Rhetoric Review: Argument, appeals, logic/reasoning, fallacies


Argue = Negative Connotation

By now, we know that by "argue" we mean to deliver one's opinion on a subject by providing evidence. To a philosopher, arguing has a positive connotation as it is an exercise in education, or seeking truth based on reason.

Argue = Positive Connotation

The Rhetorical Triangle

These three elements are present in all rhetoric and must be known by the speaker in order to have a convincing argument. We as evaluators must also be aware of these elements as specifically as possible.

The Rhetorical Appeals

How a speaker convinces his/her audience of the purpose is through these appeals.

The appeals in Advertising

Connotation & Denotation

  • DENOTATION: The dictionary definition of a word; literal meaning.
  • CONNOTATION: The emotional or imaginative definition of a word; personal meaning. In advertisements, images may be have a connotation. This is often based on one's experiences and culture.

When a word has a specific connotation, it typically can be linked with pathos.

Logic & Reasoning


Premises lead to a conclusion; the conclusion follows with certainty from the premises.

The "top down" approach -- generalizations lead to a specific instance.

Valid logic occurs when the premises are true, and therefore the conclusion must be true. This type of logic can be evaluated as either valid or invalid.


This is based on observations and facts, therefore it has a level of probability.

Sound logic occurs if the observations and facts are accurate and relevant. This type of logic can be considered either strong or weak.

Logical Fallacies

These fallacies occur in informal logic/inductive reasoning.

  • Relevance: Evidence is irrelevant to argument and does not help to prove conclusion true
  • Clarity: Imprecise use of language
  • Presumption: False or unnecessary assumptions made

Mrs. Gary 2016

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