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The art of persuasion.

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Used since the times of the ancient Greeks, the art of persuasion has become an integral part of our everyday language. From its inception, it was used to elect a government to rule a state, used to boost a person's spirit, and used to win a crowd's favour. There are many different types of persuasive techniques, such as the general ethos, pathos and logos, repetition, list of three and rhetoric, which was used in ancient Greek. By viewing how these techniques have been applied in J.F. Kennedy's Berlin speech, George Bush's speech on the 911 incident, and Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous "I have a dream" speech, it will become apparent how these techniques are used to "position" an audience and persuade them to agree with the speaker. By utilising statistics, facts, examples, findings and analogies in an attempt to appeal to the audience's intellect, logos is a persuasive technique that involves reasoning. Using logos encourages the audience to accept a fact as it is proven, thus enabling the speaker to secure and persuade the audience in that particular point. ...read more.


It is used most effectively when the audience just suffered from an emotional trauma, like George Bush's 911 speech. "Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve" The choices of words are very important in pathos. Bush uses phrases such as "shake the foundations", "acts shatter steel" and "dent the steel" to connect emotionally with the audiences. Bush also contrasts negative and positive facts in the same sentence to let the audience know that the worst has been over, and that the audiences should be strong at heart, and not give up. Another very good example of the use of pathos can be found in Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech, "When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholic, will be able to join hands and sing..." ...read more.


Both speakers' use of the list of three adds a certain rhythm in their speech; this is very useful for a speaker as it allows the speaker to give examples without sounding short. Since list of three add to the rhythm of the speech, it will allow examples to be remembered by the audience for a long time. Of course, every persuasive speech should have a strong, powerful ending. This helps the speech end effectively. This can be seen in Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God alight, we are free at last!" Such a strong ending will definitely leave a strong impression and a lasting effect on the audience; it also helps sum up the whole speech without sounding weak. There are many different kinds of persuasive techniques, and although writing a persuasive speech using only one technique can be done, it will not be a very good speech. The best speeches always use a range of persuasive techniques and integrate them together. Thaddeus Cheung (4534) Persuasive language analysis ...read more.

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