Intrinsic Authority

Intrinsic Authority refers to Related Concepts: Appeals to Authority; Authority (in Writing & Speech); Critical Literacy; Ethos; Fallacious Ethos; Interpretation, Interpretative Frameworks; Intrinsic Authority; Substantive Prose Style Aristotle, who coined the term “ethos,” said that “persuasion is achieved by the speaker’s personal character when the speech is so spoken as to make us think him ...

Rhetorical Appeals

Rhetorical Appeals refer to Rhetors deploy a variety of rhetorical appeals depending on their rhetorical situation, thesis/research question, and mindset. Rhetorical Appeals Ethos character, ethics, Pathos appeals to empathy, compassion. Logos logic, substantive prose, deductive reasoning, inductive reasoning   Kairos “the right place and the right time.” Ethos An appeal to ethos is an appeal ...

Using Pathos in Persuasive Writing

Incorporating appeals to pathos into persuasive writing increases a writer’s chances of achieving his or her purpose. Read “Pathos” to define and understand pathos and methods for appealing to it. The following brief article discusses examples of these appeals in persuasive writing.

An important key to incorporating pathos into your persuasive writing effectively is appealing to your audience’s commonly held emotions. To do this, one must be able to identify common emotions, as well as understand what situations typically evoke such emotions.

Since Aristotle's time, rhetoricians have posited that effective persuasion hinges on three central appeals: logos (logic), pathos (emotion), and ethos (the speaker's credibility and character). A fourth appeal, Kairos, underscores the significance of timing — emphasizing that the right message must be delivered at the opportune moment for maximum impact.

Rhetorical Appeals: An Overview

Successful writers write to win. Whether a writer wants to achieve a particular grade on a paper, persuade a specific audience to adopt an argument, or obtain an interview with a company, a writer writes with a purpose that he or she aims to fulfill. Using rhetorical appeals, particularly in persuasive writing, is a powerful way to persuade an audience.

Moreover, rhetorical appeals work. For example, in “Reductions in smoking prevalence and cigarette consumption associated with mass-media campaigns,” authors Karen Friend and David T. Levy examine state and local mass-media anti-tobacco campaigns that endeavor to change social norms, knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs regarding smoking.


Taking Control: Managing Your Online Identity for the Job Search

Taking Control: Managing Your Online Identity for the Job Search


In 2008, while working as a career counselor, a student came into my office to discuss her difficulty securing an internship prior to graduation. On paper, she was a phenomenal candidate—3.8 GPA, active in student government, successful athlete, and in possession of solid letters of recommendation from her instructors, coaches, and past employers. Despite her many strengths, she had interviewed with seven prospective employers throughout her junior year but was unable to secure the internship that was required by her academic program.

Diplomacy, Tone, and Emphasis in Business Writing

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the purpose and importance of diplomacy, emphasis, and tone in business communication
  • Gain the ability to write difficult professional emails without offending, frustrating, or confusing your reader
  • Learn to use strategies in written communication to make your own work clearer to get the response you need

Netiquette (Digital Ethics)

Netiquette, a hybrid word combining “network” and “etiquette,” essentially refers to the social code of the Internet.

As such, netiquette -- how we communicate, treat others, portray ourselves, and protect ourselves online -- is a question of ethics. Ethics, or moral philosophy, refers generally to how groups and individuals determine moral courses of action. Because ethics refers to the way groups and individuals relate to, treat, and resolve issues with each other, digital ethics then encompasses how users and participants in online environments interact with each other and the technologies and platforms used to engage.

Fallacious Logos

  • Appeal to Nature: Suggesting a certain behavior or action is normal/right because it is "natural." This is a fallacious argument for two reasons: first, there are multiple, and often competing, ways to define "nature" and "natural." Because there is no one way to define these terms, a writer cannot assume his or her reader thinks of "nature" in the same way he or she does. Second, we cannot assume that "unnatural" is the same as wrong or evil. We (humans) have made lots of amendments to how we live (e.g., wearing clothes, living indoors, farming) with great benefit.

Logos – Logos Definition

"Logic is the anatomy of thought."
– John Locke

"Logos" is the appeal to logic. Logos isn't logic like the formal logic in math, philosophy, or even computer science; it is the consistency and clarity of an argument as well as the logic of evidence and reasons.

In formal logic, in abstraction, the following is the case: if A is true and B is true and A is an instance of B, then the repercussions of B will always be true.

Fallacious Pathos

  • Argument by Dismissal: Rejecting an idea without providing a reason or explanation for its dismissal. For instance, there is a tendency to cry "socialism" when faced with calls for a single-payer system in the ongoing health care debate. Such a dismissal of the single-payer system may include the observations, "This is America!," or, "You are free to live elsewhere if you prefer."