

  • Identify one of the rhetorical appeals (logos, ethos, pathos) that is used in the piece and discuss its effectiveness.
  • Does this article have ethos (How is the author an expert in the field? What are his credentials? Why should we believe him/her?) Read about how to make a ethos post in my Ethos, Pathos and Logos lecture.
  • Does this article have logos (Is there a thesis statement in the article? Do the supporting paragraphs support the thesis?) Read about how to make a logos post in my Ethos, Pathos and Logos Lecture.
  • Does the article have pathos (How does the writer appeal to the reader's emotions?) Read about how to make a pathos post in my Ethos, Pathos and Logos Lecture
  • That's it for your initial post!

Student Reply suggestions and topics for discussion:

  • Challenge Question: Does the article you chose have any fallacies? If so, what kind of fallacy? (This is a harder question to answer, so if you are up to a challenge, you can find fallacies in your article–Does your article have a fallacy of relevance? a fallacy of ambiguity? or a fallacy of presumption? ) Read about fallacies in this lesson: Week 4: Fallacies and Problems in Logical Reasoning.
  • An Ad Hominem fallacy is a fallacy of relevance where people make statements with no ethos and logos such as "All Trump supporters are _____ or All Clinton supporters are _____. An Ad Hominem fallacy (a statement without ethos and logos) is when we avoid discussing the issue at hand and instead attack the character of the person making the argument. In past elections (besides the 2016 election), when have you seen political candidates use the Ad Hominem fallacy to get votes? Have you seen Ad Hominem fallacy in political ads? On TV? On Youtube?
  • A Fallacy of Presumption are simply false assumptions that fail to establish a credible conclusion such as when we engage in gossip and rumor. When we gossip about people, we are making false statements without credible evidence. Gossiping can cost people their jobs. Has anybody ever gossiped about you? Has this gossip hurt your reputation? cost you your job? What are the dangers of making statements with no credible evidence? (statements with no ethos and pathos)? (Fallacy of Presumption)
  • Has anybody ever wrongly stereotyped you? (fallacy of presumption) For instance, at work your boss thinks you are a hoodlum because you wear a tattoo? (example of fallacy of presumption)–Have you faced discrimination or prejudice based on statements that lack ethos and logos? For More tips on possible student replies on Ethos, pathos and logos, read my Ethos, pathos and Logos lecture..
  • Give examples of TV commercials that pander mainly to pathos (emotion) and that make empty comments that lack ethos and pathos: Example: 9 out of 10 dentists recommend Dentyne–Who are these dentists (ethos)? What research studies? (logos–evidence to support claim)

Instructions: Your initial post needs to fully address the components listed above. Please respond to the initial postings of at least two (2) other students and manage your personal discussion thread. Ask questions of each other and return frequently to extend the dialogue. Be sure to answer questions your instructor presents to you. Expect your instructor to post questions about the reading material, lesson material, and your experience.

*** Since you are all majoring in different fields of study, some of you may be using APA, some of you may be using Chicago Turabian or some of you may be using MLA for your citations, please tell me in your post which notation style you are using.***

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