Logos = Logical
The easiest arguments are mainly factual.
Logos is artistic (common sense) or inartistic (facts).
Since some people are not armed with common sense, an arguer must combine facts with common sense.
Be careful with quotes from sources: words can be left out with the intention to alter the meaning. How many times have you seen a movie based on the critic’s quotes: “…best movie of the year…” Who knows what words were erased…
Ronald Reagan coined a Russian proverb: “Trust, but verify.” Always cite sources and check for credibility. Tabloids and Wikipedia are not reliable.
Facts-make sure you cite the source. This also builds credibility.
Statistics- “Figures lie and liars figure.” Ask any accountant or math teacher: numbers can be interpreted for an agenda and can be skewed to fit anything.
Consider the statement: “Unemployment is down to 5% this month.” What are the two interpretations of this statement?
Surveys and Polls- When verified, surveys and polls express “the will of the people.” When poll numbers indicate people cannot recall all seven continents, this is reason to question the educational system.
HOWEVER, polls and surveys need to be questioned when they support your point of view.
ALWAYS consider the following with surveys and polls: 1. Who did the poll? 2. Who is publishing the outcome? 3. Who was surveyed? 4. What is in it for the parties who commissioned the poll or survey?
The major problem with surveys and polls is they do not select a random population: only certain people are asked their opinions.
CONSIDER the following: 48% of Americans like the president this week.
What could someone say against this poll?
What about this statement: 95% of the seniors polled said they like the cafeteria food. What words are suspicious? What is the error in this statement?
Be careful with wording! If someone wants you to answer the poll or survey a certain way, the questions could be loaded. Questions can be biased causing people to lean toward the answer the surveyor desires.
The date of the survey or poll matters, also. Surveys and polls given during times of duress can sway answers. Given again in five months, the survey could have different results.
Testimonies and Narratives- Court cases are vital to buttress arguments. Personal narratives connect the audience and writer.
Write three survey questions that are designed to elicit a positive, negative, and neutral response.
The topic is your choice.
Try the questions on classmates.
Artistic Logos utilizes good old common sense.
Unfortunately, not many people have common sense. This is apparent when someone gives you the “glassy eyes” when something is apparent in an argument and inartistic logos is not needed.
Artistic appeals rely heavily on SYLLOGISMS.
A syllogism has three parts: A major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion.
Here is possibly the most well-known syllogism:
All human beings are mortal.
Socrates is a human being.
Therefore, Socrates is mortal.
We better cancel the picnic this afternoon.
The weatherman is predicting rain.
Picnics are held outside and rain can ruin the gathering.
Syllogisms rely on common sense.
People use syllogisms all the time with the simplest decisions—they just don’t realize it and usually omit steps.
Be careful with faulty syllogisms. If they do not logically follow, you could have a faulty analogy fallacy to contend with.
Read the introduction to Fast Food Nation.
Underline and label all the appeals.
Which appeal does Schlosser use the most? Which one does he not use abundantly? Knowing what you know about argumentation up to this point, why do you think he did this?
What disturbed you about his facts? What was least shocking?
Find the fact that bothered/shocked you the most. Explain why this caught your attention.