Does this "legitimately appeal" to you?

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Who is Kilian to tell us what we can and can't appeal to?

Did I get your attention. That sounds a bit angrier than I'd hoped. So far I've enjoyed Kilian's book. It's opened my eyes to things I knew but didn't really understand in full. However, in Chapter 8, section 4 talks about "What's a Legitimate Appeal? What's Not?" I get his point, but at the same time, there isn't a set list of things you can and can't appeal to. The points he discusses are valid in my opinion and should be followed, however, the beauty of the web is that you are able to publish whatever you want. It's you're website, appeal to what you want to.

He said it's never good to appeal to things like anecdotal evidence, celebrities, or outside authorities trading on irrelevant issues. These all make sense. Using a celebrity is a gimick and a kind of crutch that shows the writer is not original or skilled enough to hook the reader with his/her own writing and has to put in a famous name to attract attention.

You can check out the list for yourself but there was one thing I wanted to add to it. He said you can legitimately appeal to:


  • recognized authorities

  • scientific experiment observation

  • logical deduction

  • readers' emotions


What I'd like to add is an appeal to readers' inquisitive nature. Like we did with our web essays that included links to other information, I feel that a webwriter can appeal to a readers' sense of wanting to know more. Provide them with information in an essay, but have links interwoven that lead to even deeper information about it. Alone, the webtext would stand as a complete essay, but with the links, it enters an entire other level of information providing an outlet for the reader to go on his or her own and investigate new matters dealing with the topic.

Can you think of any other legitimate appeals to the reader?

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2 Comments

Of course, if you're writing a fan page, there's nothing wrong with a celebrity-based appeal, but Kilian is of course thinking first of professional writers.

Man, I am noticing this book is really upsetting people.

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This page contains a single entry by Andy published on September 29, 2008 10:23 AM.

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