Understanding How the Appeals Work

You will use graphic organizers to search for evidence and analyze dominant appeals in three passages. The chart below explains how to use the graphic organizers.

Dominant Appeal

Supporting Quotation(s) for Each

Explanation of Effect(s)

First, state which of two appeals is strongest in the passage—logical or emotional. (An arguer always tries to be “ethical” in a strong argument, so here choose between the other two appeals.)

Next, include important wording and figures from the passage. You may quote just single words or phrases if diction or imagery helps create the appeal. Two to three examples are sufficient.

Finally, describe what the passage is doing and how.

Below is an example using sentence #10 from the exercise in the section "Identifying the Appeals."

And the dispossessed, the migrants, flowed into California, two hundred and fifty thousand, and three hundred thousand. Behind them the new tractors were going on the land and the tenants were being forced off. And new waves were on the way, new waves of the dispossessed and the homeless, hardened, intent, and dangerous. (The Grapes of Wrath, 318)

Dominant Appeal—Logical or Emotional?

Supporting Quotation(s)

Explanation of Effect(s)


“two hundred and fifty thousand”
“three hundred thousand”
“tenants were being forced off”
“new waves”

[Note: 2–3 examples are sufficient.]

The author uses increasingly large numbers and the words “new waves” twice to emphasize how many people were affected by the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. His diction captures the essence of the emotions people experienced when pushed off their lands by forces beyond their control.

Remember: the ethical appeal, which is the persuasive value of the writer’s character, must be established through the text alone. When writers create arguments—as they generate, organize, and express their ideas—they aim to make the audience believe they have good sense, good will, and moral integrity.

Now that you see what to do, practice finding the appeals and working with them in three passages from literature. Use the graphic organizers you opened earlier in this section. You can type into them on the screen or download and print them. When you are finished reading and searching for evidence, follow the directions provided on each page to compare your responses.