Reflection: Standards Alignment Thanks, Aristotle! Using Argument To Your Advantage - Section 2: Ethos, Pathos, Logos: A Review


In Pathways to the Common Core by Calkins, Ehrenworth, and Lehman (a text I am fond of quoting), they put the CCSS emphasis on argument writing this way: "If young people grow up learning to participate in logical, reasoned, evidenced-based arguments, this will mean that they are given a voice.  Our democracy is dependent on an educated, concerned citizenry, exercising the right to be heard" (137).

Prior to this key CCSS shift, the California State Standards referred to this type of writing as "persuasive writing."  While it may be fun and energizing to engage in a debate over the differences between argument writing and persuasive writing, I believe that teaching students the tenets put forth by Aristotle are fundamental skills that equip them with the most effective methods for developing and supporting valid claims.  Thus, call them the "persuasive appeals," the "argumentative appeals," or even the "artistic proofs," my point is that students must recognize that effective arguments succeed when all three appeals--ethos, pathos, and logos-- are incorporated to just the right degree.  If logic alone were all that is necessary to convince an audience, we would be a very different species than into what we have evolved (hence, the fire extinguisher example).

In fact, in the same text, Pathways to the Common Core, the authors list the variety of writing exercises that fall under the umbrella of argument writing: persuasive letter, review, personal essay, persuasive essay, literary essay, historical essay, petition, editorial,  and op-ed column (104).  I find this list extremely valuable, as it helps strip away any potential alarm that a new label ("argument writing") might sound.  


  Argument? Persuasion? What's the Difference?
  Standards Alignment: Argument? Persuasion? What's the Difference?
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Thanks, Aristotle! Using Argument To Your Advantage

Unit 6: Bad Boy Part II
Lesson 7 of 11

Objective: SWBAT continue their exploration of ethos, pathos, and logos with a video enactment of the appeals, followed by a whole-group guided quiz.

Big Idea: Pizza tonight? Teaching students to make it happen.

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