ENGL 110 AMU Week 4 lesson Taking a Position Making Writing Relevant American Military university
Position Paper v. Informative Writing
How is a position paper different from informative writing? As we move from informative communication and into persuasive writing, it is valuable to consider how they are alike and how they differ. When writing a position paper, you establish a position on an issue and then support it.
What are some of the key elements of persuasive writing?
- Establish the facts that support your argument (support these with outside research);
- Establish your perspective clearly;
- Build your argument by prioritizing your points in order of importance.
Argument and Persuasion
In today’s culture, we typically think of the term “argument” as good versus bad, win/lose, or right/wrong. The term is seen as two sides “warring” against each other (Jones, 2010). However, “argument as collaboration would be more closely linked to words such as dialogue and deliberation” (Jones, 2010, p. 157).
In this course, we will refer to our writings for weeks 4 and 5 as persuasive. However, the term argument can also be applied. Rather than think of this type of writing as right versus wrong or winner versus loser, instead, think of your writing as establishing a clear stance on a topic and clearly outlining that position with support.
When crafting an argument, there are many ways to appeal to your reader. Logos, ethos, and pathos are three of those appeals. These are also known as the Aristotelian Appeals. They are considered to be the three pillars of public speaking (Dlugan, 2013). In our course, this also applies to persuasive writing.
ETHOS refers to the character of the writer.
LOGOS includes the logical aspects of the argument (Dlugan, 2013; Werry, Watson, & Burt, n.d.).
PATHOS is the emotional connection that is made with the audience.
Ethos, Logos and Pathos
You have most likely seen appeals to Ethos, Logos and Pathos used on an almost-daily basis when you consider the amount of advertising you see or hear over the course of a day through television, radio, popup ads on the internet, gaming apps, and billboards, just to name a few.
Readers must accept the writer as a credible source for the information that is being provided. Readers are more likely to believe a writer who is trustworthy.
Ethos can be measured by:
- Trustworthiness of the author
- Similarities between author and audience
- Authority of the writer compared to the audience
- Reputation or expertise of the author in relation to the audience (Dlugan, 2010a).
Ethos is enhanced when your audience views you as being honest and ethical, when you adapt your language and visual aids to fit the audience, and what you know about the topic (Dlugan, 2010a).
Tactics for invoking Ethos:
- Acknowledging the counter claims to your argument is one way to help establish ethos (Werry, Watson, & Burt, n.d.).
- Additionally, using appropriate spelling, grammar and formatting also established ethos (Werry, Watson, & Burt, n.d.).
Ethos is essential to establish so that your readers view you as a trustworthy source of information.
“9 out of 10 dentists recommend Crest toothpaste to their patients.”