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Joe Moxley, Founder, WritingCommons.org

Joe Moxley

Founder
WritingCommons.org

Dear Colleagues and Students,

At Writing Commons, we are happy with the overall success of our project. Since 2011, when we launched at WritingCommons.org, we have hosted 6,315,882 users who have reviewed over 11 million pages. We are thrilled that students and faculty find our site to be helpful. Our ongoing mission is to be the best writing textbook possible. We also happen to be free. While we cannot perhaps claim yet that we are the best possible textbook for technical writing or creative writing courses, we are working on that.

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Rhetorical Appeal

Abbreviated Definition

Reflective Questions

Ethos

appeal to credibility

You may want to think of ethos as related to "ethics," or the moral principles of the writer: ethos is the author's way of establishing trust with his or her reader.

  • Why should I (the reader) read what the writer has written?
  • How does the author cite that he or she has something valid and
    important for me to read?
  • Does the author mention his or her education or professional
    experience, or convince me that he or she is a valid, educated, and experienced source?

Pathos

appeal to emotion

You may want to think of pathos as "empathy," which pertains to the experience of or sensitivity toward emotion.

  • How is the writer trying to make me feel, or what has he or she
    written that makes me want to do something?
  • What specific parts of the author's writing make me feel happy, sad,
    inspired, dejected, and so on?

Logos

appeal to logic

You may want to think of logos as "logic," because
something that is logical "makes sense"—it is reasonable.

  • What evidence does the writer provide that convinces me that his or her argument is logical—that it makes sense?
  • What proof is the author offering me?

Kairos

appeal to timeliness

You may want to think of kairos as the type of persuasion that pertains to "the right place and the right time."

  • Does the writer make claims that are particularly important given
    what is happening right now?
  • How is the author "making the most of the moment" or attempting
    to speak to the concern of his or her audience?
Cassandra Branham, Editor-in-Chief WritingCommons.org

Cassandra Branham

Editor-in-Chief
WritingCommons.org

Dear Colleagues and Students,

Welcome to Writing Commons, an open-education resource for instructors and students of writing across the disciplines. Our mission is to provide a high-quality, cost free resource to support students in the development of writing, research, and critical thinking practices.

This summer, we have been working on a site redesign in an effort to increase the usability of our site for both instructors and students. Our most significant change has been the inclusion of additional categories and subcategories to create a more intuitive hierarchy within the site.

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