Rhetorical Triangle

Ethos: Appeals to Ethics, Credibility or Character. Ethics, ethical, trustworthiness or reputation, style/tone. The credibility of the speaker persuades.

PathosAppeals to Emotion. Emotional or imaginative impact, stories, values. Uses emotional response to persuade an audience.

Logos: Appeals to logic. Persuade by reason and evidence.

4 Ways to Persuade with Emotion (Pathos)

  1. Concrete Examples
  2. Connotative Diction
  3. Metaphors and Similes
  4. Tone

Appeals to pathos target the link between audience members and their values.

When we act on our values, we experience emotions like happiness, pride, satisfaction, etc. When we do not, we often feel shame, fear, or anger. The same goes for the actions of people around us: we are often pleased when the actions of people around us align with our values and angry when they don’t.

Appeals to Emotion

Images can be used to instill an emotional response in the audience. Even implied images in text can be very emotionally powerful. A description of blood stained clothes draws certain emotions in a reader.

Lawyers know how important visuals can be. They dress their defendants in suits and ties to make them seem more credible.

Types of emotional appeals:

  • appeal to pity
  • appeal to fear
  • appeal to self-interest
  • Sexual
  • bandwagon
  • humor
  • celebrity
  • testimonials
  • identity prejudice
  • lifestyle
  • stereotypes
  • patriotic

Gladwell “Small Change”

Malcolm Gladwell “Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted”

Gladwell discusses the arguments promoting social media as a key component in social activism starting in paragraph 7. He says, “The new tools of social media have reinvented social activism. With Facebook and Twitter and the like, the traditional relationship between political authority and popular will has been upended, making it easier for the powerless to collaborate, coordinate, and give a voice to their concerns.” He discusses revolutions in Moldova and Iran and quotes a former senior State Department official who believes social media can be used to fight terrorism. He brings up these opposing views (his “they say”) after an extended description of the Woolworth’s lunch counter sit-ins. He begins to refute these views in paragraph 8.

2/2/60 Greensboro, N.C.: A group of Negro students from North Carolina A&T College, who were refused service at a luncheon counter reserved for white customers, staged a sit-down strike at the F.W. Woolworth store in Greensboro 2/2. Ronald Martin, Robert Patterson and Mark Martin are shown as they stayed seated throughout the day. The white woman at left came to the counter for lunch but decided not to sit down.
woolworths sit in
Sit-in participants are bullied and have food and drinks dumped on them.

High-risk activism, McAdam concluded, is a “strong-tie” phenomenon. . .

. . . But weak ties seldom lead to high-risk activism.

Gladwell argues two main points as the differences between Traditional activism and Online activism:

  1. Weak-tie vs. Strong-tie
  2. Online activism is not an hierarchical organization