University of New Orleans Personal Fight Against Gun

Description

The link to the video and article . Watch it and/or read the transcript (Links to an external site.), then offer a reflection on the stylistic choices she makes to persuade her audience.

Emotional Appeals
Advertising agencies are real pros at getting us to feel things. They create in us a sense of need and offer us a product that will fill that need. They ask us to respond to the shame, excitement, nostalgia, or other emotion they spark with their images, text, and stories. Take, for example, this extended ad from MetLife, an insurance company. What does it make you feel, and how does it make an argument? What are you supposed to want to do in response to the advertisement?
Emotional appeals operate largely on a concept called identification. In order for an advertisement to work on you, or for an emotional appeal in a speech to move you to action, you have to be able to identify somehow with the emotion they’re portraying. Who are the possible audiences for this advertisement? How does this ad work to create specific emotions in that audience? In other words, how are people invited to identify with this story?
Your reading for today outlines a number of ways emotions can be used to grab and hold your audience’s attention. None of these appeals will work if you’re not audience-focused. Always be thinking about what your specific audience will be able to identify with.

Narrative
One of the reasons the above advertisement tugs on our heartstrings is that it tells a compelling story. Humans are storytelling creatures. We relate our daily experiences to one another in the story, we remember out loud the stories of adventures and suffering gone by, and we entertain ourselves with novels, film, television, podcasts that tell us stories – both fictional and real. Because of this, storytelling is a powerful tool for argumentation.
In a debate speech, stories can function to……show us why it’s beneficial to do something.…offer a cautionary tale.…build interest in or enthusiasm for the speaker’s topic.…serve as evidence for the speaker’s claims.…build credibility for the speaker.
Here’s how it works: this video (Links to an external site.) uses a narrative to encourage viewers to take action on veteran suicide. In this case, we’re seeing a recorded speech rather than a high-budget advertisement, but it it is still clearly an emotional appeal that makes an argument. This story tells us why this veteran’s call to action matters, builds audience interest, provides evidence, and makes him feel like a credible speaker on this issue. In these ways, his story persuades.
This guide (Links to an external site.) can help you think through how to write a narrative argument (*trigger warning: offers rape and abortion as an example*).
Style
Sometimes a simple story is enough to compel an audience. Paying attention to style, though, can help you make the story more vivid and persuasive. Think through your word choice. Use descriptive words that create powerful images in people’s minds. Consider ways to vary your sentence structure to help make your ideas stick.

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