How to Use Logos

Posted by Splice, Essay Tips Chief Writer

How to Use Logos. At its most basic, logos as a mode of persuasion means making an argument based on reason. Persuasive arguments using logos may make use of any or a combination of the following: statistical data, generally known facts, and scientific or mathematical evidence. Information from these may be incorporated in deductive or inductive arguments so that readers will be more likely persuaded to agree with the writer's position or thesis.

An important thing to remember in using logos in persuasive arguments is that they serve to reinforce a claim. Thus, do not just throw in statistical data randomly in your persuasive paper. Put them where they are needed. If you are making a claim, such as the idea that globalization has widened the disparity between the rich and the poor, make sure to provide statistical data that shows exactly why that is the case. Backing-up your claim is crucial. Otherwise, your contention will be no more than an opinion that lacks substance.

Of more importance is knowing what fact or data to use. This is perhaps the very core of logos as one of the "appeals" in rhetorical arguments. Carefully choose from a set of data or facts which is the most relevant to your topic. If you are trying to state in your sentence or paragraph that globalization has made the rich richer and the poor poorer, do not put in information which shows that globalization has contributed to the growth of outsourcing companies in third-world countries. In other words, do not provide reasons which stray from your main point. As much as possible, go direct to the point. This will make the flow of your arguments tight, thereby leaving little to no room for objections.

Since the use of logos in your rhetorical argument gives authority to what you are actually saying, it gives your readers the impression that you understand your contention too well that objecting to what you are saying is contrary to reason. However, remember that the key to effectively persuading your readers by using logos is using facts or information sparingly but correctly. Do not crowd your arguments with statistics unless you are addressing very technical people who understand numbers. Moreover, do not put facts and data just for the sake of having facts and data in your arguments. It makes sense to say that persuasive arguments using logos stand a better chance at convincing readers if the reasons are placed at the right place and at the right time.

You may also want to read about how to use Pathos, or how to use Ethos, or what a Rhetorical argument is.

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