Literary Terms

Rhetorical Appeals

Pathos

When you read a text that is persuasive in nature, consider HOW the author is appealing to his audience.

    • Emotional Appeal (PATHOS): The writer uses emotion to get the reader to connect to his or her argument.The writer uses words that convey strong feelings to persuade readers.

      • Types of emotional appeals

        • Emotionally loaded language

        • Vivid descriptions

        • Anecdotes about emotional experiences or events

        • Figurative language

        • An attitude conveyed by the author (tone such as humor, anger, cynicism, etc.)

      • Sentence starters to write about emotional appeals

        • The author appeals to pathos through the ___ tone….

        • The author elicits ____ and ____ (tone) to appeal emotionally to the audience.

        • The author’s description of ___________ appeals to the audience’s emotions by …

APPEALS TO PATHOS (SORRY/PITY/FEAR/GUILT)

(uses emotions to persuade reader-may inspire or frighten someone; has a negative connotation)

EMOTIONAL APPEAL (EMPATHY/HUMOR)

(uses emotions to persuade reader, sometimes in a positive way with humor to ridicule)

Logos

    • Logical appeals (LOGOS): Author uses logic through evidence and claims to build the argument and evoke a reasoning and rationale response from the reader. The author asks the reader to use reasoning to understand the argument.

      • Aristotle developed an argument on a syllogism, which is a form reasoning consisting of three main areas: a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion. As you read an persuasive texts, determine what the major premise is and what conclusions can be made through minor premises.

        • Major Premise: All public libraries should serve the people. Minor Premise: This is a public library. Conclusion: Therefore, this library should serve all people.

      • Types of logo appeals

        • Theories and facts

        • Analogies

Definitions

        • Cause and effect relationships: If X happens, then Y is the result.

        • Factual data & statistics

        • Quotations

        • Citations from experts & authorities

        • Informed opinions

        • Personal anecdotes

      • Sentence starters to write about logical appeal

        • The author appeals to logos by incorporating……

        • The writer uses convincing logical appeals by ….

Ethos

    • Expert Appeal (ETHOS): A writer relies on authority or image of someone to build the argument in order to help the reader see the author as reliable and trustworthy. The person may be considered an expert on a subject to persuade readers or a strong moral character. The writer stresses the intelligence and/or credibility of the author. Ethos relates to the words ethical or ethics.

      • An actor supporting a local charity

      • A woman dressed as a doctor in a commercial

      • Types of ethos appeals

        • Author’s profession / background

        • Author’s publication

        • Appearing sincere, fair minded, knowledgeable

        • Conceding to opposition where appropriate

        • Morally and ethically likeable

        • Appropriate language for audience and subject

        • Appropriate vocabulary

        • Good command of language

        • Professional format

      • Ways to write about ethos appeals

        • The author demonstrates his expertise and builds ethos through …

        • The author develops her ethos by demonstrating ….

APPEALS TO ETHOS (CREDIBILITY)

(asks the reader to look on favorably on the writer, stressing writer’s credibility)

ETHICAL APPEAL (MORALITY)

(asks the reader to consider what is the right thing to do)

RHETORICAL TROPES AND SYNTACTICAL FORMS

RHETORICAL TROPES

Allegory

(story in which people, events, or things often have symbolic meanings)

Allusion

(historical, literary, pop cultural metaphorical reference)

Analogy

(comparison)

Asyndeton

construction in which elements are presented in a series without conjunctions (FOR, AND, NOR, BUT, OR, YET, SO) in order to increase the pace and for an effect. EXAMPLE: He was a bag of bones, a floppy doll, a broken stick, a maniac. - On the Road by Jack Kerouac

Without conjunctions, it speeds up pace. It shortens the sentence and focuses on meaning EXAMPLE: "I rode a roller coaster, ate a pretzel, won a goldfish, watched a juggler....I did it all!"

Epithet

(adjectives or nouns to used to describe another noun- accentuates a dominant characteristic for effect)

Euphemism

(softer word instead of a harsh one)

Litotes

(understatement, form of irony)

Hyperbole

(exaggeration, form of irony)

Irony

(situation is not expected. Verbal irony occurs when someone says something that is exaggerated or understated for an effect)

Juxtaposition

(contrasting ideas next to each other)

Metaphor

(direct/implied comparison between two things)

Pastiche

(A pastiche imitate the author’s style in a respectful way by changing an aspect of the story: point of view, ending, change protagonist from male to female, setting, etc. You also could imitate the author’s style and language with a new topic.)

Parody

(an imitation of the style of a writer or artist with deliberate exaggeration for comic effect or ridicule)

Personification

(metaphor giving human qualities to nonhuman entity)

Metonymy

A substitution where a word or phrase is used in place of another word or phrase e.g. The White House will be announcing the decision around noon today OR The library has been very helpful to the students this morning.

Motif

(recurring element which contributes to theme/purpose)

Negation

(using negative constructions to emphasize a point)

Rhetorical question

(asking ? for effect)

Onomatopoeia

a word which imitates the natural sounds of a thing e.g. The clanging of the bells jangled in my ears.

Oxymoron

pairing two words together that are contradictory.

Paradox

(something that seems contradictory but is actually true)

Polysyndeton

A stylistic device in which several coordinating conjunctions are used in succession in order to dramatize or emphasize certain parts of a sentence and slow the pace for the reader e.g. “If there be cords, or knives, poison, or fire, or suffocating streams, I’ll not endure it.”

(William Shakespeare, Othello III.3) OR "Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh" (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Pun

A play on words, words with similar or identical sounds but with different meanings e.g. Sadly, I have no more cents than you!

Personification

an inanimate object given human attributes and/or feelings or is spoken of as if it were human.

Simile

comparison using like, as, or than e.g. Our love is pure as the white snow.

Synecdoche

using a part of something to refer to a larger whole e.g. The captain shouted, “All hands on deck" OR I was amazed at how many mouths they had to feed on such a small income.


SYNTACTICAL FORMS

Parenthetical Asides (authorial intrusion)

Author interjects with her/his opinions to add humor or ridicule with dashes or with parenthesis

Repetition

(words, sounds, or ideas used more than once to enhance the rhythm, or create emphasis)

Parallelism

(similar constructions help audience to compare/contrast parallel subjects or to emphasize a point. Writers will use similar phrases and clauses to balance a sentence)

Antithesis

(two opposing ideas presented in a parallel manner; the juxtaposition of contrasting ideas through syntax EX “She is my happiness!—she is my torture, none the less!”)

Anaphora

(the regular repetition of the same word or phrase at the beginning of successive phrases or clauses e.g. “We shall fight on the beaches. We shall fight on the landing grounds….”)

RHETORICAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR DICTION/TONE

Ways to describe one’s diction--think about how his/her tone shapes the message

Poetic

(highly figurative in connotation and may have a rhythm/meter)

Colloquial

(informal, casual language, often slang or regional expressions)

Pretentious

(unjustified claims, vain, egotistical)

Formal

(very complex, technical jargon)

Blunt

(abrupt in speech, direct)

Hyperbolic

(exaggerated)

Pompous

(arrogant, conceited)

Rambling

(long winded, unfocused)

Sarcastic

(bitter, caustic language to ridicule someone, meant to be painful)

Elitist

(superior over others)

Didactic

(designed to instruct/teacher moral lesson)

Apathetic

(indifferent, little feeling or emotion)

Reverent

(profound adoring, in awe)

Nostalgic

(sentimental yearning to return to another time)

Facetious

(humorously joking often inappropriately, witty)

Whimsical

(fanciful, fantasy-like, carefree)

Sardonic

(disdainfully mocking, humorous)

Naïve

(too simple, deficient in worldly wisdom or informed judgment)


Sentimental

(overly emotional, affectionate, emotional idealism)

Deploring

(regret strongly about something; express something as unfortunate)

Parodic

(mockery by imitation to ridicule, comedic effect)

Wistful

(sad yearning for something)

Disdainful

(open dislike, lack of respect, flippant)

Compelling

(forcefully engaging, demanding attention)

Elated

(marked by high spirits, happy, joyous)

ORGANIZATION


Cause and Effect

(as a result of A, B occurs)

Exemplification

(examples are used to illustrate)

Comparison/Contrast

(comparing two subjects to denote similarities and differences)

Classification

(grouping characteristics e.g. Brady’s “I Want a Wife”)

Process Analysis

(how something is done usually by step-by-step)

Description

(uses imagery to appeal to the senses, creating a visual for reader)

Narration

(tells a story to prove a point- maybe by a series of anecdotes)

Definition

“explores the denotative or connotative meaning of a word”