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17.10: Activities and Glossary

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    Review questions

    1. Early in the chapter the prevalence of persuasion was discussed. Think of an instance in which you knew you were being persuaded. What were you being persuaded to do? Was the persuader focused on changing your beliefs, attitudes, values, or actions? How do you know?

    2. Imagine you are giving a persuasive speech on ______________ [you fill in the blank]. Draft a specific purpose statement on this topic for a speech to convince. Next, draft a specific purpose statement on the same topic for a speech to actuate.

    3. Draft a proposition of fact, proposition of value, and proposition of policy for one or more of the following topics: a. Shortening class time

    b. Pro-anorexia images on social networking sites c. Airline fees

    4. You have been invited to speak to administrators about increasing alumni support for the school. What steps will you take to build your ethos for this audience? What logical appeals will you make? How will you appeal to their emotions?

    5. Identify the following fallacies (adapted from Labossiere, 1995):
    a. If those actions were not illegal, they would not be prohibited by law.
    b. Our team had a losing record until we won the last three games. I wore blue socks in the last three games. Blue socks are lucky, and if I keep wearing them, we can’t lose!
    c. The store Joe works at changed the dress code, requiring him to buy all new work clothes. When he went to the manager to complain, she told him that no one else voiced concern, so he must be the only one who had that problem.
    d. Your roommate has invited his classmate, Annie, over to work on a project. Before Annie arrives, your roommate explains that she will probably be late because she never helps with the work and always leaves him to take care of everything.


    a. begging the question, b. causal fallacy, c. bandwagon fallacy, d. poisoning the well

    6. Imagine you are giving a speech in which you hope to convince audience members to begin retirement planning while they are still in their twenties. Which of the organizational patterns described above best fits this topic? Why? Describe its advantages over the other organization styles for the specific purpose.


    1. Using a recent newspaper, locate an example of a proposition of fact, a proposition of value, and a proposition of policy, and underline each one. Then, see if you can locate the data, warrant, and backing for each of these claims. If you cannot locate one or more of the elements, write your own based on the information provided in the article.

    2. Two organizations, Mercy For Animals (MFA) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), sponsor billboard advertisements to advocate that people transition to a vegetarian diet.

    Examine the billboards from each organization and consider the following:

    a. What logical claims are advanced by each organization’s billboards? b. Are there any logical fallacies on the billboards?
    c. What emotional appeals are used on the billboards?
    d. Are any of the emotional appeals unethical? If so, why?

    e. Which is the more ethically persuasive campaign? Why?



    A proposition supported by one or more reasons or pieces of evidence.


    Foundational evidence which supports a claim, such as examples, statistics, or testimony.

    Causal Pattern

    A speech designed to explain a cause-effect relationship between two phenomena.

    Causal Reasoning

    The process of formulating an argument by examining related events to determine which one caused the other.


    The proposition you want the audience to accept.


    A process whereby thoughts or behaviors are altered through deceptive or harmful methods.


    Preliminary evidence on which a claim is based.

    Deductive Reasoning

    The process of formulating an argument by moving from a general premise to a specific conclusion.


    Statistical information that reflects the make-up of a group, often including age, sex, ethnic or cultural background, socioeconomic status, religion, and political affiliation.

    Direct Method Pattern

    A speech designed to present a claim with a list of several supporting pieces of data.


    The audience’s perception of a speaker’s credibility and moral character.

    Evaluation Criteria

    A set of standards for judging the merit of a proposition.


    Errors in reasoning that occur when a speaker fails to use appropriate or applicable evidence for their argument.

    Hostile Audience

    An audience that is opposed to the speaker or to the persuasive proposition.


    A connection that is fostered between the speaker and their audience by highlighting shared attributes or attitudes.

    Inductive Reasoning

    The process of formulating an argument by moving from specific instances to a generalization.


    The logical means of proving anargument.

    Monroe’s Motivated Sequence

    An organizational pattern that attempts to convince the audience to respond to a need that is delineated in the speech through five sequential steps.

    Neutral Audience

    An audience that is neither open nor opposed to the persuasive proposition.


    The use of emotional appeals to persuade an audience.


    The art of influencing or reinforcing people’s beliefs, attitudes, values, or actions.

    Persuasive Speeches

    Speeches which aim to convince an audience to think or behave in a particular way.

    Proposition of Fact

    An argument that seeks to establish whether something is true or false.

    Proposition of Policy

    An argument that seeks to establish an appropriate course of action.

    Proposition of Value

    An argument that seeks to establish the relative worth of something.

    Receptive Audience

    An audience that is generally supportive of, or open to, the persuasive proposition.

    Refutation Pattern

    A speech designed to anticipate the negative response of an audience, to bring attention to the tensions between the two sides of the argument, and to explain why the audience should change their views.

    Speeches to Actuate

    Persuasive speeches which seek to change or motivate particular behaviors.

    Speeches to Convince

    Persuasive speeches which seek to establish agreement about a particular topic.

    Status Quo

    The current situation.


    Reasoning beginning with a major premise, then moving to a minor premise, before establishing a specific claim.


    The (often unstated) connection between data and claim.

    17.10: Activities and Glossary is shared under a CC BY-NC-ND license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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