Descriptive Outlining and Arrangement

The New York Times recently published three interesting pieces on politicians and military service.  Each piece has a different organizational strategy.  The first looks similar to the Roman six-part speech I described in a previous post. The second is closer to the five-paragraph essay structure, though it has seven paragraphs.  The third has yet another pattern.

The first two paragraphs of the Brian Adam Stone piece are narrative background about H.W. Bush and Donald Trump. The first sentence introduces the topic of risking everything to serve in the military. The thesis comes in the third paragraph as an answer to the question, “Does it matter if a person who aspires to be president avoided service in Vietnam?” His answer is “yes.” Then there is one paragraph in support. The following paragraph notes that many men avoided the draft and that they have to “live with their decision.” It ends with a quote from Dick Cheney, who like Trump had five deferments and never served, who said he “had other priorities.” I would say that this essay roughly follows the Roman six-part pattern.

The Brandon Willitts piece is closer to the five-paragraph essay. It has the thesis in the first paragraph: “We should stop pretending as though military service matters so much for our elected officials.”” Note however that the thesis statement does not have the claim-and-three-reasons form that many student thesis statements have. This is followed by five paragraphs in support, the first three of which are personal examples, the latter two about politics and history. Then there is a conclusion. This ends up being a seven-paragraph essay, but these are journalistic paragraphs and the third and fourth paragraphs and the fifth and sixth paragraphs could easily be combined. I would say that this is pretty much a five-paragraph essay, a very good one.

I would argue that the Andrew J. Bacevich piece is not really an essay, but more like an answer to an academic test question. The first sentence is an answer and a thesis: “Those who avoid wartime service out of conviction–persuaded that a specific war is illegal, immoral, or wrongheaded–deserve our respect and even admiration.” Note, however, that this implies a counter-thesis: Those who avoid service for other reasons do not deserve our respect. And indeed, this counter-thesis appears in the third paragraph. The pattern is thesis, support, counter-thesis, support, conclusion. The overall implied thesis is that our respect depends on motivation. The title, “Motives Matter,” reflects this, but the title was probably added by a headline writer, not the author. This sort of writing depends a lot on the context the article is placed within, and indeed, the New York Times feature “Room for Debate” sets up the necessary context. In that sense, this is the most rhetorically savvy of these pieces. It is well-adapted to the rhetorical situation and the exigency.

When students read essays and op-ed pieces such as these, they are exposed to a wide variety of organizational patterns. However, when they write, they are often limited to one—: the five-paragraph essay.  I think that we create cognitive dissonance and disengagement when we teach them very strict formulas for writing essays. Why can’t they do what they see published authors doing?  One argument might be that they are not ready to make the rhetorical decisions necessary to adapt the form to their audience and purpose.  OK, how do they learn to make rhetorical decisions about arrangement?

One activity that will help is “descriptive outlining,” an exercise I first encountered in Reading Rhetorically by John Bean, Virginia Chappell and Alice M. Gillam, but which originally came from Ken Bruffee’’s A Short Course in Writing. In this activity, students learn about form by dividing a piece up into sections by topics and stating what the section does for the reader and what it says about the topic.  What follows is my own version of the activity.

Dividing the Essay

This activity works best with a relatively short essay-like piece. Have your students read the piece and divide it into sections based on topics. The first time you do this, it might be useful to start by simply asking them to draw a line where the introduction ends. Then ask individual students to report where they drew the line and why. Students may have drawn lines in different places, but that is ok. The important thing is the kind of thinking they do in making the decision. Once the line is drawn, they will want to defend their decision, and this leads to more thinking and discussion.

One discovery they will make after doing several of these is that the thesis statement is often not in the first paragraph.  This is mind-blowing for students who have been brought up on a strict regime of five-paragraph essays.

After the introduction has been discussed, ask the students to move on to the task of dividing the piece into sections based on topics. Again, students may divide it differently.

Do/Say Analysis

After the sections have been divided, ask the students to write brief statements describing the rhetorical function and content of each paragraph or section.

  • What is the section about? (The topic)
  • What does the section do for the reader? (Rhetorical function)
  • What does it say about the topic? (Content)

This is often called a “Do/Say” analysis, but I think that it is useful to identify the topic as well because topics function at a higher level than paragraphs (some languages, such as Japanese, have special words that serve as topic markers). I have extracted a sample descriptive outline of “”A Change of Heart about Animals“” from my ERWC module, “”A Rhetoric of the Op-Ed Page.””

Descriptive outlining helps students explore different organizational patterns and their effects on readers.  The resulting analysis is useful in creating a summary, abstract, or rhetorical précis of the article, and certainly helps in comprehension.

A Problem with the Aristotelian Appeals

Recently there was a thread on the Writing Program Administrator’s discussion board (WPA-L) in which first year writing instructors at the college level were complaining about receiving large numbers of essays that used ethos, logos, and pathos in ineffective ways. One respondent said that “it seems to have become the new five paragraph essay.” In ERWC, we offer these concepts as a set of analytical tools that allow students to become aware of the claims made on them by the writers of the documents they read. Instead, for some students, the Aristotelian appeals seem to have become a new essay formula.

I asked tutors and instructors on my campus if they were also seeing large numbers of ineffective essays that were framed by ethos, logos, and pathos. They confirmed that they were. One instructor told me that he now routinely says to students “Less pathos! More logos!” This is a recent phenomenon.

In a sense, this is success. Students are acquiring concepts and transferring them to other situations. However, from these reports, some of the transfer is negative and inappropriate. This is a big problem.

The Aristotelian appeals are only a part of a rhetorical approach. Aristotle says that rhetoric is “the art of finding the available means of persuasion.” The most important factors in any rhetorical analysis are audience and purpose. The first questions the student should ask are “Who is the audience?” and “What is the writer trying to accomplish?” not “Where is the ethos?” “Where is the pathos?” and “Where is the logos?”

After audience and purpose, the student needs to explore the issue. How is the issue defined? Who are the parties involved? What is the writer’s position? What are the arguments in favor of it? What are the arguments against it? What are other possible positions? What are the possible consequences? These questions all can be seen as coming under the heading of logos, but the answers may not all be in the text under study. To come up with counter-arguments and alternative positions, the student may have to think outside the text.

Ethos and pathos are also modes of persuasion, not necessary ingredients. Is the text more persuasive because of the way that the writer has constructed his or her ethos? Then we might look at the elements that construct that ethos. Does the writer make moves that invoke the reader’s emotions? We might want to look at how that is done and why the writer did it. However, a writer, such as a scientist, may choose to persuade entirely through facts and arguments and leave character and emotion behind.

In a future post I will explore how the Roman concept of stasis theory might be helpful in analyzing issues. Remember, “Less pathos! More logos!”

CATE Presentation–2/19/16

I presented at the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) conference on Friday with two of my former grad students, Alberta (Albie) Miranda and Amanda Thomason. CATE is a great conference.  It is just big enough and the attendees are all enthusiastic about teaching and learning.

As the ERWC matures, we are beginning to emphasize module creation by individual teachers rather than a prescribed set of official modules.  My part of the session was designed to introduce participants to some of the concepts and tools used to create modules.  I distributed the following handouts:

The micro module is designed to demonstrate how an ERWC-style module works in a very short format in which it is easy to grasp the whole arc of the module.  Lydia Davis writes “stories” that may be only a few sentences long.  The prereading section offers quotations from reviews that give the participant some idea of what kind of stories they are about to encounter.  Before reading the stories, the participant is instructed to think about “relationships.”  After reading, the participant is giving Davis’s definition of a “story” and asked to reread to determine if indeed these short pieces really are stories.  These activities form the “Preparing,” “Understanding,” and  “Questioning” stages of the ERWC arc.  It is typical of ERWC modules to include activities that cause the student to read and reread the texts multiple times from different perspectives.

Students are then given a writing prompt, which initiates the “Responding” stage:

Write an essay in which you explore the problems of relationships as presented in these stories. Define the problems and the implied solutions, supporting your ideas with quotations from the stories and examples from your own experience.

The students then compose drafts, get feedback, and revise.  At the end they are asked, “Do you think that your essay about relationship problems might actually help someone who was having problems in a relationship? It might, if it is easy to read and understand.”

Amanda and Albie both wrote the initial versions of their modules as projects for my English 589 “Pedagogies of Reading” course.  Both are now writing instructors in our department.  Amanda says in the introduction to her module

This module, “Learning to Dream: Dreaming to Learn,” was created for use in first-year college composition classes during the end of the year (once students have already been exposed to the ERWC style module). It takes several weeks to complete. It was developed to introduce students to the topics of dreaming, lucid dreaming, dream interpretation, and whether or not dreams can be harnessed to improve learning. Students are introduced to several different types of texts of varying purposes, styles, and difficulty levels (including web pages, articles, and a research paper) that will allow them to develop and defend an opinion on whether or not dreams are useful – and if so, how. As the final writing assignment, students are asked to either write an argumentative essay or a personal narrative and interpretation of a dream. Depending on the class and teacher, the final paper can be modified to take a more academic or creative slant.

Albie describes her “Romeo and Juliet” module as follows:

This module was develop for use in a ninth grade English class. The module is designed to guide students through their first experience with the works of William Shakespeare. The module will also help students understand why drama must be read differently than poetry or prose; students will work with genre-specific strategies that they will then be able to apply to other dramatic texts. At the end of the project, students will compose a two-part essay: in the first part they will explore one of the major thematic concerns in the play; in the second, they will reflect on their development as readers of drama.

I would guess that there were about 35 people at the session.  I had 28 handouts, and I ran out.  Nearly all of the attendees had some experience with ERWC and I think the session was well-received.  Albie and Amanda gave very professional presentations, there were good questions, and I had fun.

The Organization of a Roman Speech

In the Module Writing Institute today we were talking about a metalanguage for commencement addresses. I suggested that it was worth looking at the six-part organization of a classical Roman speech as described by Cicero in De Inventione and De Oratore. This pattern has lasted for thousands of years.

  • Exordium–An introduction in which the speaker states the subject and purpose of the discourse and establishes his or her ethos.
  • Narratio–A narrative of the facts of the case.
  • Partitio or Divisio–A statement of what is to come, consistent with the point at issue.
  • Confirmatio–Arguments in favor of the case. Oriented toward logos.
  • Refutatio–A refutation of the arguments against the case.
  • Peroratio–A conclusion, often oriented toward pathos.

I argued that if we were still teaching this pattern, instead of the five-paragraph essay, our society would be much more advanced. All of the requirements of good logical argumentation are built into this pattern, though it also addresses ethical and pathetic appeals. And it is still in use in sermons and other ceremonial discourse.

More can be found at the Silva Rhetoricae site.  Click on “Canons of Rhetoric/Arrangement” in the column on the left side.

Aristotle’s Three Appeals

Some of my colleagues have indicated that my previous post on this subject, “Argument Versus Persuasion: A False Dichotomy,” might not have been entirely persuasive to my audience of teachers.  Too many terms!  Dialectic, argument, rhetoric, and persuasion all mixed up!  What the heck is dialectic anyway?  How did that get in there?  What does an argument between Aristotle and Plato have to do with teaching students today?

Oh my!  I’d better try again.

I will assert again that argument, in the form of logos, is a part of rhetoric and one of the strategies of persuasion.  Aristotle defines the three modes of persuasion as follows:

  • Ethos: the personal character of the speaker.
  • Pathos: putting the audience into a certain frame of mind.
  • Logos: the proof, or apparent proof, of the words themselves.

It is tempting when doing rhetorical analysis to go through a text labeling the parts of it that construct an ethos, the parts that create emotional effects, and the parts that function as part of a logical argument.  However, it is not so simple.  A single element can function in more than one way, and the relationships between the terms can be complex.

For example, a website called “Defenders of Wildlife” has a “Fact Sheet” about the endangered San Joaquin kit fox that features a cute picture of a young fox with the caption, “The San Joaquin kit fox is declining or has become locally extinct in much of the species historic range.  You can help save them.  Adopt a kit fox.”  The name “Defenders of Wildlife” creates a strong, heroic ethos for the writers of the website.  The web page is full of facts about the kit fox and its life, which function both to create the impression that the writers are knowledgeable about the fox (ethos) and to make the argument (logos) that the cute little fox (pathos) is endangered.  Finally, the reader is asked to help save the kit fox by adopting one, a call for action that is based more on pathos than logos, but involves both.

Here is a slightly more complex example.  Rhetoric scholar Sharon Crowley, in a very academic essay calling for a change in the way writing is taught in schools, wants to argue that there are two basic ways to learn a new skill: by doing it (practice) or by learning principles about it (theory).

The Greek word from which theory is derived originally designated a spectator who sat in the furthermost rows of the theater, literally “observing from afar.”  When a teacher sets out to teach any practice, if she chooses not to demonstrate it, her other alternative is to stand back from it and generalize about it.  As Aristotle notes in the beginning of his Rhetoric, people can pick up skill in any practice simply by doing it; but it is also the case that the causes of success in any art can be investigated and reduced to principles.  These principles can then be transmitted to other learners.

When I was growing up in the sandhills of Nebraska, my mother devoted nearly every Saturday afternoon to making cinnamon rolls.  One Saturday, when I was old enough to be interested in such things, I asked my mother to teach me how to make cinnamon rolls.  She obliged me by talking through the procedure while demonstrating it. You take a pinch of this, she said, and add it to a couple of palmfuls of that, knead the result until you’re satisfied that its consistency is about right, let it set until it smells as though the yeast has finished working, and so on.  (Crowley 330) 

Crowley was not successful in learning to make cinnamon rolls in this way.  She needed precise measurements and procedures that did not depend on years of experience to make judgments about such things as when the yeast has finished working.  She concludes that the problem with teaching by example is that when the teacher is absent, the student is on his or her own, but that if the student knows the theory, he or she can re-create the practice.  Fortunately, her sister had written down some measurements and other information, so together they were able to re-create the cinnamon rolls.  They needed both theory and practice.

Crowley is making a logical argument about teaching.  She cites the authority of Aristotle as support for her argument, implying that she is with Aristotle on this point, thus enhancing her ethos.  Then suddenly, she launches into the example of the cinnamon rolls.  This example illustrates her argument, so it functions as part of logos, but it is also a story about working in the kitchen with her mother, and later her sister.  It’s a homey story about family memories, and thus might seem to some readers to be too personal and emotional to fit in as part of an argument in an article in an academic journal.

In addition to supporting the point about two different kinds of learning, the cinnamon roll story creates emotional effects that are clearly designed to affect the reader.  However, different readers will have different sorts of emotions.  Some will remember their own cooking experiences with their mothers and identify with the author.  Some will think that it is a brilliant illustration of a difficult concept.  Others may react in surprise, maybe even disgust.  “Cinnamon rolls!  My word! What kind of scholarly article is this?”  Some readers might even become hungry and start thinking about lunch.  Conflicting reactions from the audience are part of the risk of using pathos as a persuasive strategy.

However, it is also clear that both the type of ethos that will be effective and the type of emotional response that the writer will get from the audience both depend on the type of audience the writer has.  Ethos and pathos are not static categories, but are in a relationship.  They affect one another.

Let’s say that ethos refers to the perspective of the writer, including all of the strategies he or she uses to construct a particular impression of his or her character and abilities, as well as the persona that is created by these strategies.  Pathos refers to the perspective of the reader, to all the effects the text has on the reader, especially emotional responses, and the strategies used to create those effects. However, the reader may experience an emotional response—suspicion, distrust, admiration, hatred, or even love—that is created in part by the ethos constructed by the writer.   It is also possible that a writer like Crowley might use the effects of pathos to select or reject certain kinds of readers.  She may want the kind of reader who appreciates a connection between the classroom and the kitchen, and not want the reader who thinks cinnamon rolls don’t belong in a serious article.

The writer and the reader have a strong relationship that is “mediated” by the text.  The text is in the middle, so it “mediates” the relationship, creating it, channeling it, controlling it.  The writer has an audience, a group of readers, in mind, and a purpose for writing.  He or she writes a text that serves that purpose and meets the needs of that audience.  However, the writer cannot anticipate every reader or every response.  Readers are individuals who question and talk back to a text.  The relationship is not a one-way street.

Now what about logos?  It is tempting to limit logos to logical arguments.  After all, the Greek word logos, which actually means “word” or “words,” is the root of our word “logic.”  However, even Aristotle thought that rhetorical arguments were different from the kinds of arguments you find in science.  He called rhetorical arguments “enthymemes,” and noted that they contained unstated premises or assumptions that were generally accepted by both the speaker and the audience.   These assumptions were rooted in the world view of the culture, shared beliefs and values that generally went unquestioned unless someone like Socrates was around to question them, or when the society encountered people from a different culture.  For example when a U.S. President talks to the American people about “freedom” there are shared assumptions that the sources of freedom are in certain forms of democracy and a capitalist economic system.  Similarly, an advertisement for a particular car will probably not present arguments about the advantages of car ownership.  Everyone already knows what they are.  These arguments do not need to be spelled out.

We all live in both a physical world and a social world, which is a world of values, beliefs and practices.    The arguments of logos can be seen as representations of the nature of the physical or social world and the relationships between things or individuals in those worlds.   The writer and the reader live in a shared world, but they may see it differently.  One of the main purposes for writing is to get the reader to see the world in the same way the writer does.

The three terms can thus be seen as positions in a three way relationship between the writer, the reader, and the world, mediated by the text.   Rhetorician James Kinneavy places the terms in what he calls the “communication triangle” and updates Aristotle’s language with terms from information theory.  He says, “Basic to all uses of language are a person who encodes a message, the signal (language) which carries the message, the reality to which the message refers, and the decoder (receiver of the message)” (Kinneavy 19).  From this point of view, Aristotle’s three modes of persuasion become a larger more abstract model of the communication process itself.  Combining Aristotle’s terms with Kinneavy’s insight, we might draw the communications triangle something like this:

communicationa triangle

Click the image to enlarge

From this model we can see that every act of communication contains all three appeals. Some texts, from the STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) for example, emphasize logos and minimize ethos and pathos.  However, every text has a writer and a reader and refers to a world.  All texts have all three appeals, to varying degrees.

Works Cited

“Fact Sheet: San Joaquin Kit Fox.” Defenders of Wildlife. Web. 22 Dec. 2012. Web.

<http://www.defenders.org/san-joaquin-kit-fox/basic-facts>

Crowley, Sharon. “A Plea for the Revival of Sophistry.” Rhetoric Review, Vol. 7, No. 2 (Spring, 1989), pp. 318-334.

Kinneavy, James L. A Theory of Discourse. New York: Norton, 1971. Print.

Argument Versus Persuasion: A False Dichotomy

The first Common Core Anchor Standard for Text Types and Purposes states that students should be able to “Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.”  Although Aristotle’s three persuasive appeals–ethos, logos, and pathos— have been part of English Language Arts standards for some time, and while persuasive techniques are mentioned elsewhere in the Common Core documents, this statement has been interpreted by many to emphasize the teaching of argument at the expense of persuasion. Let me make this clear from the start: Argument is not opposed to persuasion.  Argument (logos) is a part of persuasion.

In part, this issue goes all the way back to a disagreement between Plato and his student Aristotle about the nature of truth and the role of rhetoric.  In Plato’s Gorgias, Socrates gets the sophist Gorgias to agree that rhetoric persuades to belief, not knowledge.  Socrates argues that there is truth, and that one arrives at the truth through the question and answer method called “dialectic,” demonstrated by Socrates in the Platonic dialogs.  He goes so far as to argue that rhetoric is akin to “cookery,” in that just as a cook can make unhealthy ingredients taste good, rhetoric can make unwise ideas seem appealing.  For Socrates, at least in the Gorgias, dialectic is the true art and rhetoric is no art at all.

However, Aristotle disagrees.  He responds in his work on rhetoric by stating that  rhetoric is the counterpart of dialectic, defining rhetoric as “the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion.” Plato is the idealist.  Aristotle is more practical.  It is also important to note that Plato did not win this argument.  Philosophers may still argue about whether there is absolute truth or not, but life, and rhetoric, go on.

In response to Plato’s argument that rhetoric persuades to belief, but not knowledge, Aristotle says that “argument based on knowledge implies instruction, and there are people whom one cannot instruct.”  Aristotle also says that “The duty of rhetoric is to deal with such matters as we deliberate upon without arts or systems to guide us, in the hearing of people who cannot take in at a glance a complicated argument or a long chain of reasoning.”  In other words, the rigor and certainty of dialectic is appropriate for science, for an expert audience, and for particular narrow purposes.  The persuasive techniques of rhetoric are for almost everyone and everything else.

While Aristotle favors logos and logical argument, he admits that appeals to the character of the speaker (ethos) and appeals to the emotions of the audience (pathos) are legitimate and necessary aspects of persuasion.   Ethos and pathos should not be classified as logical fallacies or artifices of deception.

Because most audiences lack the knowledge or inclination to sit through or follow long chains of reasoning such as one might find in a scientific paper, in most speeches and written texts the arguments used are truncated and based on assumed premises or premises based on probability rather than proof.  Aristotle calls arguments of this nature “enthymemes.”  Such arguments are clearly part of the techniques of persuasion.  They are the bread and butter of nearly all reasoned discourse.  This is the kind of discourse the writers of the Common Core are thinking of when they ask that students be able to  “Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.”  We want students to be able to write for all audiences, not just scientific ones.

Thus those who advise teachers trying to implement the Common Core standards to “teach argument, not persuasion,” or classify ethos and pathos as persuasion, but logos as argument, are promulgating fundamental misunderstandings of the nature of both rhetoric and the Common Core.  They are also not helping students learn to write and succeed in college.  Although most students will write a few scientific lab reports in which logos dominates, they will also have to write essays, application letters, proposals, case studies, research papers, emails, and many other types of documents that require the full range of rhetorical ability.  They will also be subjected to advertising, propaganda, partisan political pieces, and other discourse in which they are subject to rhetorical appeals.

Here is a thought experiment demonstrating an inappropriate use of purely logos-driven discourse. Imagine a political leader trying to manage a serious, complicated crisis without using all aspects of rhetoric.  Let’s take as an example the near meltdown of three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan following a 9.0 earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.  Let’s imagine that Prime Minster Naoto Kan appeared on television after the accident and said the following:

Analyses performed as of 1 June 2011 indicate that at unit 1, the loss of cooling caused the temperature of the uranium dioxide fuel pellets to reach melting point (2 800°C) very shortly after the loss of all electrical power. When this occurred, the analyses have predicted that the molten fuel relocated from the core region to the lower reactor pressure vessel (RPV) head early on 12 March. The molten fuel then caused damage (small leaks) to the lower head. When cooling was later resumed, the temperature of the molten fuel dropped and further damage to the lower head of the RPV was prevented. However, the small leaks in the unit 1 lower RPV head require that water continue to be injected into the RPV at a rate higher than otherwise necessary to remove decay heat and to keep the fuel cooled. Updated analyses performed for units 2 and 3 indicate that significant fuel damage occurred, with the possibility that much of the fuel in these units also melted.     (5)

Imagine that he continued on in this fashion to deliver a complete nine-page engineering report on the state of the six nuclear reactors at the plant.  This is the discourse of a nuclear engineer.  It is logos-driven, objective, neutral, and very useful in its place.  However, it is entirely inappropriate for the rhetorical situation we are imagining.  The people of Japan are afraid and perhaps angry.  They want to know that something is being done, that their leaders care and are competent to take care of the situation.  Ignoring ethos and pathos would be a political and social disaster.

Fortunately, the Prime Minister did not give this speech.  This paragraph came from a report on Fukushima by the Nuclear Energy Association (NEA).

The new Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, also has to deal with the Fukushima situation.  In a speech given to the Japanese Diet on October 15, 2013, he says:

Every day at the Prime Minister’s Office, I eat rice grown in Fukushima. It has a flavor that is acclaimed by all. It is my hope that consumers taste Fukushima’s safe and delicious agricultural and fishery products for themselves, without being confused due to radiation-related rumors.

This is clearly an ethos-related move.  He is establishing solidarity with the people of Fukushima, and demonstrating to one and all that he is not afraid of radiation in their products.  Later in the speech he makes a move toward pathos:

I received a letter from a young mother who is from Fukushima. Her letter conveys her love for her child that was born in the year the earthquake disaster happened, as well as her inner thoughts as she anguishes over whether or not to return to her home community of Fukushima. She ended her letter by saying, “My husband and I are now thinking that we will return to Fukushima. We intend to live on that land as a family, the three of us. We decided this because we thought that Fukushima has no future unless the younger generation lives there as we will.”

Can any politician avoid making these rhetorical moves?  Do we really want a generation of students who can only write like engineers?  However, we don’t have to choose between teaching argument and persuasion.  They are not in opposition.

Here is a link to a short article, “Three Ways to Persuade: Integrating the Three Appeals” that can be used to help students understand ethos, logos, and pathos.