12 Examples of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos in Advertisements

If you’re passionate about storytelling, you may have heard of ethos, pathos, and logos. These persuasion techniques form the triangle of rhetoric .

Marketers and advertisers use these modes of persuasion in their campaigns to inspire viewers to take action.

This post will dig into how advertisements have been using these forms of persuasion cleverly. But before we begin, let’s take a quick glance at what the terms mean.

Defining ethos, pathos, and logos

Ethos refers to authority and credibility.

It highlights the credibility and trustworthiness of your argument that can help you persuade your audience to buy your product or service.

Example: As a three-time Olympic gold medalist, I can assure you that this energy drink will improve your fitness and stamina.

Emphasis on being an Olympic gold medalist showcases the speaker’s credibility.

It’s why many brands partner up with doctors, athletes, and actors to feature in advertisements to endorse their products.

Pathos refers to emotions and feelings.

It allows marketers or advertisers to appeal to people’s emotions and beliefs.

Example: A bag of chips can bring the whole family together. Tugs on the heartstrings, doesn’t it? There you have it, pathos.

Logos is an appeal to logic.

Your audience can be persuaded if you can present a factual argument that’s based in reason.

Example: This durable, pocket-sized, camera is perfect for adventurers on the go.

You can use statistics,  performance metrics, past evidence, and product utility to make a compelling case in your advertisement.

Read more: Rhetoric in Presidential Slogans: Lessons for Video Marketers

Now let’s take a look at rhetoric in action in some popular ads so you can get some inspiration for yourself.

Examples of ethos, pathos, and logos in advertisements

Thank you, mom – p&g.

Rhetoric: Pathos

P&G partnered with Wieden+Kennedy to produce the Olympics’ ad series, Thank You, Mom . And the campaign pays tribute to mothers all around the globe.

It relies on the emotions of love and happiness to showcase the dynamics of a parent-child relationship.

Flex Tape – Flex Seal

Rhetoric: Logos

Phil Swift (presenter) the CEO of Flex Seal lays out all of the necessary information about the product that will influence viewers.

The standout aspect of the ad is its over-the-top visual demonstration of how useful flex tape is in certain situations, such as being able to patch anything–even underwater!

Believe in a Better Way – Laughing Man Coffee

Rhetoric: Ethos

Laughing Man Coffee was co-founded by Hugh Jackman. His main idea was to give back to the coffee farming community by improving their lives.

The ad shows the brand’s credibility and highlights the farms of Colombia where most of Laughing Man Coffee is produced. The profits are invested back to provide aid to the farmers.

Wiener Stampede – Heinz

David ad agency created Wiener Stampede for Heinz and it debuted at Super Bowl 50.

Seeing dachshunds dressed as hot dogs fast approaching their owners who in turn are dressed as Heinz ketchup bottles is just… wild yet heart-warming.

Featuring happy pets in your ads will always evoke fuzzy feelings of happiness and joy.

This is why Wiener Stampede ranked first among consumers for purchasing intentions.

Read more: Understanding the Role of Pathos in Advertising  

Versatile Stain Remover – OxiClean

Billy Mays pitches OxiClean’s multipurpose stain remover by cleaning different products to exhibit its quality and practicality.

He became a household name during the 90s for infomercials, and it was reported that he and his business partner generated over $1 billion in sales.

A Mission for Our Oceans – Adidas x Parley

Adidas collaborated with Parley and ultramarathon runner Timothy Olson to bring awareness to how plastic waste is impacting oceans, ecosystems, and coastal communities.

This ad is a promo for the series that shows how Adidas is reusing plastic waste to create new shoes for athletes to bring credibility to their new cause.

To date, the German sportswear giant has recruited over eight million runners and has raised over $2.5 million in funds for Parley’s initiatives

Friends Furever – Android

Friends Furever was created by Droga5 for Android.

When strangers become friends, especially the furry ones, it may catch you by surprise. It can also melt your heart with delight.

Showing unlikely friendships among animals worked really well for Android. It became the most-watched ad when it aired.

BluBlocker Sunglasses – Joe Sugarman

Joe Sugarman founded BluBlocker Sunglasses in 1986. He’s also a celebrated copywriter in adland. His direct marketing techniques earned him the prestigious Maxwell Sackheim award.

This infomercial features his interview and testimonials from different clients highlighting the utilities of wearing BluBlocker sunglasses.

d-CON Spray – d-CON Spray

Everyone gets creeped out by cockroaches, and that also includes the greatest boxer of all time, Muhammad Ali.

Muhammad Ali sheds a light on how d-CON spray can clear out a room full of cockroaches.

Combination of modes of persuasion in advertisements

Depending on your end goal, you can use more than one rhetoric in your ads. There are quite a few examples of brands that have done this well. Let’s take a look.

I Can Do Better – Gatorade

Rhetoric: Pathos and Ethos

This ad is a modern take on the Anything You Can Do commercial that featured Michael Jordan and Mia Hamm.

Usain Bolt and Abby Wambach constantly try to one-up each other in different drills through humorous content.

Featuring the fastest man on earth along with a two-time Olympic gold medalist chugging Gatorade Zero builds the credibility of the energy drink.

The Man Your Man Could Smell Like – Old Spice

Rhetoric: Pathos and Logos

Old Spice teamed up with Wieden+Kennedy to produce this commercial.

Sometimes, showing off the attributes of your products using humor and drama is memorable for the audience.

Theatrics, acting, and script, if done well, can work wonders for your advertisement.

This ad nailed it and bagged a Primetime Emmy Award. It’s also been parodied in many films and series.

George Foreman Grill – George Foreman Grill

Rhetoric: Pathos, Logos, and Ethos

You rarely see commercials that are a triple threat. We can expect no less from a charming man like George Foreman who uses humor to demonstrate the credibility and key aspects of his grill.

Modes of persuasion

Final thoughts

Now that you know about the three modes of persuasion and how they’re used in ads, it is time to understand what will work best for your business.

To figure out which direction you can go in, you’ll need to define your campaign objective and understand your audience. If you’d like to work with a professional video agency to brainstorm ideas for your next compelling video, get in touch. We’d love to help.

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  • How to write a rhetorical analysis | Key concepts & examples

How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis | Key Concepts & Examples

Published on August 28, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

A rhetorical analysis is a type of essay  that looks at a text in terms of rhetoric. This means it is less concerned with what the author is saying than with how they say it: their goals, techniques, and appeals to the audience.

Table of contents

Key concepts in rhetoric, analyzing the text, introducing your rhetorical analysis, the body: doing the analysis, concluding a rhetorical analysis, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about rhetorical analysis.

Rhetoric, the art of effective speaking and writing, is a subject that trains you to look at texts, arguments and speeches in terms of how they are designed to persuade the audience. This section introduces a few of the key concepts of this field.

Appeals: Logos, ethos, pathos

Appeals are how the author convinces their audience. Three central appeals are discussed in rhetoric, established by the philosopher Aristotle and sometimes called the rhetorical triangle: logos, ethos, and pathos.

Logos , or the logical appeal, refers to the use of reasoned argument to persuade. This is the dominant approach in academic writing , where arguments are built up using reasoning and evidence.

Ethos , or the ethical appeal, involves the author presenting themselves as an authority on their subject. For example, someone making a moral argument might highlight their own morally admirable behavior; someone speaking about a technical subject might present themselves as an expert by mentioning their qualifications.

Pathos , or the pathetic appeal, evokes the audience’s emotions. This might involve speaking in a passionate way, employing vivid imagery, or trying to provoke anger, sympathy, or any other emotional response in the audience.

These three appeals are all treated as integral parts of rhetoric, and a given author may combine all three of them to convince their audience.

Text and context

In rhetoric, a text is not necessarily a piece of writing (though it may be this). A text is whatever piece of communication you are analyzing. This could be, for example, a speech, an advertisement, or a satirical image.

In these cases, your analysis would focus on more than just language—you might look at visual or sonic elements of the text too.

The context is everything surrounding the text: Who is the author (or speaker, designer, etc.)? Who is their (intended or actual) audience? When and where was the text produced, and for what purpose?

Looking at the context can help to inform your rhetorical analysis. For example, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech has universal power, but the context of the civil rights movement is an important part of understanding why.

Claims, supports, and warrants

A piece of rhetoric is always making some sort of argument, whether it’s a very clearly defined and logical one (e.g. in a philosophy essay) or one that the reader has to infer (e.g. in a satirical article). These arguments are built up with claims, supports, and warrants.

A claim is the fact or idea the author wants to convince the reader of. An argument might center on a single claim, or be built up out of many. Claims are usually explicitly stated, but they may also just be implied in some kinds of text.

The author uses supports to back up each claim they make. These might range from hard evidence to emotional appeals—anything that is used to convince the reader to accept a claim.

The warrant is the logic or assumption that connects a support with a claim. Outside of quite formal argumentation, the warrant is often unstated—the author assumes their audience will understand the connection without it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still explore the implicit warrant in these cases.

For example, look at the following statement:

We can see a claim and a support here, but the warrant is implicit. Here, the warrant is the assumption that more likeable candidates would have inspired greater turnout. We might be more or less convinced by the argument depending on whether we think this is a fair assumption.

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Rhetorical analysis isn’t a matter of choosing concepts in advance and applying them to a text. Instead, it starts with looking at the text in detail and asking the appropriate questions about how it works:

  • What is the author’s purpose?
  • Do they focus closely on their key claims, or do they discuss various topics?
  • What tone do they take—angry or sympathetic? Personal or authoritative? Formal or informal?
  • Who seems to be the intended audience? Is this audience likely to be successfully reached and convinced?
  • What kinds of evidence are presented?

By asking these questions, you’ll discover the various rhetorical devices the text uses. Don’t feel that you have to cram in every rhetorical term you know—focus on those that are most important to the text.

The following sections show how to write the different parts of a rhetorical analysis.

Like all essays, a rhetorical analysis begins with an introduction . The introduction tells readers what text you’ll be discussing, provides relevant background information, and presents your thesis statement .

Hover over different parts of the example below to see how an introduction works.

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech is widely regarded as one of the most important pieces of oratory in American history. Delivered in 1963 to thousands of civil rights activists outside the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., the speech has come to symbolize the spirit of the civil rights movement and even to function as a major part of the American national myth. This rhetorical analysis argues that King’s assumption of the prophetic voice, amplified by the historic size of his audience, creates a powerful sense of ethos that has retained its inspirational power over the years.

The body of your rhetorical analysis is where you’ll tackle the text directly. It’s often divided into three paragraphs, although it may be more in a longer essay.

Each paragraph should focus on a different element of the text, and they should all contribute to your overall argument for your thesis statement.

Hover over the example to explore how a typical body paragraph is constructed.

King’s speech is infused with prophetic language throughout. Even before the famous “dream” part of the speech, King’s language consistently strikes a prophetic tone. He refers to the Lincoln Memorial as a “hallowed spot” and speaks of rising “from the dark and desolate valley of segregation” to “make justice a reality for all of God’s children.” The assumption of this prophetic voice constitutes the text’s strongest ethical appeal; after linking himself with political figures like Lincoln and the Founding Fathers, King’s ethos adopts a distinctly religious tone, recalling Biblical prophets and preachers of change from across history. This adds significant force to his words; standing before an audience of hundreds of thousands, he states not just what the future should be, but what it will be: “The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.” This warning is almost apocalyptic in tone, though it concludes with the positive image of the “bright day of justice.” The power of King’s rhetoric thus stems not only from the pathos of his vision of a brighter future, but from the ethos of the prophetic voice he adopts in expressing this vision.

The conclusion of a rhetorical analysis wraps up the essay by restating the main argument and showing how it has been developed by your analysis. It may also try to link the text, and your analysis of it, with broader concerns.

Explore the example below to get a sense of the conclusion.

It is clear from this analysis that the effectiveness of King’s rhetoric stems less from the pathetic appeal of his utopian “dream” than it does from the ethos he carefully constructs to give force to his statements. By framing contemporary upheavals as part of a prophecy whose fulfillment will result in the better future he imagines, King ensures not only the effectiveness of his words in the moment but their continuing resonance today. Even if we have not yet achieved King’s dream, we cannot deny the role his words played in setting us on the path toward it.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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The goal of a rhetorical analysis is to explain the effect a piece of writing or oratory has on its audience, how successful it is, and the devices and appeals it uses to achieve its goals.

Unlike a standard argumentative essay , it’s less about taking a position on the arguments presented, and more about exploring how they are constructed.

The term “text” in a rhetorical analysis essay refers to whatever object you’re analyzing. It’s frequently a piece of writing or a speech, but it doesn’t have to be. For example, you could also treat an advertisement or political cartoon as a text.

Logos appeals to the audience’s reason, building up logical arguments . Ethos appeals to the speaker’s status or authority, making the audience more likely to trust them. Pathos appeals to the emotions, trying to make the audience feel angry or sympathetic, for example.

Collectively, these three appeals are sometimes called the rhetorical triangle . They are central to rhetorical analysis , though a piece of rhetoric might not necessarily use all of them.

In rhetorical analysis , a claim is something the author wants the audience to believe. A support is the evidence or appeal they use to convince the reader to believe the claim. A warrant is the (often implicit) assumption that links the support with the claim.

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Mozart, Mike. "Smellcome to Manhood." JeepersMedia. Flickr. 2 Oct 2014. Web. < ">https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeepersmedia/12462069883/sizes/m/> .

The aim of this lesson is to provide students with an accessible and engaging introduction to rhetorical analysis. Students will view four brief texts—three thirty-second videos and one print advertisement—and try to identify the audience, the speaker, and the argument contained in each.

  • Introduce rhetorical analysis to students
  • Offer a broad illustration of the scope of rhetoric and rhetorical analysis
  • Familiarize students with initial components of rhetorical analysis (audience, speaker, argument)
  • Help students feel comfortable offering their own analyses
  • Media console with overhead projector
  • Class computer with internet connection
  • Preferable, but not essential: personal computers for brief individual research activity.

This lesson is intended to provide a light, engaging, and accessible introduction to rhetorical analysis. Students will survey several contemporary advertisements that vary in a number of ways yet share some broad themes. The order of the texts is intended to subtly help the students progress from basic to more nuanced analyses.

The first moments of this class are open to suit the needs of the instructor. If this is the first day that students will be performing rhetorical analysis, it may be helpful to provide a brief overview of what is to come. 

To begin the analytical portion of the class, play the first text— an Old Spice commercial from the 2010 "Smell Like a Man, Man" campaign. The commercial is both fun and funny, thus students should respond well to it. Moreover, its fast pace and quirky tone will likely get students laughing, which will hopefully loosen them up for analysis.

Once you have played the video, ask the following questions:

  • Who is the speaker?
  • Who is the audience?
  • What is the situation?
  • What is the argument?

What does the text want you to feel?

What does the text want you to believe?

What does the text want you to do?

  • How is the text making that argument? 

Be sure to draw out detailed responses from the students. Play the video again, as needed. One reason this ad is great for an initial analysis is because it has two different speakers (i.e., the spokesman and the company), two different audiences (i.e., implicit and explicit), and plenty of components that students can draw on to support their answers to the argument questions.

Next, play the second and third videos. Each of these are 2008 advertisements from the Corn Refiner Association's "Sweet Surprise" campaign about high fructose corn syrup. Ask students the same series of questions, and encourage them to pay even closer attention to the details that help create this argument. 

Once you feel that your students have adequately analyzed the argument in these two texts, have students go to the website featured at the end of the videos. If students don't have computers, do this together as a class. By this point, hopefully students will have mentioned that the text wants you to go to this website, so this can be a way of getting them to further test the text. Once there, have students try to identify any bias on the website and ask them to list specific examples. This is meant to encourage students to closely examine sources and to consider how word choice and other stylistic choices shape an argument.

If time permits, have students look at one more text— a 2014 print ad from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority . In the ad, one woman remarks about new public transportation changes and another woman responds, "Can't we just talk about shoes?" There are several broad parallels between this text and the former texts, so students should feel comfortable by now analyzing this form of visual rhetoric.

Given the brevity of both these texts and the follow-up questions, it would be a good idea to thoroughly familiarize yourself with each text before presenting them to the class. With this being an introduction to rhetorical analysis, students may feel shy about offering responses, so being prepared with many different ways to prompt their analyses can be helpful.

For the group analysis portion of the class:

Answer the following the questions. Cite evidence to support your response.

For the individual research portion of the class:

  • Go to http://www.sweetsurprise.com
  • Can you identify any bias?
  • Cite specific examples to support your response.

There is no evaluative component to this activity.

This lesson plan was designed for "Rhetoric and Writing", an introductory course.


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‘Bad Ads’ and the Study of Rhetoric

Analyzing whether an ad is misleading or not can be a great way to get students engaged in the study of rhetoric.

High school students discussing advertisements in a group in the classroom

Rhetoric and media literacy are essential skills for students, but where to begin? On social media alone, students are hit with a never-ending barrage of persuasive messages. Ads are pervasive, and although students are often aware that they’re being influenced, knowing how persuasion works gives them a whole new power to understand and affect their world.

How Persuasive Are You?

My students and I start our study of rhetoric with a quick write on the following questions: Are you a persuasive person? Why or why not? What are your methods of persuasion? How well do they work?

The discussion that follows is lively and leads us into the ideas that persuasion is both an art and a science and that there are concrete methods of persuasion that we can identify and begin to recognize in the world around us.

I then introduce Aristotle’s basic rhetorical appeals of ethos, pathos, and logos, and we watch and discuss examples of each appeal in video commercials.

At the end of this initial discussion, I send students off to find examples of each of the three rhetorical appeals to share with the class. These allow us to review and reinforce the concepts the next day, and put students on the alert to notice rhetoric in the world around them.

Teaching Specific Rhetorical Techniques

After reviewing ethos, pathos, and logos the following day in class, I give students a list of rhetorical techniques. There are several available on the internet, but I’ve found this list from the New Mexico Media Literacy Project to be a solid reference.

Because print ads are static, they’re ideal for students to analyze in more detail. We work together to deconstruct a common ad that I put up on the Smart Board, finding as many of the techniques from the list above as we can. Identifying techniques is only the first step—the crucial next task is to discuss the effect of each technique.

For example, students notice right away that the “beautiful people” technique is employed in many ads, and that the intended effect of this is to make us think that using the product will also make us attractive.

Take a Side

After we discuss the various techniques we find and their effects on the reader, I bring up the idea of “bad ads”—ads that could be considered misleading and or unhealthy in some way. Students then get to take a side on whether they think the ad we’re looking at fits this definition of bad. They jot down an outline for their argument, stating a claim and bullet-pointing evidence from the ad text to support their claim. I don’t ask them to write the analysis from this outline, but it prepares them well for the next step.

The next day, students each bring in their own example of a bad ad that they want to analyze. I have several magazines for them to look through. Teen magazines such as J-14  and Seventeen  are great sources, but just about any magazine will provide a rich yield. Students also print out ads from their Facebook and other social media pages, which provoke an interesting discussion on advertisers’ increasing ability to target their audience.

The culminating activity of this unit is a persuasive rhetorical analysis of a print ad. For their chosen ad, students state a claim about how the ad is misleading and/or unhealthy and then use evidence from the ad to support their opinion. We peer edit and conference to revise the papers, and depending on time, I’ll often have students present their analysis to the class.

Moving Forward

Our study of rhetoric usually lasts about three weeks, from the introduction of the rhetorical appeals through the writing and revision of the analysis paper, but it can be contracted or expanded to fit different class schedules and student interest.

My students are so engaged by the topic—in our end-of-year reflection it is hands-down the most mentioned unit we study—that we have branched out naturally over the years into exploring other forms of persuasion, such as speeches, print text, and various aspects of social media.

It’s definitely an advantage for students heading into AP Language and Composition to be familiar with the concept of rhetoric, but the most palpable benefits of this study are apparent in students’ everyday lives. They become more conscious consumers of the rhetoric all around them, and the growth in their critical thinking skills is undeniable. I’ve had students complain, “Thanks a lot, Mrs. Krulder. Now I can’t watch TV or go on the internet without seeing a million ways someone is trying to persuade me!”

You’re welcome.

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2 Rhetorical Analysis

Elizabeth Browning

For many people, particularly those in the media, the term “rhetoric ” has a largely negative connotation.  A political commentator, for example, may say that a politician is using “empty rhetoric” or that what that politician says is “just a bunch of rhetoric.”  What the commentator means is that the politician’s words are lacking substance, that the purpose of those words is more about manipulation rather than meaningfulness.  However, this flawed definition, though quite common these days, does not offer the entire picture or full understanding of a concept that is more about clearly expressing substance and meaning rather than avoiding them.

This chapter will clarify what rhetorical analysis means and will help you identify the basic elements of rhetorical analysis through explanation and example .

1.       What is rhetorical analysis?

2.       What is rhetorical situation?

3.       What are the basic elements of rhetorical analysis?

3.1 The appeal to ethos.

3.2 The appeal the pathos.

3.3 The appeal to logos.

3.4 The appeal to kairos.

4.       Striking a balance? 

1. What is rhetorical analysis?

Simply defined, rhetoric is the art or method of communicating effectively to an audience, usually with the intention to persuade; thus, rhetorical analysis means analyzing how effectively a writer or speaker communicates her message or argument to the audience.

The ancient Greeks, namely Aristotle, developed rhetoric into an art form, which explains why much of the terminology that we use for rhetoric comes from Greek.  The three major parts of effective communication, also called the Rhetorical Triangle , are ethos , patho s, and logos , and they provide the foundation for a solid argument. As a reader and a listener, you must be able to recognize how writers and speakers depend upon these three rhetorical elements in their efforts to communicate. As a communicator yourself, you will benefit from the ability to see how others rely upon ethos, pathos, and logos so that you can apply what you learn from your observations to your own speaking and writing.

Rhetorical analysis can evaluate and analyze any type of communicator, whether that be a speaker, an artist, an advertiser, or a writer, but to simplify the language in this chapter, the term “writer” will represent the role of the communicator.

2. What is a rhetorical situation?

Essentially, understanding a rhetorical situation means understanding the context of that situation.  A rhetorical situation comprises a handful of key elements, which should be identified before attempting to analyze and evaluate the use of rhetorical appeals.  These elements consist of the communicator in the situation (such as the writer), the issue at hand (the topic or problem being addressed), the purpose for addressing the issue, the medium of delivery (e.g.–speech, written text, a commercial), and the audience being addressed.

Answering the following questions will help you identify a rhetorical situation :

  • Who is the communicator or writer?
  • What is the main argument that the writer is making?
  • To provoke, to attack, or to defend?
  • To push toward or dissuade from certain action?
  • To praise or to blame?
  • To teach, to delight, or to persuade?
  • What is the structure of the communication; how is it arranged?
  • What oral or literary genre is it?
  • What figures of speech (schemes and tropes) are used?
  • What kind of style and tone is used and for what purpose?
  • Does the form complement the content?
  • What effect could the form have, and does this aid or hinder the author’s intention?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • What values does the audience hold that the author or speaker appeals to?
  • Who have been or might be secondary audiences?
  • If this is a work of fiction, what is the nature of the audience within the fiction?

Figure 2.1 A Balanced Argument

3. What are the basic elements of rhetorical analysis?

3.1 the appeal to ethos.

Literally translated, ethos means “character.”  In this case, it refers to the character of the writer or speaker, or more specifically, his credibility.  The writer needs to establish credibility so that the audience will trust him and, thus, be more willing to engage with the argument.  If a writer fails to establish a sufficient ethical appeal , then the audience will not take the writer’s argument seriously.

For example, if someone writes an article that is published in an academic journal, in a reputable newspaper or magazine, or on a credible website, those places of publication already imply a certain level of credibility.  If the article is about a scientific issue and the writer is a scientist or has certain academic or professional credentials that relate to the article’s subject, that also will lend credibility to the writer. Finally, if that writer shows that he is knowledgeable about the subject by providing clear explanations of points and by presenting information in an honest and straightforward way that also helps to establish a writer’s credibility.

When evaluating a writer’s ethical appeal , ask the following questions:

Does the writer come across as reliable?

  • Viewpoint is logically consistent throughout the text
  • Does not use hyperbolic (exaggerated) language
  • Has an even, objective tone (not malicious but also not sycophantic)
  • Does not come across as subversive or manipulative

Does the writer come across as authoritative and knowledgeable?

  • Explains concepts and ideas thoroughly
  • Addresses any counter-arguments and successfully rebuts them
  • Uses a sufficient number of relevant sources
  • Shows an understanding of sources used

What kind of credentials or experience does the writer have?

  • Look at byline or biographical info
  • Identify any personal or professional experience mentioned in the text
  • Where has this writer’s text been published?

Recognizing a Manipulative Appeal to Ethos:

In a perfect world, everyone would tell the truth, and we could depend upon the credibility of speakers and authors. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. You would expect that news reporters would be objective and tell news stories based upon the facts; however, Janet Cooke, Stephen Glass, Jayson Blair, and Brian Williams all lost their jobs for plagiarizing or fabricating part of their news stories. Janet Cooke’s Pulitzer Prize was revoked after it was discovered that she made up “Jimmy,” an eight-year old heroin addict ( Prince, 2010 ). Brian Williams was fired as anchor of the NBC Nightly News for exaggerating his role in the Iraq War.

Brian Williams

Others have become infamous for claiming academic degrees that they didn’t earn as in the case of Marilee Jones. At the time of discovery, she was Dean of Admissions at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). After 28 years of employment, it was determined that she never graduated from college ( Lewin, 2007 ). However, on her website    (http://www.marileejones.com/blog/) she is still promoting herself as “a sought after speaker, consultant and author” and “one of the nation’s most experienced College Admissions Deans.”

Beyond lying about their own credentials, authors may employ a number of tricks or fallacies to lure you to their point of view. Some of the more common techniques are described in the next chapter . When you recognize these fallacies, you should question the credibility of the speaker and the legitimacy of the argument. If you use these when making your own arguments, be aware that they may undermine or even destroy your credibility.

Exercise 1: Analyzing Ethos

Choose an article from the links provided below.  Preview your chosen text, and then read through it, paying special attention to how the writer tries to establish an ethical appeal.  Once you have finished reading, use the bullet points above to guide you in analyzing how effective the writer’s appeal to ethos is.

“Why cancer is not a war, fight, or battle ” by Xeni Jordan (https://tinyurl.com/y7m7bnnm)

“Relax and Let Your Kids Indulge in TV” by Lisa Pryor (https://tinyurl.com/y88epytu)

“Why are we OK with disability drag in Hollywood?” by Danny Woodburn and Jay Ruderman (https://tinyurl.com/y964525k)

3.2 The appeal to pathos

Literally translated, pathos means “suffering.”  In this case, it refers to emotion, or more specifically, the writer’s appeal to the audience’s emotions.  When a writer establishes an effective pathetic appeal , she makes the audience care about what she is saying.  If the audience does not care about the message, then they will not engage with the argument being made.

For example, consider this: A writer is crafting a speech for a politician who is running for office, and in it, the writer raises a point about Social Security benefits.  In order to make this point more appealing to the audience so that they will feel more emotionally connected to what the politician says, the writer inserts a story about Mary, an 80-year-old widow who relies on her Social Security benefits to supplement her income.  While visiting Mary the other day, sitting at her kitchen table and eating a piece of her delicious homemade apple pie, the writer recounts how the politician held Mary’s delicate hand and promised that her benefits would be safe if he were elected.  Ideally, the writer wants the audience to feel sympathy or compassion for Mary because then they will feel more open to considering the politician’s views on Social Security (and maybe even other issues).

When evaluating a writer’s pathetic appeal , ask the following questions:

Does the writer try to engage or connect with the audience by making the subject matter relatable in some way?

  • Does the writer have an interesting writing style?
  • Does the writer use humor at any point?
  • Does the writer use narration , such as storytelling or anecdotes, to add interest or to help humanize a certain issue within the text?
  • Does the writer use descriptive or attention-grabbing details?
  • Are there hypothetical examples that help the audience to imagine themselves in certain scenarios?
  •  Does the writer use any other examples in the text that might emotionally appeal to the audience?
  • Are there any visual appeals to pathos, such as photographs or illustrations?

Recognizing a Manipulative Appeal to Pathos:

Up to a certain point, an appeal to pathos can be a legitimate part of an argument. For example, a writer or speaker may begin with an anecdote showing the effect of a law on an individual. This anecdote is a way to gain an audience’s attention for an argument in which evidence and reason are used to present a case as to why the law should or should not be repealed or amended. In such a context, engaging the emotions, values, or beliefs of the audience is a legitimate and effective tool that makes the argument stronger.

An appropriate appeal to pathos is different from trying to unfairly play upon the audience’s feelings and emotions through fallacious, misleading, or excessively emotional appeals. Such a manipulative use of pathos may alienate the audience or cause them to “tune out.” An example would be the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) commercials  (https://youtu.be/6eXfvRcllV8, transcript  here ) featuring the song “In the Arms of an Angel” and footage of abused animals. Even Sarah McLachlan, the singer and spokesperson featured in the commercials, admits that she changes the channel because they are too depressing (Brekke).

Even if an appeal to pathos is not manipulative, such an appeal should complement rather than replace reason and evidence-based argument. In addition to making use of pathos, the author must establish her credibility ( ethos ) and must supply reasons and evidence ( logos ) in support of her position. An author who essentially replaces logos and ethos with pathos alone does not present a strong argument.

Exercise 2: Analyzing Pathos

In the movie Braveheart , the Scottish military leader, William Wallace, played by Mel Gibson, gives a speech to his troops just before they get ready to go into battle against the English army of King Edward I.

See clip here  (https://youtu.be/h2vW-rr9ibE, transcript here ). See clip with closed captioning here .

Step 1 : When you watch the movie clip, try to gauge the general emotional atmosphere.  Do the men seem calm or nervous? Confident or skeptical? Are they eager to go into battle, or are they ready to retreat?  Assessing the situation from the start will make it easier to answer more specific, probing rhetorical questions after watching it.

Step 2 : Consider these questions:

  • What issues does Wallace address?
  • Who is his audience?
  • How does the audience view the issues at hand?

Step 3 : Next, analyze Wallace’s use of pathos in his speech.

  • How does he try to connect with his audience emotionally?  Because this is a speech, and he’s appealing to the audience in person, consider his overall look as well as what he says.
  • How would you describe his manner or attitude?
  • Does he use any humor, and if so, to what effect?
  • How would you describe his tone?
  • Identify some examples of language that show an appeal to pathos: words, phrases, imagery, collective pronouns (we, us, our).
  • How do all of these factors help him establish a pathetic appeal?

Step 4 : Once you’ve identified the various ways that Wallace tries to establish his appeal to pathos, the final step is to evaluate the effectiveness of that appeal.

  • Do you think he has successfully established a pathetic appeal?  Why or why not?
  • What does he do well in establishing pathos?
  • What could he improve, or what could he do differently to make his pathetic appeal even stronger?

3.3 The appeal to logos

Literally translated, logos means “word.”  In this case, it refers to information, or more specifically, the writer’s appeal to logic and reason. A successful logical appeal provides clearly organized information as well as evidence to support the overall argument.  If one fails to establish a logical appeal, then the argument will lack both sense and substance.

For example, refer to the previous example of the politician’s speech writer to understand the importance of having a solid logical appeal.  What if the writer had only included the story about 80-year-old Mary without providing any statistics, data, or concrete plans for how the politician proposed to protect Social Security benefits? Without any factual evidence for the proposed plan, the audience would not have been as likely to accept his proposal, and rightly so.

When evaluating a writer’s logical appeal , ask the following questions:

Does the writer organize his information clearly?

  • Choose the link for examples of common transitions   (https://tinyurl.com/oftaj5g).
  • Ideas have a clear and purposeful order

Does the writer provide evidence to back his claims?

  • Specific examples
  • Relevant source material

Does the writer use sources and data to back his claims rather than base the argument purely on emotion or opinion?

  • Does the writer use concrete facts and figures, statistics, dates/times, specific names/titles, graphs/charts/tables?
  • Are the sources that the writer uses credible?
  • Where do the sources come from? (Who wrote/published them?)
  • When were the sources published?
  • Are the sources well-known, respected, and/or peer-reviewed (if applicable) publications?

Recognizing a Manipulative Appeal to Logos:

Pay particular attention to numbers, statistics, findings, and quotes used to support an argument. Be critical of the source and do your own investigation of the facts. Remember: What initially looks like a fact may not actually be one.  Maybe you’ve heard or read that half of all marriages in America will end in divorce. It is so often discussed that we assume it must be true. Careful research will show that the original marriage study was flawed, and divorce rates in America have steadily declined since 1985 (Peck, 1993). If there is no scientific evidence, why do we continue to believe it? Part of the reason might be that it supports the common worry of the dissolution of the American family.

Fallacies that misuse appeals to logos or attempt to manipulate the logic of an argument are discussed in the next chapter .

Exercise 3: Analyzing Logos

The debate about whether college athletes, namely male football and basketball players, should be paid salaries instead of awarded scholarships is one that regularly comes up when these players are in the throes of their respective athletic seasons, whether that’s football bowl games or March Madness.  While proponents on each side of this issue have solid reasons, you are going to look at an article that is against the idea of college athletes being paid.

Take note : Your aim in this rhetorical exercise is not to figure out where you stand on this issue; rather, your aim is to evaluate how effectively the writer establishes a logical appeal to support his position, whether you agree with him or not.

See the article here   (https://time.com/5558498/ncaa-march-madness-pay-athletes/).

Step 1 : Before reading the article, take a minute to preview the text, a critical reading skill explained in Chapter 1 .

Step 2 : Once you have a general idea of the article, read through it and pay attention to how the author organizes information and uses evidence, annotating or marking these instances when you see them.

Step 3 : After reviewing your annotations, evaluate the organization of the article as well as the amount and types of evidence that you have identified by answering the following questions:

  • Does the writer use transitions to link ideas?
  • Do ideas in the article have a clear sense of order, or do they appear scattered and unfocused?
  • Was there too little of it, was there just enough, or was there an overload of evidence?
  • Were the examples of evidence relevant to the writer’s argument?
  • Were the examples clearly explained?
  • Were sources cited or clearly referenced?
  • Were the sources credible?  How could you tell?

3.4 The Appeal to Kairos

Literally translated, Kairos means the “supreme moment.”  In this case, it refers to appropriate timing, meaning when the writer presents certain parts of her argument as well as the overall timing of the subject matter itself.  While not technically part of the Rhetorical Triangle, it is still an important principle for constructing an effective argument. If the writer fails to establish a strong Kairotic appeal , then the audience may become polarized, hostile, or may simply just lose interest.

If appropriate timing is not taken into consideration and a writer introduces a sensitive or important point too early or too late in a text, the impact of that point could be lost on the audience.  For example, if the writer’s audience is strongly opposed to her view, and she begins the argument with a forceful thesis of why she is right and the opposition is wrong, how do you think that audience might respond?

In this instance, the writer may have just lost the ability to make any further appeals to her audience in two ways: first, by polarizing them, and second, by possibly elevating what was at first merely strong opposition to what would now be hostile opposition.  A polarized or hostile audience will not be inclined to listen to the writer’s argument with an open mind or even to listen at all.  On the other hand, the writer could have established a stronger appeal to Kairos by building up to that forceful thesis, maybe by providing some neutral points such as background information or by addressing some of the opposition’s views, rather than leading with why she is right and the audience is wrong.

Additionally, if a writer covers a topic or puts forth an argument about a subject that is currently a non-issue or has no relevance for the audience, then the audience will fail to engage because whatever the writer’s message happens to be, it won’t matter to anyone.  For example, if a writer were to put forth the argument that women in the United States should have the right to vote, no one would care; that is a non-issue because women in the United States already have that right.

When evaluating a writer’s Kairotic appeal , ask the following questions:

  • Where does the writer establish her thesis of the argument in the text?  Is it near the beginning, the middle, or the end?  Is this placement of the thesis effective?  Why or why not?
  • Where in the text does the writer provide her strongest points of evidence? Does that location provide the most impact for those points?
  • Is the issue that the writer raises relevant at this time, or is it something no one really cares about anymore or needs to know about anymore?

Exercise 4: Analyzing Kairos

In this exercise, you will analyze a visual representation of the appeal to Kairos. On the 26 th of February 2015, a photo of a dress was posted to Twitter along with a question as to whether people thought it was one combination of colors versus another. Internet chaos ensued on social media because while some people saw the dress as black and blue, others saw it as white and gold. As the color debate surrounding the dress raged on, an ad agency in South Africa saw an opportunity to raise awareness about a far more serious subject: domestic abuse.

Step 1 : Read this article   (https://tinyurl.com/yctl8o5g)   from CNN about how and why the photo of the dress went viral so that you will be better informed for the next step in this exercise:

Step 2 : Watch the video   (https://youtu.be/SLv0ZRPssTI, transcript here )from CNN that explains how, in partnership with The Salvation Army, the South African marketing agency created an ad that went viral.

Step 3 : After watching the video, answer the following questions:

  • Once the photo of the dress went viral, approximately how long after did the Salvation Army’s ad appear? Look at the dates on both the article and the video to get an idea of a time frame.
  • How does the ad take advantage of the publicity surrounding the dress?
  • Would the ad’s overall effectiveness change if it had come out later than it did?
  • How late would have been too late to make an impact? Why?

4. Striking a Balance:

Figure 2.3 An Unbalanced Argument

alanced Argument graphic 2

The foundations of rhetoric are interconnected in such a way that a writer needs to establish all of the rhetorical appeals to put forth an effective argument.  If a writer lacks a pathetic appeal and only tries to establish a logical appeal, the audience will be unable to connect emotionally with the writer and, therefore, will care less about the overall argument.  Likewise, if a writer lacks a logical appeal and tries to rely solely on subjective or emotionally driven examples, then the audience will not take the writer seriously because an argument based purely on opinion and emotion cannot hold up without facts and evidence to support it.  If a writer lacks either the pathetic or logical appeal, not to mention the kairotic appeal, then the writer’s ethical appeal will suffer.  All of the appeals must be sufficiently established for a writer to communicate effectively with his audience.

For a visual example, watch  (https://tinyurl.com/yct5zryn, transcript here ) violinist Joshua Bell show how the rhetorical situation determines the effectiveness of all types of communication, even music.

Exercise 5: Rhetorical Analysis

Step 1 : Choose one of the articles linked below.

Step 2 : Preview your chosen text, and then read and annotate it.

Step 3 : Next, using the information and steps outlined in this chapter, identify the rhetorical situation in the text based off of the following components: the communicator, the issue at hand, the purpose, the medium of delivery, and the intended audience.

Step 4 : Then, identify and analyze how the writer tries to establish the rhetorical appeals of ethos, pathos, logos, and Kairos throughout that text.

Step 5 : Finally, evaluate how effectively you think the writer establishes the rhetorical appeals, and defend your evaluation by noting specific examples that you’ve annotated.

BBC News , “ Taylor Swift Sexual Assault Case: Why is it significant ? ” (https://tinyurl.com/ybopmmdu)

NPR , “ Does Cash Aid Help the Poor–Or Encourage Laziness ? ”  (https://tinyurl.com/y8ho2fhw)

Key Takeaways

Understanding the Rhetorical Situation:

  • Identify who the communicator is.
  • Identify the issue at hand.
  • Identify the communicator’s purpose.
  • Identify the medium or method of communication.
  • Identify who the audience is.

Identifying the Rhetorical Appeals:

  • Ethos = the writer’s credibility
  • Pathos = the writer’s emotional appeal to the audience
  • Logos = the writer’s logical appeal to the audience
  • Kairos = appropriate and relevant timing of subject matter
  • In sum, effective communication is based on an understanding of the rhetorical situation and on a balance of the rhetorical appeals.

CC Licensed Content, Shared Previously

English Composition I , Lumen Learning, CC-BY 4.0.

English Composition II , Lumen Learning, CC-BY 4.0.

Image Credits

Figure 2.1 “A Balanced Argument,” Kalyca Schultz, Virginia Western Community College, CC-0.

Figure 2.2, “ Brian Williams at the 2011 Time 100 Gala ,” David Shankbone,  Wikimedia, CC-BY 3.0.

Figure 2.3 “An Unbalanced Argument,” Kalyca Schultz, Virginia Western Community College, CC-0.

Brekke, Kira. “ Sarah McLachlan: ‘I Change The Channel’ When My ASPCA Commercials Come On .” Huffington Post . 5 May 2014.

Lewin, Tamar. “ Dean at M.I.T. Resigns, Ending a 28-Year Lie .” New York Times . 27 April 2007, p. A1,

Peck, Dennis, L. “The Fifty Percent Divorce Rate: Deconstructing a Myth.” The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare . Vol. 20, no.3, 1993, pp. 135-144.

Prince, Richard. “ Janet Cooke’s Hoax Still Resonates After 30 Years .” The Root . October 2010.

Rhetorical Analysis Copyright © 2021 by Elizabeth Browning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Rhetorical Analysis Definition and Examples

The analysis can be used on any communication, even a bumper sticker

  • An Introduction to Punctuation

Sample Rhetorical Analyses

Examples and observations, analyzing effects, analyzing greeting card verse, analyzing starbucks, rhetorical analysis vs. literary criticism.

  • Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia
  • M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester
  • B.A., English, State University of New York

Rhetorical analysis is a form of criticism or close reading that employs the principles of rhetoric to examine the interactions between a text, an author, and an audience . It's also called rhetorical criticism or pragmatic criticism.

Rhetorical analysis may be applied to virtually any text or image—a speech , an essay , an advertisement, a poem, a photograph, a web page, even a bumper sticker. When applied to a literary work, rhetorical analysis regards the work not as an aesthetic object but as an artistically structured instrument for communication. As Edward P.J. Corbett has observed, rhetorical analysis "is more interested in a literary work for what it does than for what it is."

  • A Rhetorical Analysis of Claude McKay's "Africa"
  • A Rhetorical Analysis of E.B. White's "The Ring of Time"
  • A Rhetorical Analysis of U2's "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
  • "Our response to the character of the author—whether it is called ethos, or 'implied author,' or style , or even tone—is part of our experience of his work, an experience of the voice within the masks, personae , of the work...Rhetorical criticism intensifies our sense of the dynamic relationships between the author as a real person and the more or less fictive person implied by the work." (Thomas O. Sloan, "Restoration of Rhetoric to Literary Study." The Speech Teacher )
  • "[R]hetorical criticism is a mode of analysis that focuses on the text itself. In that respect, it is like the practical criticism that the New Critics and the Chicago School indulge in. It is unlike these modes of criticism in that it does not remain inside the literary work but works outward from the text to considerations of the author and the audience...In talking about the ethical appeal in his 'Rhetoric,' Aristotle made the point that although a speaker may come before an audience with a certain antecedent reputation, his ethical appeal is exerted primarily by what he says in that particular speech before that particular audience. Likewise, in rhetorical criticism, we gain our impression of the author from what we can glean from the text itself—from looking at such things as his ideas and attitudes, his stance, his tone, his style. This reading back to the author is not the same sort of thing as the attempt to reconstruct the biography of a writer from his literary work. Rhetorical criticism seeks simply to ascertain the particular posture or image that the author is establishing in this particular work in order to produce a particular effect on a particular audience." (Edward P.J. Corbett, "Introduction" to " Rhetorical Analyses of Literary Works ")

"[A] complete   rhetorical analysis requires the researcher to move beyond identifying and labeling in that creating an inventory of the parts of a text represents only the starting point of the analyst's work. From the earliest examples of rhetorical analysis to the present, this analytical work has involved the analyst in interpreting the meaning of these textual components—both in isolation and in combination—for the person (or people) experiencing the text. This highly interpretive aspect of rhetorical analysis requires the analyst to address the effects of the different identified textual elements on the perception of the person experiencing the text. So, for example, the analyst might say that the presence of feature x will condition the reception of the text in a particular way. Most texts, of course, include multiple features, so this analytical work involves addressing the cumulative effects of the selected combination of features in the text." (Mark Zachry, "Rhetorical Analysis" from " The Handbook of Business Discourse , " Francesca Bargiela-Chiappini, editor)

"Perhaps the most pervasive type of repeated-word sentence used in greeting card verse is the sentence in which a word or group of words is repeated anywhere within the sentence, as in the following example:

In quiet and thoughtful ways , in happy and fun ways , all ways , and always , I love you.

In this sentence, the word ways is repeated at the end of two successive phrases, picked up again at the beginning of the next phrase, and then repeated as part of the word always . Similarly, the root word all initially appears in the phrase 'all ways' and is then repeated in a slightly different form in the homophonic word always . The movement is from the particular ('quiet and thoughtful ways,' 'happy and fun ways'), to the general ('all ways'), to the hyperbolic ('always')." (Frank D'Angelo, "The Rhetoric of Sentimental Greeting Card Verse." Rhetoric Review )

"Starbucks not just as an institution or as a set of verbal discourses or even advertising but as a material and physical site is deeply rhetorical...Starbucks weaves us directly into the cultural conditions of which it is constitutive. The color of the logo, the performative practices of ordering, making, and drinking the coffee, the conversations around the tables, and the whole host of other materialities and performances of/in Starbucks are at once the rhetorical claims and the enactment of the rhetorical action urged. In short, Starbucks draws together the tripartite relationships among place, body, and subjectivity. As a material/rhetorical place, Starbucks addresses and is the very site of a comforting and discomforting negotiation of these relationships." (Greg Dickinson, "Joe's Rhetoric: Finding Authenticity at Starbucks." Rhetoric Society Quarterly )

"What essentially are the differences between literary criticism analysis and rhetorical analysis? When a critic explicates Ezra Pound's Canto XLV , for example, and shows how Pound inveighs against usury as an offense against nature that corrupts society and the arts, the critic must point out the 'evidence'—the 'artistic proofs' of example and enthymeme [a formal syllogistic argument that is incompletely stated}—that Pound has drawn upon for his fulmination. The critic will also call attention to the 'arrangement' of the parts of that argument as a feature of the 'form' of the poem just as he may inquire into the language and syntax. Again these are matters that Aristotle assigned mainly to rhetoric...

"All critical essays dealing with the persona of a literary work are in reality studies of the 'Ethos' of the 'speaker' or 'narrator'—the voice—source of the rhythmic language which attracts and holds the kind of readers the poet desires as his audience, and the means this persona consciously or unconsciously chooses, in Kenneth Burke's term, to 'woo' that reader-audience." (Alexander Scharbach, "Rhetoric and Literary Criticism: Why Their Separation." College Composition and Communication )

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  • Definition and Examples of Ethos in Classical Rhetoric
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  • What Is Phronesis?
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  • An Introduction to Rhetorical Questions
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Mud additionally Ink Teaching

3 Wonderful Bowl Ads to Analyze for Rhetorical Analysis

3 Super Tray Ads to Analyze by Rhetorical Research

Record to readers: this post was written former to of 2022 super cup in an effort to help teachers pre-plan their lessons and not have to hold till and sunday night after the game. the ads suggested in this posted are ground on the year 2022 and what be pre-released ahead of the game. there are dozens more commercials to employ when powerful teaching tools, and you can access our public wakelet for extra ideas go merry reading.

Rhetorical analysis is a skill that needs to be practiced via and over and over go. Too often, we are get etho, pity, and our on repeat without ever getting much other. We knowledge rhetorical analysis your so much major than labeling a few appeals: it’s about understanding the power the the message in the context is it’s delivered.


If you are new to who idea of the oratorical location, terror none! I have you covered. For an bottom overview for self AND a example for your students, ME highly recommend checking out the article I wrote that shares the lesson ME do with i students on an track “Be Our Guest” starting Beauty and to BeastI. Go checking thereto out here :

rhetorical analysis ads

When it comes to Super Bowl ads, the rhetorical place is just as important as figuring out what rhetorical strategies are in play. Students need help identifying the speaker (is it the your or the actor?), recognizing the different purposes of advertising on this specific day (hint: it’s not every to sell!), and getting a stronger understand on the intended viewing (students think they become to audience just because they are view the ad. Think again, kids!). Students may have never regarded an assess (yes, I vile $$) off building brand duty oder the cultural relevance regarding patriotic imagery. The Rhetorical Situation | University of In Springfield

Super Bowl ads teacher in a group invite us the instructional power to discuss context in an powerful fashion: like ads are so highly reflective of the climate of one country at the time, and this provides a powerful place to consider the themes and trends that students are seeing are the ads. For example, Stacy Jones von Hollywood Branded predicts , “Some of the overarching themes to Super Bowl ads this year are going go be adventure, growth and pushing yourself to increase past your boundaries. We’ve been in a lockdown for two years, on people busting at the seams to get go and experience existence and live. Brands and the people back them feel the same—and they’re finish to help fuel the adventure.” These are prime conversations to possess with students — and ones that will be highly engaging for them.

Superb Bowl Ad Analysis - Mud and Ink Teaching.png


Up first is a car commercial: The Hyundai Ion 5, an electric motor that promises into be a necessary advancement in the evolution of driving. Here are adenine few places that are worth spending time in your lesson and analysis practice: A rhetorical analysis writing review instructions adenine text uses rhetorical appeals to make an argument. See examples and learn wie to write a strong rhetorical analysis.

SPEAKER: If our say that the loudspeaker here is Jason Bateman, therefore we have an cool conversation ahead. What is he known with? Something types starting shows and films is he in? Conundrum intend Hyundai choose him when their spokesperson? What reliability might he add to their type?

AUDIENCE: Now that we know more with the speaker, whats does that tell states about the designated audience? What kind of an audience intend connect with Bateman? Which sort of audience might be interested in this product? Think about: age, gender, social/economic status. Are those population likely to be watching the Great Bowl?

TECHNIQUE: ANAPHORA: The ads uses a repeated express (anaphora) for each example of methods that we have evolved in our technology transverse history. This shall a great possibility the talk around the effectiveness of its use and as that joins to the overall purpose away and ad.


PUBLIC: If we say such who speaker siehe is Zac Efron (both speakers, actually), how executes that affect our analyse? What is i known for? How types of shows also cinema is he in? Why would AT&T decide him as they spokesperson? What credibility might he adds to their brand? Why might people own him dressed this way both out in nature?

AUDIENCE: Now which we know more about the speaker, what does that tell we about the intended spectators? What kind of an audience intend connection equal Efron? What artist of audience might be interested in this product? Consider about: age, gender, social/economic status. Are those folks likely to will watching the Super Bowl?

TECHNIQUE: HYPERBOLE: The hyperbole of this commercial is used in layers. Each hyperbole is visually stacked on top of another. How go these hyperboles how to the sound of the message? What how they reflect about the assistance provided? How have these hyperboles be read by this planned audience additionally method might that impact the success of the message?


SPEAKER: This commercial does not exercise a well-known celebrity, and instead, an relatively unknown male actor. What do wealth know about this speaker’s demographics? How do these overlap with of intended audience? Why might that need been an important consideration for Chevy although casting this commercial?

CROWD: Based on what were know about Chevy and pickup trucks (and even that setting of the commercial) what kinds of human tended to be targeted by get brand? Live these population watching one Amazing Bowl? Is the 6+ billion dollar investment likely to reach the intended audience?

TECHNIQUE: INCONGRUITY: Incongruity is a saturious product that this commercial employs when the opposite about what’s expected is present (this can also be discussed as irony). Seeing one gruff man in the wilderness with a picker truck, the target expects him to have one dog by his side. Rather, it’s a cat. Something is the effect of this incongruity? What kind of tone does it help create? As does this come back to the product itself and the intended audience?

I hope this gives you a good start with preparing a instructional to watch, speaks about, and analyze several Super Bowl commercials this yearly. As always, I’d love to hear about your experiences, ideas, and outcomes in the comments below! Which ads was you use? Which ads did your students best respond to? Happy analyzing! 3 Super Cups Ads to Analyze for Rhetorical Analysis — Clog and Ink Teachings




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rhetorical analysis ads

Resources: Discussions and Assignments

Module 8 discussion: ad rhetorical analysis.

A rhetorical analysis requires taking a closer look at the persuasiveness of a message. In this discussion forum, you will find an advertisement of any sort—a video, print, or radio ad—and complete a critical analysis.

STEP 1 : Post a link to the advertisement you’ve selected. Analyze its effectiveness by first answering the following questions:

  • What is the purpose of the ad?
  • What is the argument of the ad?
  • Who is the “author” of the ad?
  • Who is the intended audience for the ad?
  • What is the tone of the ad?
  • What is the style and tone of the ad?
  • What kind of supporting appeals, evidence, or examples does this ad use or rely on?

Write a summary paragraph about why you believe the ad is effective or ineffective. This paragraph should include a  claim  (whether or not you think it is effective),  evidence,  as demonstrated in the ad, and  support  for that evidence (as explained in the reading on critical analysis from the module).

STEP 2 : Respond in two separate posts to two classmates (in at least 75 words). Explicitly address their examples and try to extend, complicate, or redirect their points in a substantive, knowledge-demonstrating way.

  • Discussion: Advertisement Rhetorical Analysis. Provided by : Lumen Learning. License : CC BY: Attribution

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Visual Rhetoric in Advertising

The article “Images in Advertising: The Need for a theory of Visual Rhetoric” by Linda M. Scott discusses the significance images hold in the world of advertisements.

Visuals serve as a means of expression. A means of telling a story without words. As they say, “a picture is worth 1000 words,” but that worth is dependent on audience comprehension. If an audience doesn’t understand what they are seeing then the visual, specifically one contributing to an advertisement, serves no real purpose. The interpretation that stems from a visual can differ from viewer to viewer. Some look simply at surface level while others search for an underlying meaning, either way something is gained from observing the visual, meaning the artists’ job is complete. They simply need to make people think about what they are looking at. They don’t have to fully understand, but they have to think. This engagement is critical to the success of an image in advertising.

Although any publicity is good publicity or in this case any engagement is considered a win, proper audience analysis of a visual are preferrable. If an audience is able to take away the true meaning behind a piece, the artist has done their job. An effective way to accomplish this according to the article is through rhetorical theory. Through this theory the author creates their piece in hopes of earning a specific audience reaction. They create their visual to build an argument. Every aspect of the piece is calculated and thoroughly thought out before being released to the public eye. The style, format, colors, words, etc., are all taken into consideration when crafting a visual.

You can’t just look at a visual and expect to know the full story. You have to see it for what it is. See the underlying meaning, because there almost always is one. Advertisements especially, because they are as calculated visuals can get. When you think about it advertisements go through teams of people before they become approved for public possession. That’s means plenty of people decided that the advertisement was strong enough to be seen by all.

Visuals in advertisements are constructed for viewers to see the whole story, and the success of those ads are in the hands of those who can see beyond surface level.

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Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example

Nova A.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example - Free Samples

11 min read

Published on: Apr 4, 2018

Last updated on: Nov 13, 2023

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example

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Writing a rhetorical analysis essay for academics can be really demanding for students. This type of paper requires high-level analyzing abilities and professional writing skills to be drafted effectively.

As this essay persuades the audience, it is essential to know how to take a strong stance and develop a thesis. 

This article will find some examples that will help you with your rhetorical analysis essay thesis statement effortlessly. 

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Good Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example

The step-by-step writing process of a rhetorical analysis essay is far more complicated than ordinary academic essays. This essay type critically analyzes the rhetorical means used to persuade the audience and their efficiency. 

The example provided below is the best rhetorical analysis essay example:

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Sample

In this essay type, the author uses rhetorical approaches such as ethos, pathos, and logos .  These approaches are then studied and analyzed deeply by the essay writers to weigh their effectiveness in delivering the message.

Let’s take a look at the following example to get a better idea;

The outline and structure of a rhetorical analysis essay are important. 

According to the essay outline, the essay is divided into three sections: 

  • Introduction
  • Ethos 
  • Logos 

A rhetorical analysis essay outline is the same as the traditional one. The different parts of the rhetorical analysis essay are written in the following way:

Rhetorical Analysis Introduction Example

The introductory paragraph of a rhetorical analysis essay is written for the following purpose:

  • To provide basic background information about the chosen author and the text.
  • Identify the target audience of the essay. 

An introduction for a rhetorical essay is drafted by:

  • Stating an opening sentence known as the hook statement. This catchy sentence is prepared to grab the audience’s attention to the paper. 
  • After the opening sentence, the background information of the author and the original text are provided. 

For example, a rhetorical analysis essay written by Lee Jennings on“The Right Stuff” by David Suzuki. Lee started the essay by providing the introduction in the following way:

Analysis of the Example: 

  • Suzuki stresses the importance of high school education. He prepares his readers for a proposal to make that education as valuable as possible.
  • A rhetorical analysis can show how successful Suzuki was in using logos, pathos, and ethos. He had a strong ethos because of his reputation. 
  • He also used pathos to appeal to parents and educators. However, his use of logos could have been more successful.
  • Here Jennings stated the background information about the text and highlighted the rhetorical techniques used and their effectiveness. 

Thesis Statement Example for Rhetorical Analysis Essay 

A thesis statement of a rhetorical analysis essay is the writer’s stance on the original text. It is the argument that a writer holds and proves it using the evidence from the original text. 

A thesis statement for a rhetorical essay is written by analyzing the following elements of the original text:

  • Diction - It refers to the author’s choice of words and the tone
  • Imagery - The visual descriptive language that the author used in the content. 
  • Simile - The comparison of things and ideas

In Jennings's analysis of “The Right Stuff,” the thesis statement was:

Example For Rhetorical Analysis Thesis Statement

Rhetorical Analysis Body Paragraph Example 

In the body paragraphs of your rhetorical analysis essay, you dissect the author's work, analyze their use of rhetorical techniques, and provide evidence to support your analysis. 

Let's look at an example that analyzes the use of ethos in David Suzuki's essay:

Rhetorical Analysis Conclusion Example

All the body paragraphs lead the audience towards the conclusion.

For example, the conclusion of “The Right Stuff” is written in the following way by Jennings:

In the conclusion section, Jennings summarized the major points and restated the thesis statement to prove them. 

Rhetorical Essay Example For The Right Stuff by David Suzuki

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example AP Lang 2023

Writing a rhetorical analysis for the AP Language and Composition course can be challenging. So drafting it correctly is important to earn good grades. 

To make your essay effective and winning, follow the tips provided by professionals below:

Step #1: Understand the Prompt

Understanding the prompt is the first thing to produce an influential rhetorical paper. It is mandatory for this academic writing to read and understand the prompt to know what the task demands from you. 

Step #2: Stick to the Format

The content for the rhetorical analysis should be appropriately organized and structured. For this purpose, a proper outline is drafted. 

The rhetorical analysis essay outline divides all the information into different sections, such as the introduction, body, and conclusion.  The introduction should explicitly state the background information and the thesis statement. 

All the body paragraphs should start with a topic sentence to convey a claim to the readers. Provide a thorough analysis of these claims in the paragraph to support your topic sentence. 

Step #3: Use Rhetorical Elements to Form an Argument 

Analyze the following things in the text to form an argument for your essay:

  • Language (tone and words)
  • Organizational structure
  • Rhetorical Appeals ( ethos, pathos, and logos) 

Once you have analyzed the rhetorical appeals and other devices like imagery and diction, you can form a strong thesis statement. The thesis statement will be the foundation on which your essay will be standing. 

AP Language Rhetorical Essay Sample

AP Rhetorical Analysis Essay Template

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example AP Lang

AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Examples for Students 

Here are a few more examples to help the students write a rhetorical analysis essay:

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example Ethos, Pathos, Logos

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example Outline

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example College

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example APA Format

Compare and Contrast Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example

Comparative Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example

How to Start Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example High School

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example APA Sample

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example Of a Song

Florence Kelley Speech Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example MLA

Writing a Visual Rhetorical Analysis Essay with Example 

The visual rhetorical analysis essay determines how pictures and images communicate messages and persuade the audience. 

Usually, visual rhetorical analysis papers are written for advertisements. This is because they use strong images to convince the audience to behave in a certain way. 

To draft a perfect visual rhetorical analysis essay, follow the tips below:

  • Analyze the advertisement deeply and note every minor detail. 
  • Notice objects and colors used in the image to gather every detail.
  • Determine the importance of the colors and objects and analyze why the advertiser chose the particular picture. 
  • See what you feel about the image.
  • Consider the objective of the image. Identify the message that the image is portraying. 
  • Identify the targeted audience and how they respond to the picture. 

An example is provided below to give students a better idea of the concept. 

Simplicity Breeds Clarity Visual Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Writing Tips

Follow the tips provided below to make your rhetorical writing compelling. 

  • Choose an engaging topic for your essay. The rhetorical analysis essay topic should be engaging to grab the reader’s attention.
  • Thoroughly read the original text.
  • Identify the SOAPSTone. From the text, determine the speaker, occasions, audience, purpose, subject, and tone.
  • Develop a thesis statement to state your claim over the text.
  • Draft a rhetorical analysis essay outline.
  • Write an engaging essay introduction by giving a hook statement and background information. At the end of the introductory paragraph, state the thesis statement.
  • The body paragraphs of the rhetorical essay should have a topic sentence. Also, in the paragraph, a thorough analysis should be presented.
  • For writing a satisfactory rhetorical essay conclusion, restate the thesis statement and summarize the main points.
  • Proofread your essay to check for mistakes in the content. Make your edits before submitting the draft.

Following the tips and the essay's correct writing procedure will guarantee success in your academics. 

We have given you plenty of examples of a rhetorical analysis essay. But if you are still struggling to draft a great rhetorical analysis essay, it is suggested to take a professional’s help.

MyPerfectWords.com can assist you with all your academic assignments. The top essay writer service that we provide is reliable. If you are confused about your writing assignments and have difficulty meeting the deadline, get help from the  legal essay writing service .

Hire our  analytical essay writing service  today at the most reasonable prices. 

Nova A. (Literature, Marketing)

Nova Allison is a Digital Content Strategist with over eight years of experience. Nova has also worked as a technical and scientific writer. She is majorly involved in developing and reviewing online content plans that engage and resonate with audiences. Nova has a passion for writing that engages and informs her readers.

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Rhetorical Analysis Of An Advertisement Example

In order to analyze the rhetoric of an advertisement, we must first understand what rhetoric is. Rhetoric is “the art of using language to persuade”. In other words, it’s all about how words are used to influence or affect an audience.

When it comes to advertising, rhetoric is used in order to sell a product or service. Advertisers use carefully chosen words and images in order to create an emotional response in their audience. This response can be positive (I want that!) or negative (I need that!). Either way, the goal is to get people to take action, whether that’s buying a product or simply paying attention to the ad.

Let’s take a look at a recent ad featuring a woman. This ad is for a new brand of jeans, and the woman in the ad is shown wearing them. The ad copy reads: “The perfect fit for every body. Finally, a jean that looks good on you.”

There are several things going on here rhetorically. First, the use of the word “perfect” is meant to create a sense of desire in the reader. We all want to look perfect, so this ad is playing on that insecurity. Second, the word “every” is inclusive language that makes us feel like this product is meant for everyone. And lastly, the phrase “looks good on you” is designed to make us feel good about ourselves. It’s a way of saying that no matter what your body type is, you can look good in these jeans.

So, what can we learn from this ad? Advertising is all about persuasion, and advertisers use rhetoric to achieve their goals. By understanding how rhetoric works, we can be better consumers and make more informed decisions about the products and services we buy.

There are an innumerable number of different advertisements on the internet. They’re all over the place, whether it’s on TV, radio, or in a magazine. They’ve created an ad especially for that target demographic. Of course, they’re hoping to sell their goods. This billion-dollar industry thrives on advertisers looking at every angle to capture consumers’ attention. One approach used to promote items is through sex, which some people view as controversial in certain ways.

In this essay, I will be analyzing a perfume advertisement that uses a woman’s body to sell the product.

This particular advertisement is for the new scent from the company Givenchy. The ad features a close-up of a woman’s face with smoky makeup and red lips. Her hair is styled in big, loose curls. She’s wearing a black leather jacket with nothing else. The copy on the ad reads, “Givenchy Dahlia Noir. A dangerous femininity.” Immediately, we can see that they’re trying to sell the idea of a strong, sexy woman who is also dangerous.

Looking at the image alone, we can see that they’re using sex appeal to sell their product. The close-up of the woman’s face and the suggestion of her bare chest implies a sexual nature. The black leather jacket is also a symbol of sexiness and power. Combined with the copy, it’s clear that they’re trying to sell the idea of a dangerous femme fatale.

While there is nothing wrong with using sex appeal in advertising, it’s important to consider the context in which it’s being used. In this case, Givenchy is selling a perfume that is supposed to make women smell sexy. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, they’re using a very specific image of a woman to sell their product. They’re not just selling the idea of smelling good, they’re selling the idea of being a certain type of woman.

The target demographic is males and females in their late teens to mid-twenties. By attracting the attention of and interest in the attractive woman on the right with vivid colors, as well as the bottle of whiskey in the middle of the page, this firm captures the male side of the equation. The beauty of this picture is that it has an exceptionally attractive lady posing in next to nothing, which attracts people’s attention.

The fact that she is not wearing a lot of clothing shows that this company does not shy away from showing some skin to get attention, but they are also using a very popular drink among men, whiskey. This company has used a model that is guaranteed to keep the attention of their target market, males in their late teens to mid twenties.

The second thing this company does well is use pathos by saying ” be seen with the right crowd.” What they are trying to say is that if you drink their whiskey then you will be accepted into the “in-crowd” and become popular. This is an emotional appeal that speaks to people who want to be accepted and feel like they belong somewhere. This is a very effective way to get people to buy their product because it is speaking to a very real emotion that people feel.

The last thing this company does well is use logos by saying ” smooth like silk.” This is a way of saying that their whiskey is the best on the market and that it is so smooth that it feels like silk going down your throat. This is an effective way to get people to buy their product because they are saying that their whiskey is better than any other kind on the market.

So, to get women to look at and read their advertising, they employ a plain woman who looks like a typical young girl. Then, beside her, they display the same lady who is now a stunning woman that seems far more powerful and certain of herself. Drinking Evan Williams Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey might help you accomplish that.

This is because Advertising plays a very big role in our society, especially when it comes to alcohol. It is shown in this advertisement that if you drink Evan Williams you will become more attractive and just be an all around better person. This is not only directed at females but also males as well. Advertising does a lot to our society good and bad. It helps promote products but sometimes those products are things that can be harmful like cigarettes or alcohol. So while advertising does have its benefits, it is important to be aware of what we are being sold and the implications it might have on our lives.

In conclusion, this company uses three different kinds of rhetoric to appeal to their target market of males in their late teens to mid twenties. They use an attractive model to get their attention, pathos to speak to their emotions, and logos to appeal to their sense of logic. All of these things together make for a very effective advertisement.

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China’s cautious, curious Middle East game

rhetorical analysis ads

You’re reading an excerpt from the Today’s WorldView newsletter. Sign up to get the rest free , including news from around the globe and interesting ideas and opinions to know, sent to your inbox every weekday.

When it comes to Israel’s ongoing war in Gaza, China is taking a back seat . President Xi Jinping’s first public comments about the course of the conflict, which has captured global attention and diverted the energies and focus of the Biden administration, came almost two weeks after it began. Xi showed more political restraint than his autocratic fellow traveler Russian President Vladimir Putin, who in a recent speech said his “fists clench and eyes tear up” when he sees the human suffering caused by Israel’s bombardments — never mind the arc of destruction unleashed by Putin’s own wars in Ukraine, Syria and elsewhere.

But as Xi goes to meet President Biden this week at a summit of Pacific rim nations in San Francisco, the war in the Middle East will shadow the deliberations. China took over the rotating presidency of the U.N. Security Council at the beginning of the month and has cast itself as a world power eager for peace and capable of brokering a cease-fire. It has also sparred with the United States over competing Security Council resolutions they helped put forward in recent weeks about the war, each vetoed by the other.

“Countries should uphold the moral conscience, rather than clinging on to geopolitical calculations, let alone double standards,” China’s U.N. ambassador, Zhang Jun, said last month, gesturing to the United States’ shielding of Israel from international censure. “China will continue to stand on the side of international fairness and justice, on the side of international law, and on the side of the legitimate aspirations of the Arab and Islamic world.”

Chinese diplomats have toured various Middle Eastern capitals since Oct. 7, when the Islamist group Hamas launched a brazen strike on southern Israel from Gaza that marked the bloodiest single day in the history of modern Israel. Whereas the Kremlin hosted a delegation of Hamas officials at the end of last month, China has been more circumspect. Wang Di, Beijing’s head of West Asian and North African affairs, was in Tehran over the weekend and cited an “urgent need for cease-fire” while also welcoming “consistent progress” in Sino-Iranian ties. Iran, the main foreign power backing Hamas, recently joined the BRICS bloc of non-Western nations, within which China is a key player.

China’s influence in the Middle East is growing, but it’s still somewhat lightweight. The budding superpower flexed its geopolitical muscles earlier this year when it helped broker a rapprochement between longtime rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran. In August, China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, even suggested that Beijing was presiding over a “ wave of reconciliation ” in the Middle East, as the region’s governments prioritized their societies’ development alongside various partnerships with the Asian economic titan.

Now, though, the conflict threatens to expand along well-worn fault lines: Pro-Iranian proxies are escalating actions against U.S. and Israeli interests, while a U.S.-engineered process of Arab normalization with Israel is in deep freeze. In all this, China appears more interested in discursive posturing than actual diplomatic effort. It’s expending little to none of its leverage over Iran to curb the Islamic republic’s activities or rein in its proxies.

Instead, it’s cultivating an “anti-Western neutrality,” as Ahmed Aboudoh of Britain’s Chatham House think tank explained — that is, “neutrality that stops short of condemning any country or force that undermines Western centrality in the global order (rather than explicitly lending support to Hamas).” This has clear rhetorical ends given the groundswell of anger in the Middle East and much of the Global South over the perceived double standards in play as the West has enabled Israel’s disproportionate onslaught on Gaza.

The Biden administration, which sees competition with China as the key driving concern of its foreign policy, is aware of the backlash it faces and has quietly tried to restrain the worst impulses of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government. But it’s still viewed as complicit in the soaring death toll in Gaza.

“There is a degree to which people in the Arab world and the Global South are drawing a line between Gaza destruction and the presidential embrace of Prime Minister Netanyahu,” Jon Alterman, director of the Middle East program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told my colleague Michael Birnbaum . “There’s a way that the United States is hitched to what the Israelis want to do, whether the United States wants to do it or not.”

Israel presides over a new Palestinian catastrophe

China, on the other hand, is being simply opportunistic. It can play up its solidarity with the broader Muslim and Arab world, even as it carries on its persecution of countless Uyghur Muslims in the region of Xinjiang — a cause that has not engendered anywhere close to the same attention as that of the Palestinians. “That particular issue doesn’t resonate in the ‘Muslim world’ the same way that the Palestinian issue does,” Neysun Mahboubi, director of the Penn Project on the Future of U.S.-China Relations at the University of Pennsylvania, told the Wall Street Journal . He added that while the Biden administration courts global ire in its support of Israel, there “is an opportunity for China to shape an image of being a responsible world power, and more so than its competitors, including the United States.”

But optics can only take you so far. Beijing’s economic clout is considerable, but its capacity to actually shape major policy outcomes elsewhere is more fledgling. “The reality is that Beijing in many respects is a ‘ great power lite ’ in the Middle East and rest of the world, certainly outside of China’s own Asia-Pacific neighborhood,” wrote Andrew Scobell of the U.S. Institute of Peace. “Beijing is also risk averse because [Chinese Communist Party] leaders fear failure and are afraid of global overreach.”

Still, China can find benefit in an overwhelmed Washington, fighting fires on multiple fronts. “China does not aspire to replace the US position in the Middle East, but will undoubtedly be pleased to see the US again drawn into a conflict in the region,” Aboudoh wrote . “Chinese experts believe the more strategic non-East Asian theatres that require Washington’s attention, the more time and space China gains to assert its strategic domination in the Indo-Pacific.”

“No one … can watch the United States transfer huge amounts of American artillery munitions, smart bombs, missiles, and other weaponry to Ukraine and Israel without recognizing that American stockpiles are being depleted,” wrote Indian geopolitical commentator Brahma Chellaney . “For Xi, who has called Taiwan’s incorporation into the People’s Republic a ‘historic mission,’ the longer these wars continue, the better .”

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David Wallace-Wells

The godfather of climate science turns up the heat.

Against a hazy purple background, a pale gold circle is ringed by pink. In front are small squares of fractured images tied to blue lines that seem to explode.

By David Wallace-Wells

Opinion writer

It is, James Hansen says, worse than you think.

In a paper published on Thursday and much debated among his colleagues since it was first posted as a preprint last December, Hansen, known as the godfather of climate science, and a group of like-minded colleagues made several alarming claims that all point in the same direction: that the world’s climate is significantly more sensitive to carbon emissions than scientists have acknowledged or the public appreciates, and that as a result, even those most focused on climate risks have been systematically underestimating how much warming the planet is likely to see over the next couple of decades.

The more ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement, to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, is “deader than a doornail,” Hansen said in introducing the paper. The agreement’s less ambitious goal, to which the signatories formally agreed, limiting warming to less than two degrees Celsius, is on its deathbed.

The paper, “Global Warming in the Pipeline,” includes long passages of paleoclimate analysis and bursts of sharp big-picture framing, along with high-minded alarm raising and some personal score settling.

“We would be damned fools and bad scientists if we didn’t expect an acceleration of global warming,” he has said in describing its central findings. “One way to deal with this is just to wait,” he told me, since over time, the climate itself will answer our questions about what warming we should have expected. “But in this case, if we do that, young people are screwed. We have got to get this problem understood, or young people are in trouble. We need to get it understood as soon as possible.”

Hansen’s 1988 appearance before a Senate committee conventionally marks the beginning of the era for climate alarm, when many Americans started worrying about global warming and why their leaders were doing so little about it. But in recent years he has played a lonelier role — joining climate protests and getting arrested well before scientists of his stature felt comfortable doing the same, advocating an aggressive push into nuclear energy before its recent quasi-embrace by environmentalists and continuing to advocate a carbon price even after most activists and policy wonks decided the idea was impractical or ineffective or some combination of the two.

On the scientific front as well, Hansen, now 82, has been plotting a proudly independent course, warning again and again that warming would be worse than expected and that the scientific community had placed too much emphasis on climate models rather than direct observation and emphasizing what he has long called the “Faustian bargain” the world has made with pollution by aerosols like sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and black carbon, or soot, which cool the planet even though they are produced largely by the same processes that emit the carbon that warms it.

This process is already embedded in conventional modeling of our climate future. But the size of the effect is not clear, in part because several decades ago, Hansen lost an argument that NASA should monitor the aerosol effect more directly after a first attempt failed . The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change gives a median estimate of about 0.5 degrees Celsius of cooling — significant, though small enough that a drop in its impact could be reliably offset by rapid reductions in methane, another greenhouse gas. But the uncertainty range is much higher for aerosol cooling than for other, more widely measured climate inputs, and the high end of that estimated range is above a full degree of cooling.

In the “Pipeline” paper, Hansen gives a higher estimate still: that aerosols are cooling the planet by perhaps 1.5 degrees Celsius. And because the world is moving away from air pollution much faster than it is moving away from carbon emissions, he suggests that the bill for that Faustian bargain is about to come due and that as a result, the rate of warming will grow by 50 to 100 percent over the next few decades.

These are only two of a number of contested claims the “Pipeline” paper puts forward; others are that a large sea-level rise this century will be much greater than the I.P.C.C. assumes and that a collapse of one of the oceans’ major circulation systems is possible this century, much sooner than most believe.

In the year since it was first posted as a preprint, the paper has generated considerable skepticism and criticism from many fellow scientists, who invariably praise Hansen in principle before raising questions about his new paper. On the rhetorical side, critics have raised issues with the phrase “in the pipeline,” pointing out that recent research suggests that, contrary to earlier conventional wisdom, when carbon emissions stop, most warming will, too, and in short order.

And while some scientists have also taken issue with the paper’s claim that warming is accelerating, others, including the authors of an authoritative “state of the climate” review, have also detected an acceleration . And while the paper’s warming timeline has attracted considerable attention — predicting that we may cross the 1.5 degree threshold in the next few years and the two degree threshold in the next few decades — others have pointed out that those predictions are, in fact, quite close to the I.P.C.C.’s best guesses for what current policy emission trajectories will yield.

The headline proposition of “Pipeline” concerns something called equilibrium climate sensitivity, often called E.C.S., an estimate of how much the planet would warm if global carbon dioxide levels double from the preindustrial average. To this point, we have elevated those levels by almost exactly 50 percent. For decades, the central estimate for E.C.S. has been three degrees Celsius ; double carbon dioxide, and you get three degrees of warming. Working primarily from a new understanding of the cooling dynamics between ice ages, Hansen and his co-authors calculate it as 4.8 degrees Celsius.

At first blush, this looks like a major revision. But all of those estimates come with notoriously large uncertainty ranges, and the 4.8 degree estimate in “Pipeline” falls just within or just outside many of those uncertainty ranges. For instance, one authoritative review , published in 2020, estimated with 90 percent confidence that E.C.S. was between 2.3 and 4.7 degrees Celsius. The most recent I.P.C.C. report gave a 90 percent range of three to five degrees Celsius . And taking that range seriously means taking seriously the possibility that Hansen’s alarming new estimate is right — perhaps even rather mainstream.

This all may sound quite technical, but if the world decarbonizes pretty rapidly, different climate sensitivities could mean the difference between two degrees Celsius of warming and three, and if we decarbonize more slowly, that could make the difference between three and four. Given that scientists have taken care, over the past decade, to emphasize that every tenth of a degree matters, uncertainties of this scale surely matter enormously.

The debate also teaches that for all we have advanced our understanding of the earth in recent decades, an awful lot about the climate future remains unsure. Over the decades, climate scientists have talked about these risks in a variety of ways, invoking the precautionary principle or emphasizing the fat-tail risks of unlikely catastrophic surprises. Others have used a more colorful phrase to describe these potential risks: the monsters behind the door .


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  1. 3 Super Bowl Ads to Analyze for Rhetorical Analysis

    3 Super Bowl Ads to Analyze for Rhetorical Analysis — Mud and Ink Teaching February 8, 2022 Lesson Planning, Rhetorical Analysis, Media Literacy Note to readers: This post was written prior to the 2022 Super Bowl in an effort to help teachers pre-plan their lessons and not have to wait until the Sunday night after the game.

  2. 12 Examples of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos in Advertisements

    4 Final thoughts If you're passionate about storytelling, you may have heard of ethos, pathos, and logos. These persuasion techniques form the triangle of rhetoric. Marketers and advertisers use these modes of persuasion in their campaigns to inspire viewers to take action.

  3. 13 of the Most Persuasive Ads We've Ever Seen

    Mary Lister Last Updated: November 1, 2023 | Marketing Ideas Home — Blog — 13 of the Most Persuasive Ads We've Ever Seen Have you ever gotten home after a long day and were delightfully surprised by a package—or, let's be honest, pile of packages—waiting at your front door?

  4. 3 MORE Commercials for Rhetorical Analysis

    January 16, 2023 Lesson Planning, Rhetorical Analysis, Media Literacy There's just something about commercials that make them such ripe teaching tools for practicing rhetorical analysis. The problem is, though, that it can be hard to find ones that are just right for students.

  5. How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis

    Revised on July 23, 2023. A rhetorical analysis is a type of essay that looks at a text in terms of rhetoric. This means it is less concerned with what the author is saying than with how they say it: their goals, techniques, and appeals to the audience.

  6. Rhetoric Ad Examples

    Example 1: This advertisement for Chef Boyardee employs some of the rhetorical devices. It presents the notion of ethos through the fact that the child obviously enjoys eating the food. Children are generally thought to be picky eaters, a commonplace worth mentioning.

  7. Introducing Rhetorical Analysis with Contemporary Advertisements

    Full Assignment Description: This lesson is intended to provide a light, engaging, and accessible introduction to rhetorical analysis. Students will survey several contemporary advertisements that vary in a number of ways yet share some broad themes. The order of the texts is intended to subtly help the students progress from basic to more ...

  8. Multimodal Rhetoric and Political Advertisements

    In this study, the authors engage in rhetorical protocol analysis through 10 in-depth interviews asking informants to make sense of selected political advertisements in the 2020 US election campaign. They examine the types of competing sensory elements found within the campaign texts and situations, which they term 'multimodal incongruity ...

  9. 'Bad Ads' and the Study of Rhetoric

    The culminating activity of this unit is a persuasive rhetorical analysis of a print ad. For their chosen ad, students state a claim about how the ad is misleading and/or unhealthy and then use evidence from the ad to support their opinion. We peer edit and conference to revise the papers, and depending on time, I'll often have students ...

  10. University Writing Center (UWC)

    A rhetorical analysis is an essay that breaks a work of non-fiction into parts and then explains how the parts work together to create a certain effect—whether to persuade, entertain or inform. You can also conduct a rhetorical analysis of a primarily visual argument such as a cartoon or advertisement, or an oral performance such as a speech.

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    Possible Ads for Rhetorical Analysis October 2, 2014 by Betsy Miller Leave a Comment "I Will What I Want" - Under Armour https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZY0cdXr_1MA This advertisement has stuck with me since the day that I first watched it.

  12. 3 Super Bowl Ads to Analyze for Rhetorical Analysis

    Rhetorical analysis is a talent that needs practice also reinforcement all year long. Take a breach from what you're doing and tackle these Superior Bowl ads together since apprentices to practice discussion plus analysis in an entertaining and engaging lesson.

  13. Top Rhetorical Ads: Best for Analysis

    best ads for rhetorical analysis Published on: February 11 2023 by pipiads Nike Commercial Rhetorical Analysis Nike is a well-known brand that is constantly using persuasive tactics in their advertisements. One of their commercials, which targets teenagers and adults, promotes a variety of products for people who play basketball.

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    Description: PsycInfo is a key database in the field of psychology. Includes information of use to psychologists, students, and professionals in related fields such as psychiatry, management, business, and education, social science, neuroscience, law, medicine, and social work. Time Period: 1887 to present.

  15. 70 Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

    The Rhetorical Analysis Essay Moving on, if rhetoric is the art of persuasion, then the rhetorical analysis essay analyzes how an author or speaker creates opportunity for persuasion in his/her text. Writing a rhetorical analysis essay involves understanding of context and occasion for writing.

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    This chapter will clarify what rhetorical analysis means and will help you identify the basic elements of rhetorical analysis through explanation and example. 1. ... As the color debate surrounding the dress raged on, an ad agency in South Africa saw an opportunity to raise awareness about a far more serious subject: domestic abuse. Step 1: ...

  17. Analyzing Ads: The Art of Rhetorical Analysis

    Look no further! Analysis of the Purple Mattress Ad by Tim and Eric: - The ad features the Purple Mattress company, known for their quality products such as pillows and seat cushions. - Tim and Eric, known for their unique and off-beat humor, were hired to create a series of ads for the company.

  18. Rhetorical Analysis Definition and Examples

    Rhetorical analysis is a form of criticism or close reading that employs the principles of rhetoric to examine the interactions between a text, an author, and an audience. It's also called rhetorical criticism or pragmatic criticism. Rhetorical analysis may be applied to virtually any text or image—a speech, an essay, an advertisement, a poem ...

  19. 3 Super Bowl Ads to Analyze for Rhetorical Analysis

    Happy analyzing! 3 Super Cups Ads to Analyze for Rhetorical Analysis — Clog and Ink Teachings. Rhetorical analysis is a skill that needs practice additionally reinforced entire year long. Take a break from that you're how and tackle these Super Skin ads together for students to practice discuss and analysis in an entertaining and engaging ...

  20. Module 8 Discussion: Ad Rhetorical Analysis

    A rhetorical analysis requires taking a closer look at the persuasiveness of a message. In this discussion forum, you will find an advertisement of any sort—a video, print, or radio ad—and complete a critical analysis. STEP 1: Post a link to the advertisement you've selected. Analyze its effectiveness by first answering the following questions:

  21. Visual Rhetoric in Advertising

    The article "Images in Advertising: The Need for a theory of Visual Rhetoric" by Linda M. Scott discusses the significance images hold in the world of advertisements. Visuals serve as a means of expression. A means of telling a story without words. As they say, "a picture is worth 1000 words," but that worth is dependent on audience ...

  22. 20+ Best Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example & Sample Papers

    5. Rhetorical Analysis Essay Writing Tips Good Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example The step-by-step writing process of a rhetorical analysis essay is far more complicated than ordinary academic essays. This essay type critically analyzes the rhetorical means used to persuade the audience and their efficiency.

  23. Essay #1: Rhetorical Analysis of an Advertisement

    The theme of the essay is the Rhetorical Analysis of an Advertisement.... University Glendale Community College Course Freshman English (ENGL 101) Students shared 98 documents in this course Uploaded by This document has been uploaded by a student, just like you, who decided to remain anonymous. Glendale Community College Essay 1 - Grade: A

  24. Rhetorical Analysis Of An Advertisement Example Essay

    Rhetorical Analysis Of An Advertisement Example In order to analyze the rhetoric of an advertisement, we must first understand what rhetoric is. Rhetoric is "the art of using language to persuade". In other words, it's all about how words are used to influence or affect an audience.

  25. Analysis: Trump's extreme rhetoric conjures the prospect of a

    CNN —. Donald Trump is promising a second presidency that would be an aberration in American history. The former and possibly future commander in chief aspires to strongman power if he wins back ...

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    Xi showed more political restraint than his autocratic fellow traveler Russian President Vladimir Putin, who in a recent speech said his "fists clench and eyes tear up" when he sees the human ...

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    The Godfather of Climate Science Turns Up the Heat. Nov. 8, 2023. Ibrahim Rayintakath. By David Wallace-Wells. Opinion writer. It is, James Hansen says, worse than you think. In a paper published ...