Forms of appeal

Obama uses all three forms of appeal in her Commencement Address, but ethos is probably slightly more dominant than the others, since she uses various strategies that make her appear as a trustworthy and caring per…



The appeal to logos (an appeal to logic or reasoning) is most clearly seen when she makes several direct references to statistics in the area of education in the middle of the speech:

Just look at the statistics. People who earn a bachelor’s degree or higher make nearly three times more money than high school dropouts, and they’re far less likely to be unemployed. A recent study eve…



She also appeals to ethos (an appeal to authority or trust) multiple times, such as when she alludes to famous champions of equality and justice like Frederick Douglass or Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to give her historical account more credibility.

She also builds ethos of her own in the story of her father’s struggle and how it inspired her to strive to achieve her goals:

And there is not a day that goes by when I don’t think about the sacrifices that my mom and dad made for me. There is not a day that goes by when I don’t think about living up to the example they set, and how I must do everything in my power to make them proud of the daughter they raised. (ll. 295-302)

This story helps build Obama’s credibility and trust with the audience, because she tells them that she has a share in the same kind of struggle they have faced, and the same kind of struggle African Americans have historically faced. She thus prese…

Teksten herover er et uddrag fra webbogen. Kun medlemmer kan læse hele indholdet.

Få adgang til hele Webbogen.

Som medlem på får du adgang til alt indhold.

Køb medlemskab nu

Allerede medlem? Log ind