Test Essay

506 WordsJan 21, 20123 Pages
You may be wondering why anyone would want to talk about "balancing" objectivity and persuasion when academic writing is so largely a matter of documentation, rigorous testing, and other objective controls. Academic writers know they cannot merely assert something as true - express a personal opinion - without acknowledged factual support. Research and objectivity are essential, we assert, to formal academic writing. All true. And yet, no matter how "objective" your facts, statistics, results of experiments, or quotations from respected sources, your argument is still by its very nature "subjective." It is, after all, your hypothesis, your experiment, your vision that you wish your readers to take seriously. You inevitably want your readers at the very least to say, "your idea merits consideration." To get this result, you must be persuasive, even as you base your position on objective evidence. Ancient Greek students of argument assigned names to three forms of rhetorical appeals to ask for the audience's assent. In Greek, these appeals are identified as ethos, pathos, and logos, or ethical, emotional, and logical appeal. All three are tools which you can use to try to make an argument acceptable to an audience. Ethos or ethical appeal: focuses on the writer (or speaker), presenting him or her as a person worthy of the reader's trust. You are trying, in other words, to create an appropriate image for yourself in the text. Much of your success will depend upon the audience to whom you are appealing, although it's safe to say that for academic degree purposes, your audience is your advisor and your committee. But in the course of your career, your audiences will vary. Ethos is fundamentally a writer's attempt to adjust to the tastes of the audience in question. In writing, you must depend upon your choice of words and their arrangement, as well as tone, to

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