EN 371
Theories of Persuasion
Linda McJannet
Bentley College

Feb. 23rd Presentations: Inventing Three Kinds of Appeals

Assignment: Working alone, or with a group, plan logical, ethical, and emotional appeals to support a proposition of your own choosing. Draw on our theoretical readings, library research, your experience, and your intellects and imaginations, and present your appeals to inform and move your audience, and to impress us with your own credibility.

One option might be the proposition that Bentley students ought to offer their support to the community through volunteer work at a local agency which you yourselves have visited. Alternatively, you might use your volunteer experience more generally to argue that (as Clinton said in his innaugural address) we need to care for one another. A service learning related project would lend itself nicely to this assignment by ensuring that first-hand experience could enrich your appeals.

Other options might include a Bentley-related topic of significance (revising an academic or residential policy), or an issue of the day (such as lifting the ban on gavs in the military, preventing domestic violence, or intervening in Bosnia- Herzegovina).

Suggested procedure:

  1. Choose your topic and proposition (it should be specific):

The national debt is (not) our gravest economic problem.

Gay people should (not) be excluded from the military.

     Every Bentley student should consider doing regular
     volunteer work in the community.

2. Assign people to do library research, interview campus experts, identify relevant experience within the group (work, family, personal anecdotes, etc.)

3. Brainstorm possible logical appeals. consider your audience (the class) what emotional appeals would be effective? What ethical appeals would strengthen your credibility on this toipic?

4. Present your appeals to the class, As audience you will be asked to rank the groups' various appeals and overall persuasiveness.