How the speaker engages the audience

Here, we will give you some discussion points regarding the overall argumentation in the speech “Online Harassment and Cyber Mobs” by Anita Sarkeesian. We will focus on the way Sarkeesian engages the audience through several techniques, including argumentation, rhetorical devices, and forms of appeal, structure, and tone.…



When argumentation is brought into question, you should first make it clear whether a speech’s argumentation is direct or indirect. Direct argumentation means that the speaker directly transmits his/her message to the public, who gets to know his/her point of view about a situation. Indirect argumentation means the speaker’s message is implicit and that readers must work out his/her message by themselves.

Direct argumentation

In the case of “Online Harassment and Cyber Mobs”, Anita Sarkeesian engages the audience…


Rhetorical devices

Anita Sarkeesian also engages the audience by using several rhetorical devices. By using them, she makes her speech more attractive and creates a positive response in the public.

Irony, sarcasm and rhetorical questions

Two of the most obvious rhetorical devices used by Sarkeesian are irony and sarcasm, which she directs towards the cyber mob that attacked her via the internet. The following extract shows how she uses irony and sarcasm through rhetorical questions:

The idea being that if you were interested in the project, you could donate, and if you weren’t interested, you could choose not to donate. It’s pretty straightforward, right? I mean what could possibly go wrong? Yeah. Turns out that there are a bunch of male gamers out there who were, shall we say, not too excited about this project. (ll. 18-23)

The following extract also involves irony and highlights the misogynistic view that women should rem…


Forms of appeal

Anita Sarkeesian engages the audience mainly through two forms of appeal, pathos and ethos. The appeal to the audience’s emotion is known as pathos and the appeal to authority and credibility is known as ethos.


Sarkeesian employs ethos when she uses her own example as a victim of online harassment and cyber mobs. Instead of simply talking about these issues and stating her opinion, she uses her personal story to mak…

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