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Humanities Libertexts

3: Effective Argument

  • Page ID
    15873
    • 3.1: Logos, Ethos, and Pathos
      In order to persuade a particular audience of a particular point, a writer makes decisions about how best to convince the reader. Aristotle recognized three basic appeals that a writer (or orator) should consider when presenting an argument: logos, ethos, and pathos.
    • 3.2: Audience Awareness
      For success in any project, a writer must be aware of and carefully consider his audience.
    • 3.3: Evidence
      Primary Evidence is the thing we study. In academic writing, this kind of evidence differs according to discipline. In biology and chemistry, primary evidence can be an experiment’s results. In the field of history, it might be a letter written by a World War I soldier, a memo issued by a U.S. president, a Civil War bullet, or cave drawings. In sociology, it can be the data gathered from participant surveys (quantitative) or information arising from a case study (qualitative).
    • 3.4: Articulating an Effective Thesis
      The understanding of pathos, logos and ethos is crucial to formulating a significant and arguable thesis, which should capture the essence of your perspective on a text. The argument itself will require much more than a sentence or two, but the thesis, or the statement of the central argument, is an important tool in presenting a persuasive case. It should relay to your reader the specific point around which the rest of the argument revolves and why that point is so important.

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