Subject:
Communication, Public Relations, Speaking and Listening
Material Type:
Module
Provider:
Ohio Open Ed Collaborative
Tags:
Argument, Ethos, Fallacy, Logos, Ocm0132, Pathos, Persuasion, Persuasive Appeals, Reasoning, Toulmin
License:
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0
Language:
English
Media Formats:
eBook, Text/HTML, Video

Education Standards (3)

Reasoning & Argument

Reasoning & Argument

Overview

Reasoning and argument are critical components of persuasive speaking. This section examines persuasive appeals as well as the fundamentals of reasoning and argument. Ethos, logos, and pathos are discussed as well as the many forms of reasoning. Argument construction is explored as well as Toulmin’s model.  The section concludes by discussing logical fallacies and how to avoid them.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand and effectively utilize traditional persuasive appeals
  • Understand and apply multiple forms of reasoning
  • Construct sound arguments backed by evidence 
  • Identify and avoid logical fallacies

(This Module meets the TAG/OCM 013 for a Public Speaking Course; Learning Outcome 7)

Recommended Textbook Resources

Stand Up, Speak Out: The Practice and Ethics of Public SpeakingStand Up, Speak Out Book Cover

Chapter 8.3 Using Support and Creating Arguments

 

 

 

 

 

Exploring Public Speaking, 3rd EditionExploring Public Speaking, 3rd Edition Book Cover

Section 13.4 Traditional Views of Persuasion
Section 14.1 What is Correct Reasoning?
Section 14.2 Inductive Reasoning
Section 14.3 Deductive Reasoning
Section 14.4 Logical Fallacies

 

 

 

This collection of chapter sections discusses the fundamental elements of reasoning and argument. These sections were selected by the team for their comprehensive topic coverage; clear, engaging language, thorough supporting sources from some of the leading scholars in the field; and of course, the publisher’s commitment to open educational resources.

Stand Up, Speak Out: The Practice and Ethics of Public SpeakingStand Up, Speak Out Book Cover

Chapter 8.3 Using Support and Creating Arguments

 

 

 

 

 

Exploring Public Speaking, 3rd EditionExploring Public Speaking, 3rd Edition Book Cover

Section 13.4 Traditional Views of Persuasion
Section 14.1 What is Correct Reasoning?
Section 14.2 Inductive Reasoning
Section 14.3 Deductive Reasoning
Section 14.4 Logical Fallacies

 

 

 

This collection of chapter sections discusses the fundamental elements of reasoning and argument. These sections were selected by the team for their comprehensive topic coverage; clear, engaging language, thorough supporting sources from some of the leading scholars in the field; and of course, the publisher’s commitment to open educational resources.

Topic Application Section

Classroom Activity - Analyzing Traditional Persuasive Appeals


(45-60  minutes depending on length of class discussion)
Show Mary Fisher's speech “A Whisper of AIDS.” Be sure to show both Part 1 and Part 2 (about 14 minutes total.) Also, supply students with a printed transcript of the speech. It is important to note that this speech was delivered at the 1992 Republican National Convention. You may find it necessary to inform students about the contextual political and social factors surrounding AIDS/HIV at that time in American history.

Put students into small groups of 3-4 and instruct them to answer the following questions, having them refer back to the printed transcript. (15-20 minutes)

  • What examples of ethos can you find? As a group, select the strongest example.
  • What examples of logos can you find? As a group, select the strongest example.
  • What examples of pathos can you find? As a group, select the strongest example.

Next, have each group present their strongest examples of ethos, logos, and pathos. Then, use the following prompts for discussion and reflection: (15-25 minutes)

  • What were the main arguments made during this speech?  
  • In what ways did Mary effectively use logos?
  • Did Mary effectively establish ethos?  How?
  • Did pathos play a role in the persuasiveness of this speech? In what ways?
  • Which of the traditional appeals of persuasion do you think Mary utilized the most during this speech? Ethos? Logos? Pathos?  Why?
  • Can you find examples of overlap in the use of these appeals?  For example, could one example show BOTH logos and pathos?
  • Were you moved by this speech?  Why or why not?
  • What have you learned about using traditional appeals to persuade?

Classroom Activity - Distinguishing Informative Speaking from Persuasive Speaking
(30 - 40 minutes depending on length of class discussion)
Show this 17 minute Ted Talk by Dahlia Mogahed titled “What it’s like to be a Muslim in America

Then, begin a classroom discussion with the following prompts: (15-25 minutes)

  • What have you learned from watching this speech?
  • Have your own thoughts or beliefs been changed or reinforced by watching this speech?
  • What do you think the speaker's purpose was?
    • Was her purpose more informative or persuasive?
  • Were there any elements of persuasion present in her speech?
    • If so, what would Dahlia need to change or modify to keep her speech strictly informative?
    • What would she need to change or modify to make it clearly persuasive?
  • What can you learn from this example about distinguishing informative from persuasive speaking?

End of Section Review

Topic Summary
As a persuasive speaker, it is critical to present logical, well reasoned arguments backed by evidence.  Arguments are the claim a speaker makes. Evidence is the proof that supports the claim. The warrants are the connection between the evidence and the claim. Speakers must also be careful to avoid and be aware of logical fallacies. In addition to appealing to logos, speakers must establish and maintain ethos.  The more favorably your audience views your credibility, your competence and character, the more likely they will be to accept your claim. Last, effective persuasive speakers appeal to their audience’s emotions. Doing so ethically and effectively will enhance persuasiveness.

Key Terms

  1. Argument
    1. Premise
    2. Conclusion
  2. Support-Manipulation
  3. Ethos
  4. Logos
  5. Pathos
  6. Reasoning
    1. Analogical Reasoning
    2. Figurative
    3. Literal
    4. Inductive Reasoning
    5. Generalization
    6. Causal Reasoning
    7. Sign Reasoning
    8. Deductive Reasoning
    9. Syllogism
    10. Enthymeme
  7. Logical Fallacies
    1. False Analogy
    2. False Cause
    3. Slippery Slope
    4. Hasty Generalization
    5. Straw Man
    6. Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
    7. Argument from Silence
    8. Statistical Fallacies
    9. Non Sequitur
    10. Appeal to Authority
    11. False Dilemma/Dichotomy
    12. Appeal to Tradition
    13. Bandwagon
    14. Red Herring
    15. Ad Hominem
    16. Ad Misericordium
    17. Plain Folks
    18. Guilt by Association

Review Questions

  1. Why is it important to support every claim made in a persuasive speech?
  2. What are the guidelines that help you avoid support-manipulation?
  3. Why is it important to use a variety of support types?
  4. What are the three traditional views of persuasion?
  5. How is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs related to persuasion?
  6. What are the differences between inductive and deductive reasoning?
  7. What are the four fallacies causal reasoning is susceptible to?
  8. How is the slippery slope fallacy different from a hasty generalization?

Critical Thinking/Discussion Questions

  1. In what ways can you enhance your ethos during a speech?
  2. In what ways must ethics be considered when using pathos to persuade?
  3. Which of the discussed fallacies do you think is the hardest to identify in action and why?
  4. What steps must you take to ensure your arguments are sound and free of fallacious reasoning?