Chapter 6 Katie

Chapter 6

Building Credibility

  • Before most audiences will trust new information that we present, they must consider us or our arguments to be credible.
  • Credibilty, or what the ancient Greeks called ethos, usually comes from three sources:
    1. Verification, borrowed from trustworthy sources. Verification relies on "secondary" sources, which means someone else has already analyzed or interpreted the evidence. By integrating verification into our arguments, we demonstrate that we've read and understand what experts have already said (as in a Research Review). We assume that our audience will trust us only after we prove that we know what we're talking about.
    2. Reputation, or what audience already knows and thinks about the author before they start reading (for example, if he's respected scholar or celebrity washout). Readers trust authors whom they recognize as experts. Similarly, readers will trust arguments that appear in respected publications even before they begin reading.
    3. Presentation, which involves using a style that's suitable for your audience and purpose. You probably wouldn't wear cutoff jeans and flip flops to a formal business interview. Similarly, we can project credibility in scholarly writing by using an appropriate style (effective tone, correct organization, use of support, etc.)

Activating Reasoning or Logic with Evidence

  • Audiences respond to evidence more reliably than they respond to credible and emotional appeals.

Quantitative Evidence

  • Statistical analysis

Qualitative Evidence

  • "data" might be actual words

Link Evidence to Claims

  • Such connections between a thesis and its support demonstrate linkages
  • One way to show our work is to transform our arguments from author-centered writing to audience-centered writing
  • Help readers see the logical pathway that guides our thinking.
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License