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Emotional Versus Logical Appeals Help (page 2)

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Updated on Sep 2, 2011

Logical Appeals In Your Paper

It is hard not to feel passionate about your subject matter, and feeling passionate about any topic is a good thing. However, as a writer, you do not want to rely on your passions or personal feelings only when trying to convince your reader. Instead, think of your feelings as a starting point or a useful tool with which to construct an airtight argument. Once again, let's use the example of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. You can write your thesis statement so that it only appeals to your reader's emotions, or you can word your thesis statement so strongly that it is emotional and logical. For example, you could write your thesis statement this way:

Example A

Please read my paper and I hope you will believe me when I prove to you that poor President Kennedy was shamelessly assassinated by an evil gunman hell-bent on destruction.

Or, you can word your thesis like this:

Example B

This paper will prove that Kennedy's assassination was the willful work of a lone assailant who meticulously planned his attack.

Again, both writing samples contain emotion and conviction, but the second one conveys emotion through strong word choices. It does not appeal to the reader's emotions only.

Practice Makes Perfect

A simple way to practice making appeals and to develop the art of persuasion is to practice out loud with a friend or even to imagine a scenario with your boss at work. What arguments might you use to persuade your boss to give you a raise? Emotional arguments might look something like this:

  1. Since you really like me, how about paying me more money?
  2. We've been such good friends for the last few years. In the interest of our special friendship, how about promoting me?
  3. If you promote me, I'll have much more free time to spend with you and your family, and we can do things together on weekends.

Logical appeals to your boss might sound something like this:

  1. The last several projects I completed were very thorough. Therefore, based on my past record, I would like the chance to work on the new account.
  2. Since I brought in $50,000 dollars in revenue over the last year, I have demonstrated my skills as a junior member of the sales team and would like to try for the position of senior salesman.
  3. Profits, which increased two-fold under my tenure, would only continue to increase under my guidance.

Which of these arguments would persuade you if you were the boss? Which of the arguments use facts and evidence as the basis for their appeal rather than appealing to the emotions only?

Summary

Passion and emotion are important. You can't write or argue convincingly about any topic or on behalf of anyone unless you have conviction. However, use your passions to build a solid argument and be sure to provide ample evidence. If you convey your passion through logic, you will convince yourself and those around you. Above all, if your argument is both logical and full of feeling, you will convince the most difficult of jurors—the reader!

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