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Evidence

 

Disciplines Argument > Virtues of Style > Evidence

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

To convince people, you should not only seek to make them understand: for real conviction, you should reach to their emotions by vivid description.

Use sensory language that evokes internal sensory experiences. Thus use 'looks like' to trigger visual senses, 'sounds like' to trigger auditory senses, etc.

Amplify what you say, exaggerating emotional topics. Enhance with adjectives, also with adverbs and other parts of speech. Use power words to trigger emotion.

Example

There was utter chaos and the children were terrified.

It was high up, if you see what I mean.

It looked roughly like dark brown tree-bark.

Discussion

'Evidence', as described in this classical usage, means evocation of emotion through descriptions so vivid that they can 'see' and 'experience' the evidence and hence experience the emotions associated with this.

Decisions always have an emotional content, particularly at the point of emotion. Thus paying attention to emotions is an important part of changing minds. Evoking emotions also decreases rationality in the decision process. Whereas for clarity you will use the logic of Logos, for the emotional target of evidence you will work with Pathos.

Vices of evidence include uncontrolled internal experiences that lead people away from your intended purpose. You can also cause such mixtures of internal experience that the only result is confusion.

See also

Amplification principle, Power words, Emotion and rationality

 

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