emotional appeal, evoking feelings

Biased Language can evoke emotion.


  • Loaded language: words or phrases that carry a strong emotional connotation to appeal emotionally to the audience or reader e.g. "America's first invasion"; "terrorist," "assault," etc.

    • Sentence starter: The author utilizes loaded language such as "______" and "_____" in order to appeal emotionally to the reader so that ____.

  • Name-calling: labeling an opponent with a term that the audience would find negative e.g. liar, crook, etc.

    • Sentence starter: The writer relies on name-calling in order to evoke negative emotions about ________ because _______.

  • Dysphemisms: words with unpleasant connotations that are used to evoke negative feelings about someone or something e.g. referring someone as a dog or a cockroach.

    • Sentence starter: The author uses dysphemistic language such as "_____" and "_____" in order to evoke negative feelings about _____ because ____.


  • Generalities: broad or vague statements that are used to evoke a positive emotion e.g. we must do what is in the best interest of society; I stand for freedom for this wonderful nation.

    • Sentence starter: The author relies on glittering generalities in his language such as "___" and "____" in order to ____.

  • Euphemisms: words used to avoid unpleasant or offensive terms, using less harsh language: "the man passed this evening" instead of "died" OR "ethnic cleansing" instead of "genocide."

    • Sentence starter: The author uses euphemistic language such as "_______" and "______" in order to ______.

An author's word choice and tone can evoke emotion.

  1. POSITIVE TONES: cheerful, eager, lighthearted, hopeful, exuberant, enthusiastic, complimentary, confident, cheery, trusting, optimistic, loving, passionate, amused, elated, sympathetic, compassionate, proud, wistful, longing, romantic, humorous

  2. NEGATIVE TONES: bitter, angry, outraged, accusing, incensed, turbulent, furious, wrathful, inflammatory, irritated, disgusted, indignant, irate, caustic, condescending, cynical, pompous, satiric, critical, grotesque, melancholic, mournful, apprehensive

  3. NEUTRAL TONES: objective, nostalgic, candid, restrained, detached, instructive, learned, factual, informative, authoritative, disinterested, judicial, impartial, frank, aloof, calm, imploring

The type of formality can evoke emotion.


logical reasoning, providing a clear line of thinking, problem or solution, or examples to support an argument

Types of Evidence

  1. Analogical Evidence

    1. How does the author compare two things that are similar in order to show the reader parallels and make a point to support his/her argument? What is persuasive or enlightening about using analogies to support an argument?

    2. How can the use of an analogy draw an insightful connection between a well known phenomenon to a less known phenomenon?

  2. Anecdotal Evidence

    1. How does the author use anecdotes to tell a story in order to prove a point?

    2. How does the author’s storytelling of anecdotes coupled with statistical or testimonial effective help build an argument?

  3. Observations

    1. How does the author use his or her own observations to form conclusions and support his/her argument?

  4. Statistics

    1. How does the author use numbers and percentages from verified sources to support his claim using reasoning? How do these statistics lend credibility to his/her argument?

    2. Are the statistics being dramatized or manipulated for a specific effect?

    3. How valid are the statistics in supporting the argument?

  5. Quotes or Testimonials

    1. How does the author use quotes from leading experts and authorities in order to support his/her position?

  6. Facts

    1. Are there facts that can't be disputed and can be accepted as true? How do these facts help support the argument?

Organizational Strategies

When analyzing an author’s style for a non-literary text such as an editrial, determine what organizational patterns he or she uses:

  • Exemplification: specific examples, brief

  • Illustration: examples in more detail

  • Description: concrete, sensory diction

  • Narration: use of stories e.g. anecdotes

  • Cause/effect: clear reason/result

  • Compare/contrast: similarities/differences

  • Process: how to do something...

  • Classification: how something is classified e.g. science

  • Extended definition: how to define an abstract concept e.g. patriotism, democracy, love, faith, etc.


appeal to one's credibility, building trust with the audience or authority, appealing ethically to an audience

The author's credentials, types of sources, types of associations, etc. can inspire trust or credibility with the reader.

  • Does the author show varying sides of an issue or is it just one sided?

  • Does the publication have a good reputation? Are they credible?

  • Are their hidden biases that may impact how one views the writer's message?

  • Does the write speak respectfully about people who oppose their viewpoint?

  • Does her education or experience give her credibility as a reliable source?

  • Are the sources, facts, statistics, etc. used credible?

  • Does the information provided seem complete and accurate information about the issue?

  • Does the writer use the evidence fairly? Does he or she avoid selective use of evidence or other types of manipulation of data?

The language used by the author can facilitate or hinder trust or credibility in the reader.

  1. FORMAL: elevated, learned, pretentious, ornate, flowery, archaic, scholarly, pedantic, elegant, dignified, impersonal, elaborate, sophisticated, formal, cultured, poetic, abstract, esoteric (hard to understand), colorful, eloquent, euphonious

  2. INFORMAL: candid, detached, plain, simple, straightforward, informal, conversational, concrete, unadorned

  3. CASUAL/SLANG: abrupt, terse, laconic, simple, rustic, vulgar, slang, jargon, dialect, simple, colloquial