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Persuasion
And the Age of Reason
Age of Reason
Age of Reason
Mid 1700’s until Early 1800’s
•Marked by:
Logic, Reason, Science, Questioning
REVOLUTIONS!
American and French!
Introduced the scientific method! Moving
away from Puritanical religion. Seeking
revision in social structures.
Common themes of this period:
(Remember the 3 Rs)
Rebellion, Revolution, and Protest
Rationalism
Relationship to Society
Elements of Effective Persuasion
 Aristotle divided the means of Persuasion into three
categories
 1. Logos: Is the reasoning logical? Or is it reaching?
Deductive (big to small) or Inductive (small to big
generaliztion)
 2. Ethos: Is the speaker credible? Should I even be
listening to him/her? Is he/she an authority on the
topic?
 3. Pathos: Does he/she appeal to my sense of
emotion? Am I being moved?
Be sure you
address
all three
parts of
the
rhetorical
triangle!
Also, address the opposition. Address
the other argument that could be
made as well. Don’t dismiss the other
side!
Persuasive Techniques
Introduction (attention grabber)
Organization! Have a flow of ideas that’s easy to
follow. Have some organizational
pattern….PREWRITE!
Proof and Support!!! Substantiate your claim with
evidence! Do you have proof? Reputable sources?
Statistics? Or are you merely stating opinions?
Persuasive Techniques
Logic: Does it follow a sense of logic? Again, does it
make sense? Or is it just based on opinion?
Loaded Language: Does the language support
your claim? Does it move you? Do your words
establish the appropriate mood?
Rhetorical Devices
Call to Action: Does it demand something of you?
Does it inspire you to act?
Elevated Language: Is it eloquent? Articulate?
Does it sound intelligent?
Rhetorical Question: This question, which does
not look for an actual answer, does it make you think?
Does it make you reevaluate or reconsider?
Rhetorical Devices
Appeals to Emotion: Does it also sink in
emotionally? Or is it too logical? Remember Aristotle's
pathos!
Repetition: Does it emphasize points by using certain
words, phrases, or images over and over? Is it effective?
Or obnoxious?
Conclusion: Is everything tied up in the end? Does it
end with a bang? A flourish? Does it make you want to
stand up and cheer? Fight?
Rhetorical Devices
Parallelism: Does the use of the same beginning
sentence structure have an impact on the audience?
(i.e. He has promised; he has coaxed; he has
tempted to ingratiate himself with our colony…)
Anecdote: Does the inclusion of a short, funny
story help make the point? Does it belittle the
opposition?
Rhetorical Devices
Verbal Irony: Does the use of sarcasm
illuminate the ridiculousness of the
opposition?
Satire: Does the use of such irony, ridicule,
sarcasm denounce the opposition and its vices?
Does it again highlight the hypocrisy of the
other opinion?
Figurative Language
Analogy: Does the comparison of two unlike things
solidify a point? Does it make it more comprehensible?
Metaphor: Is the implication that one thing is
another effective? Think of The Crucible where the whole
event was an extended metaphor for the Red Scare!
Simile: Is a comparison using “like” or “as” effective?
Does it help support your claim? Does it increase your
logos? Pathos?
Figurative Language
Allusions: Is making references to other well-known
facts, works of literature, etc. effective? Do you
increase your credibility/ethos?
Style: Is your DICTION (choice of words)
appropriate for your subject? Is your SYNTAX
(sentence structure/word order) working? Do you
sound authoritative? Or unsure?
Oral Delivery!
Volume: use the rise and fall of your voice. Keep
your audience on their toes! Don’t bore them to tears
with a monotonous voice!
Enunciate: Pronounce every vowel and consonant.
Poise: Handle it with aplomb! Stand with
confidence, move with suave, charm with body
language. Look the part! Act the part!
Being a Receptive Audience
Listen! Don’t put your head down. Don’t
doodle in your notebook.
Smile! Look like you actually enjoy the
speech. Nod in agreement. Shift your head
as though in thought…