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Directions: You will take notes throughout our critique speech and include notes of your
impressions, feelings, and any confusion you may experience due to wording or organization.
You will then write a one-page paper with an introduction, body and conclusion using the
following criteria:
• Was credibility established? How?
• What were the main points or central idea?
• What was the occasion?
• Why do you think this speaker selected for this occasion?
• What was the name and title of the speaker?
Steve Jobs, chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation
• Verbal – volume, rate, fillers, pauses
• Nonverbal – body movement, gestures, eye contact, facial expressions
• Describe what you could see and/or hear of the audience reactions to the speaker?
• Word choices – why you think this speaker selected particular words or phrases?
• What images were being created in your mind during the speech?
• Was the wording effective or not?
• What was your favorite line in /part of the speech and why?
• What, if any, rhetorical devices were used?
• Was the speech summarized?
• Was the conclusion effective?
• How and why was the speech effective in your opinion?
After you finish writing your critique, go to the Dropbox in D2L, and upload your paper
under the Speech Critique tab.

Chap 17: Rhetorical Appeals Notes
Build Ethos or Persuasive
1. Cover
2. By the end of this lecture, you will be able to:
• Build ethos
• Use logos to develop effective arguments
• Arouse pathos
• Avoid common logical fallacies
3. An effective persuasive speaker is someone audience members perceive as qualified—as having ethos, or an
appeal to ethics. So ethos is about establishing your authority to speak on the subject. You use ethos as a
means of convincing an audience that you know what you’re talking about in that you are qualified to speak on
a topic. The fact is an audience is more likely to be persuaded by a speaker whom they like, respect, trust, and
perceive to be an authority. The more credibility receivers feel you have, the more likely they are to believe
what you say and think and do as you advocate.
4. Three major factors affect the audience’s judgment of your credibility:
• Their perception of your competence
• Their perception of your personal character, including your trustworthiness and believability
• Their opinion of whether you are charismatic and come across as a person of good-will and personal
5. Credibility is not constant, it’s fluid. It changes with time, even during the course of giving a three-to-fiveminute speech. We can divide credibility into its three constituent parts:
6. We can divide credibility into its three constituent parts:
• Initial credibility, how receivers perceive you before you speak
• Derived credibility, how they perceive you while you are speaking
• Terminal credibility, how they perceive you after your speech
7. Having high initial credibility gives a persuasive speaker an advantage, as audience members are more likely
to give your ideas a receptive hearing. But that’s just the beginning. Your message and delivery style enhance or
weaken your initial credibility in their eyes. The opinion audience members have of you at the end of one
speech could also affect their view of you at the beginning of another. You are only as credible as your receivers
perceive you to be—at the moment.
8. To be clear, you develop ethos by choosing language that is appropriate for the audience and topic, making
yourself sound fair or unbiased, introducing your expertise or your accomplishments. Remember, ethos is about
establishing your authority to speak on the subject by convincing your audience that you are qualified to speak
on a topic by way of your accomplishments, degrees or the like.
9. Now when you join credibility with evidence and reasoning, that’s called logos. Logos is an appeal to reason
so you need to convince the audience by using of logic or reason.
10. Because listeners are skeptical of unsupported generalizations, back your positions with strong evidence.
Use facts and statistics to lay the groundwork for persuasion and validate the conclusions you are asking
receivers to accept. Use detailed examples to create human interest and motivate receivers to respond as you
11. Expert testimony from sources that receivers respect also adds credence to the positions you advocate.
When incorporated into a speech, these will change audience judgments of your initial, derived, and terminal
12. Now let’s review the key types of evidence from chapters 6 & 7:
A fact is a statement that direct observation can prove true or false. Once proven, facts are
noncontroversial and readily verifiable. Some common assertions aren’t facts because there isn’t
enough information. For instance, we don’t know that cellular phones cause cancer. Still, people may
claim that such statements are true. To confirm the validity of the facts you use in support of a
persuasive argument, make sure that there is little, if any, controversy regarding whether the statement
made is true and that the statement is based on a report by someone who directly observed the
situation or event.
Statistics are helpful in comparing observed data and in emphasizing and magnifying distinctive patterns
and significant differences. Make sure your statistics are recent, unbiased, noncontroversial, and from a
reliable source.
In terms of examples and illustrations, both real and hypothetical examples and illustrations are used to
support facts a speaker wants audience members to accept. Longer illustrations add more drama and
emotional involvement to a message and help the speaker build a case that encourages audience
members to draw desired conclusions. Only use examples that are typical, significant, noncontroversial,
and from a reliable source.
Testimony. Speakers use the opinions of respected individuals to add credibility to the conclusions they
draw. Testimony should be fair, unbiased, appropriate, and from a recognized expert. Be a sleuth. Track
down evidence to support your claims.
13. In addition to helping you prove the validity of your proposition, evidence helps “inoculate” your receivers
against arguments made by those who disagree with you. The most persuasive evidence is that which the
audience was not aware of, that makes each listener question his or her position if it’s different from yours.
14. You should also make valid inferences. An inference is a conclusion we draw based on a fact. They connect
the dots for your audience, demonstrating how the facts you’ve presented support your position. But you must
assess the validity of your inferences to ensure they have a high probability of being true.
15. To confirm the validity of the inferences you use in support of a persuasive argument, apply these two
• There is little, if any, controversy regarding whether the statement made is true.
• The statement is based on someone who directly observed the situation or event.
16. You should also use effective reasoning to develop arguments. Cable news hosts are known for taking social
or political issues and turning them into arguments with guest commentators. Though this may be entertaining,
when we analyze them critically, the arguments often are unsound, lacking logic and sound principles of
17. Effective persuaders reason with their audiences by presenting evidence and arguments that help move
audience members closer to the speaker’s view.
18. Effective reasoning has the following components:
A claim. The basic element of an argument; an assertion of fact, value, or policy; the proposition or
thesis you hope to prove—for example, College football should be banned.
Data. Reasons, facts, and evidence for making the claim—for example, College football should be
banned because it has no academic purpose.
A warrant. A logical and persuasive relationship that explains how you get to your claim from the data
you offer—for example, The primary purpose of higher education is academics.
The backing. Supporting information that answers other questions of concern and strengthens the
warrant when it is controversial—for example, Football is a distraction benefiting alumni and coaches,
but not students or players. Coaches make obscene millions while players receive no compensation.
The majority of the student body receives no benefit because tuition costs continue to rise while
colleges continue to slash budgets.
The qualifier. Limitations placed on the connection between the data and the warrant, usually
symbolized by words such as often, rarely, or always—for example, Colleges often lose money on their
football programs.
Rebuttal. Potential counterarguments, at times proffered during the initial argument—for example, The
student athlete is a false concept. Any Division I college player will tell you the demands of the game
make the student aspect superfluous.
19. Likewise, persuaders rely on four key methods of reasoning to move receivers to affirm or act on their goal:
1. Deductive reasoning
2. Inductive reasoning
3. Causal reasoning
4. Analogical reasoning
20. Deductive reasoning is making an inference based on widely accepted facts or premises. For example, if all
men are mortal and Samad is a man, then you could deduce that Samad is mortal.
21. Deductive reasons take the form of syllogisms, which are patterns to structure arguments. A syllogism has
three parts:
A major premise—that is, a general statement or truth; for example, we must condemn speech that
precipitates violence.
A minor premise, which is a more specific statement that describes a claim made about a related object;
for example, a speech by the grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan will precipitate violence.
A conclusion derived from both the major premise and the minor premise; for example, therefore we
must condemn this speech.
22. You can evaluate examples of deductive reasoning with these criteria:
• Both the major premise and the minor premise must be true.
• The conclusion must follow logically from the premise.
23. When you use deductive reasoning, you introduce your receivers to your general claim first. One of the
potential disadvantages of the deductive approach is that receivers who oppose your claim may tune out and
not pay attention to the specifics you offer in the minor premise. Instead of giving you the opportunity to
provide them with reasons to accept your conclusion, they may be too busy rebutting your initial contention in
their own minds. Of course, if you are addressing an audience that favors your proposal and merely needs
reinforcing, then deductive reasoning works well.
24. Inductive reasoning is when you make broad generalizations from specific observations. You offer audience
members particular reasons why they should support your generalization.
25. You can evaluate whether a speaker’s use of inductive reasoning is effective by asking and answering these
two questions:
Are enough reasons given to justify the conclusion drawn?
Are the instances cited typical and representative?
26. When using causal reasoning—that is, reasoning that unites two or more events to prove that one or more
of them caused the other—a speaker either cites observed causes and infers effects or cites observed effects
and infers causes. We use causal reasoning daily. Something takes place and we ask, “Why?” Similarly, we
hypothesize about the effects of certain actions. For example: Sanding causes dust and, dust causes sneezing,
therefore sanding causes sneezing.
27. Of course, causal reasoning can be problematic. Just because one thing happens and another follows does
not necessarily mean that the first event was the cause. You can evaluate the soundness of causal reasoning by
• Is the cause cited real or actual?
• Is the cause cited an oversimplification?
Remember, causal reasoning associates events that precede an occurrence with events that follow. It shows us
that antecedents lead to consequences. Make the connection. Explain the linkages between evidence and your
28. When reasoning by or from analogy, we compare like things and conclude that because they are
comparable in a number of ways, they also are comparable in another new respect. For instance, if you propose
that the strategies used to decrease welfare fraud in San Francisco would also work in Harrisburg, you would
first have to establish that Harrisburg was like San Francisco in a number of important ways—perhaps the
number of persons on welfare, the number of social service workers, and the financial resources. If you can
convince audience members that the San Francisco and Harrisburg are alike, except for the fact that your city
does not yet have such a s welfare fraud system in place, then you would be reasoning by analogy.
29. Use these two questions to check the validity of an analogy:
1. Are the objects of comparison in the speech alike in essential respects? That is, are they more alike than
they are different?
2. Are the differences between them significant?
The best speakers combine several kinds of reasoning to justify the positions they are taking. Thus, your
reasoning options are open. If you are going to speak ethically, however, you do not have the option of
becoming unreasonable—that is, of using an argument that has only the appearance of valid reasoning without
the substance.
30. Remember, logos is an appeal to reason and you need to convince the audience by using of logic. You do
this by citing facts and statistics, historical and literal analogies, and citing certain authorities on a subject.
31. We react most strongly when we feel angry, anxious, excited, concerned, or guilty. Speakers use pathos,
which is an appeal to the emotion, to instill in the audience attitudes and beliefs similar to their own to elicit a
desired action. The greater your understanding of what members of your audience need, fear, and aspire to
achieve, the greater your chances of gaining their attention and persuading them to accept what you are
32. Abraham H. Maslow, a psychologist, developed a classic theory to explain human motivation. His theory is
now referred to as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow depicted motivation as a pyramid, with our most basic
needs at the bottom of the pyramid and our highest needs at the top.
33. According to Maslow, basic necessities of life are physiological: air, shelter, food, water, and procreation,
which is here at the bottom level of the pyramid.
– Next, we need to feel safe and secure and to know that those we care about are protected as well, which is
the second level from the bottom of the pyramid.
– Our need for love and belonging is located at the third level of the hierarchy; at this level is also our need for
social contact and to fit into a group.
– The fourth level focuses on esteem needs—our need for self-respect and to feel that others respect and value
– And finally, at the pyramid’s very top is our need for self-actualization, which is our need to realize our full
potential and to accomplish everything we are capable of.
So, by focusing on the relevant needs of the audience, speakers can unlock the attention, involvement, and
receptivity of the audience.
34. As a persuader, you should realize that unless audience members have their lower order needs met, you
will rarely be able to motivate them by appealing to higher order needs. For instance, an appeal to esteem
needs will likely fail unless the audience’s physiological, security, and belongingness needs have been met. A
speech on the importance of, say, achieving one’s goals through higher education is unlikely to be successful if
your receiver is homeless or hungry.
35. You can motivate members of your audience using both positive and negative appeals. In a positive
motivational appeal, you can note how your proposal benefits audience members and improves their quality of
life. A negative motivational appeal, such as an appeal to fear, for example, something bad will happen if they
do not support your position, might also work if you are convincing enough.
36. For an appeal –positive or negative — to work, audience members must believe:
• You are a credible source
• The threat you describe or the motivation you provide is real
• Taking action to remove the threat or taking heed of your positive motivation suggestion will restore
the audience to a state of balance
Regarding a fear appeal, keep in mind that once you induce fear in audience members, you have an ethical
responsibility to explain to them how your proposal will free them of that fear.
37. Remember, pathos or the emotional appeal, means to persuade an audience by appealing to their emotions,
invoking sympathy, pity or anger to make the audience feel what you want them to feel or to prompt action. You
can do this by using meaningful language, emotional tone, and emotional examples, stories, events and implied
Logical Fallacies
38. A logical fallacy is a flawed reason. It is unethical to offer audience members reasoning marred by fallacies.
In addition to not using fallacious reasons yourself, you also want to be able to spot them when other speakers
use them. Among the reasoning fallacies are the following:
39. Hasty generalizations. You make a hasty generalization when you jump to a conclusion based on too little
evidence. To avoid this reasoning defect, you need to review enough typical cases to validate your claim.
40. Post hoc, ergo propter hoc. This phrase is Latin for “after this; therefore, because of this.” Reasoning suffers
from this fallacy when you assume that merely because one event preceded another, the first event caused the
second event to happen. The sunrise is not caused by a rooster crowing, nor did it rain because you washed
your car. Reading scores in a school did not necessarily decline because (or only because) the curriculum was
41. Slippery slope. You find yourself on a slippery slope when asserting that one action will set in motion a chain
of events. Though all choices have consequences, they rarely are as serious as users of slippery slope reasoning
would have you conclude. Because once unwanted things happen, others do not certainly or even probably
42. Red herring. When you put a red herring in your speech, you lead your audience to consider an irrelevant
issue instead of the subject actually under discussion. In an effort to defend the right of individuals to smoke in
public places, for example, one speaker tried to deflect the concern of his listeners by focusing instead on the
dangers of automobile emissions.
43. False dichotomy / Either/Or Fallacy. When you employ a false dichotomy, you require your audience to
choose between two options, usually polar extremes, when in reality there are many in between. This polarizes
receivers and reduces a complicated issue to a simple choice that all too often obscures other legitimate
options. “America: Love it or leave it” and “If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem” are
examples of the false dichotomy at work.
44. False division. A false division infers that if something is true of the whole, it is also true of one or more of its
parts. For example, just because a boat can float on water doesn’t mean its motor can, and an organization may
not be corrupt because one of its members was convicted of embezzlement. What is true of the whole may not
be true of its constituent parts.
45. Personal attacks. When you resort to name-calling, you give an idea, a group, or a person a bad name so
that others will condemn your target without thinking critically or examining the evidence.
46. Glittering generalities. A glittering generality is the opposite of a personal attack. Here the speaker
associates an idea with things that the audience values highly (such as democracy and fairness). Again,
however, the aim is to cause audience members to ignore or gloss over the evidence.
47. Ad hominem attacks. When you present your audience with an argument ad hominem (which literally
means an argument “against the man”), you ask your audience to reject an idea because of a flaw in a person
associated with that idea. “She’s just a millennial.” An argument ad hominem places the focus on the person
rather than on the veracity of the argument.
48. Bandwagon appeals. If everyone jumps off a cliff, would you jump off a cliff too? Also known as the appeal
to popular opinion, the bandwagon appeal tells receivers that because “everyone is doing it” they should as
well. Just because many believe something, however, does not make it true.
49. Appeal to fear. A speaker who makes receivers feel overly fearful in order to accomplish his or her goals
often ends up pandering to prejudices or escalating the legitimate fears of receivers. Once receivers find
themselves “running scared” because the dangers alluded to by the speaker have been exaggerated beyond
what is likely to occur, they are rarely able to think critically and rationally about the issue.
50. Appeal to tradition. When appealing to tradition, you ask the members of your audience to accept your idea
or plan because that’s the way it’s always been done or to reject a new idea because the old way of doing
things is better. But because it was or is that way today does not necessarily make it better or best.
51. Appeal to misplaced authority. When a speaker asks us to endorse an idea because a well-liked personality
who is not an expert on the subject has endorsed it, we should question the request critically. Name recognition
does not necessarily equal expertise.
52. Straw man. When you respond to another’s position by distorting, exaggerating, or misrepresenting their
argument, you are depending on a “straw man” in an attempt to create the illusion that you refuted the other’s
stance successfully. Effectively, you misrepresent the other’s position to make it easier to attack.
There are many more fallacies, these represent the most common. Such fallacies are dishonest and undermine
reason and rational debate. Because they distort truth, logical fallacies are inherently invalid and, when
detected, constitute a major speaker slip-up, causing receivers to question the speaker’s ethics.

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