Chapter 11: Persuasive

11.7 Summary, Discussion, References


Persuasion is ubiquitous or ever-present in our daily lives. It is important therefore that we not only improve our critical listening skills but that we also become more effective in making our own persuasive arguments. In this chapter, we have examined principles of persuasion, why persuasion matters, and best practices for organizing a persuasive speech or making a persuasive case. Persuasion is important for a healthy democratic society. Argumentation and debate can be positive forces that help us evaluate our laws, public policies, and social norms. We must hold others to the same high standard of ethical and meaningful persuasion to which we aspire.

Discussion Questions

  1. Can you find examples of ethos, pathos, or logos in advertisements? Are these effective?
  2. In what contexts other than political speeches do you find examples of argumentative fallacies?
  3. Have you ever had your attitudes, values, or beliefs challenged when hearing someone else’s persuasive argument? Did your views change?

 Key Terms

  • Ad Hominem
  • Appeal to Authority
  • argumentative fallacies
  • attitude
  • Bandwagon
  • Begging the Question
  • belief
  • Cognitive Dissonance Theory
  • core belief
  • dispositional belief
  • ethical imperative
  • ethos
  • False Analogy
  • False Cause
  • False Dilemma
  • Hasty Generalization
  • logos
  • Monroe’s Motivated Sequence
  • Non Sequitur
  • pathos
  • persuasion
  • problem-cause-solution organizational pattern
  • proposition of fact
  • proposition of policy
  • proposition of value
  • Red Herring
  • Slippery Slope
  • Social Judgement Theory
  • Straw Man
  • value


Festinger, L. (1957). A theory of cognitive dissonance. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Frymier, A.B., & Nadler, M.K.  (2013).  Persuasion: Integrating theory, research, and practice (3rd ed.). Kendall Hunt Publishing.

Hovland, C.I., & Sherif, M.  (1980).  Social judgment: Assimilation and contrast effects in communication and attitude change. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Monroe, A.H.  (1943).  Monroe’s principles of speech (military edition). Chicago, IL: Scott Foresman and Company.


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