Persuasion Commentary Example:
Keith Olberman on Health Care :
Persuasive Speech Lesson Review:
Persuasive Designs, Structures, Organizational Patterns:
Partial Topics List:
Why Seek Out Opposing Views:
International Debate Education Association
This site features an online database of information
on debate topics, as well as discussion boards
on a range of debate-related topics.
Media Education Foundation
Develops and distributes documentaries
encouraging critical thinking about media content.
The news page includes articles on a wide range
of issues that often address mass persuasion,
such as drug company advertising, the
commercialization of childhood,
and product placement in movies.
Dr. Hugh Rank, Professor Emeritus
of English at Governors State University,
provides information for students
and teachers on ways to analyze persuasion
in advertising and political rhetoric.
Pros and Cons of Controversial Issues
A good resource for identifying possible
persuasive speech topics, the website's goal
is to promote “education and informed
citizenship by presenting controversial issues
in a simple, nonpartisan
primarily pro-con format."
Sunday, May 17, 2015
Argumentation and Persuasion Overview
When you persuade others, you use language, images, and other means of communication to influence their attitudes, beliefs, values, or actions. Persuasive speeches may address questions of fact, value, or policy. Speeches on questions of fact ask whether something is true or not true. Speeches on questions of value take a position on the worth of something. And speeches on questions of policy are concerned with what should or should not be done. Speeches on questions of fact typically are organized using topical, chronological, spatial, or cause-and-effect pattern. Speeches on questions of value are best organized using a topical, chronological, or spatial pattern. Because speeches on questions of policy ask for action or passive agreement on the part of the audience, the problem-solution, problem-cause-solution, or motivated sequence are the best patterns of organization for such speeches.
In general, persuasive speakers face five types of audiences: negative, positive, divided, uninformed, and apathetic. Each type calls for different persuasive strategies. Negative audiences require persuasive speakers to thoroughly demonstrate their credibility, take a common-ground approach, visualize the topic in positive ways, and address audience objections. Persuasive public speakers facing positive audiences use narratives, engaging evidence, vivid language and images, and calls to action to reinforce listeners' opinions. When speaking to a divided audience, persuasive speakers must integrate the strategies for negative and positive audiences. Uninformed audiences require speakers to use motivational tactics, demonstrate expertise, rely on repetition and redundancy, and employ subtle persuasive strategies. For apathetic audiences, speakers must gain and maintain audience attention, relate the topic to the audience, display dynamism, and take a one-sided approach to the topic.
Persuasive speakers must inform to be effective in persuading. Informative speakers may persuade simply by providing new information, changing the listeners view of the world around them. In persuasion you must understand the views and opinions of those who feel differently than you, and devise ways to covert or influence those who's views are different than your own.
You cannot make anyone listen to you who does not want to. You must make them want to listen in order to communicate, and in doing so influence your audience.
The well-constructed argument forms the foundation of persuasive speaking. An argument consists of three elements: claims, evidence, and reasoning. Claims lay the groundwork for the thesis of your speech, answering the question "What am I asserting?" Every claim includes at least one premise and a conclusion. When speakers use an enthymeme, they omit part of the claim, leaving the audience to complete the claim. Qualifiers moderate a claim, indicating where there might be exceptions to the speaker's position.
Evidence refers to the supporting materials presented to back up the claim, answering the question "What is the support for my assertion?" Speakers may use logical appeals (logos), appeals to the speaker's credibility (ethos), emotional appeals (pathos), or appeals to cultural beliefs and values (mythos). Generally the strongest arguments are those that effectively integrate all four types of appeals. In addition, evidence should be relevant to the topic, come from highly credible sources, and represent a diversity of sources.
Reasoning is how speakers connect their evidence and claims. Reasoning answers the question "How are my supporting materials and assertions linked together?" and shows the audience how the evidence you've chosen provides justification for your position on the topic. Persuasive speakers rely on four types of reasoning: deductive, inductive, causal, and analogical. Deductive reasoning refers to arguing from a general principle to a specific case. Inductive reasoning involves giving examples in support of a claim. In causal reasoning, the speaker argues that something caused something else. Speakers using analogical reasoning compare two things that share similarities.
A fallacy occurs when an error is made in constructing an argument. Although fallacies may be persuasive, they are nonetheless a deceptive and unethical approach to convincing an audience. Fallacies may stem from errors in claims, evidence, reasoning, or responding. Common fallacies in claims are false dilemma, begging the question, slippery slope, and ad ignorantiam. Fallacies in evidence include red herring, ad populum, appeal to tradition, and comparative evidence. Division, hasty generalization, post hoc, and weak analogy are fallacies in reasoning. Audience members responding to persuasive arguments may also use fallacies, including ad hominem, guilt by association, caricature, and loaded words.
Why seek out opposing views?
Trust and Risk-taking.
Why learn to speak in public?
Critical Thinking Community Information
and resources about critical thinking.
Logical Fallacies: The Fallacy Files Developed
by Dr. Gary N. Curtis, the site includes definitions,
examples, quotes, and resources related to fallacies.
The Reasoning Page Developed
by Professor Bruce B. Janz
at the University of Central Florida,
this page includes links to online resources
in argumentation, critical thinking,
formal reasoning, the history of logic,
and reasoning in context.