In language analysis, ‘appeals’ are commonly found in articles and illustrations since it is an effective persuasive technique. Most appeals fall under three categories: appeal to ethics, emotions or logic – intended to manipulate how readers feel or think about a certain topic. This study guide considers the most popular appeals used by authors and illustrators in newspapers and other persuasive platforms.
Appeal to consequences
Example: What happens once you buy that car? It will only depreciate in value while your current car is doing its’ job just fine.
Analysis: Readers are warned of the consequences of their actions in an attempt to gain agreement with the writer.
Appeal to empathy5
Example: The children wept and yelled for help due to the throbbing hunger.
Analysis: Through eliciting emotions such as sadness, sympathy and remorse, readers are convinced to agree with the writer.
Appeal to envy6
Example: She had it all – a wealthy family, attended a prestigious school, currently studying Law, and on top of that she has a successful business on the side!
Analysis: Readers are encouraged to feel envious towards the subject due to social expectations, while being instilled with a sense that they also need to become more like the subject.
Appeal to equality7
Example: Research has shown that Orangutans are 97% the same as humans. And yet here we are, chopping down palm trees for our own selfish interests and needs.
Analysis: Since many readers endorse fairness and equal rights as opposed to inflicting injustice upon others, they are invited to advocate for the writer’s position.