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Exploring Ethos, Pathos, and Logos

This week introduces you to several concepts and persuasive strategies you work on throughout this course. The persuasive strategies are ethos (establishment of credibility), pathos (emotional appeal), and logos (sound logic). They originated with Aristotle and are still relevant and applicable to your writing today. In this Discussion, you analyze the effectiveness of an author’s use of persuasive strategies.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review the following selected readings in The Longman Writer: Rhetoric, Reader, Research Guide, and Handbook.
    • Chapter 14 selection, “Cyberschool” by Clifford Stoll (pp. 282–284)
    • Chapter 18, “Argumentation-Persuasion” (pp. 398–420 only): How does the type of audience influence the kinds of persuasive techniques an author uses in an essay?
    • Chapter 18 selection, “In Praise of the ‘F’ Word” by Mary Sherry (pp. 438–439)
    • Chapter 20, “Writing the Research Paper” (pp. 523–544, 570–572 only): How does citing outside sources help increase the effectiveness of an author’s persuasive arguments?
  • Read the Discussion Spark topic/question or comment posted by your Instructor in the Discussion Thread on Day 1.

Think about how ethos, pathos, and logos are defined in a writing context. Consider how understandingethos, pathos, and logos affects how you prepare for writing your assignments.

Choose one author (Stoll or Sherry) from the selected readings in The Longman Writer to write about for this Discussion assignment. Consider the author’s credibility, use of emotional appeal, and use of logic. How did he or she make use of ethos, pathos, and logos?

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 2 a 1- to 2-paragraph response to the Discussion Spark. Note: The Discussion Spark and the weekly Discussion topic below will be graded together. You will see one score in your My Grades area.

Post by Day 3 a 1- to 2-paragraph summary of your analysis explaining the ethos, pathos, and logos

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