Rhetorical appeals Ethos essay




Ethosrefers to the appeal by the presenter or author on the logicalreasoning of the audience. They are rhetorical appeals that focus onthe authority of the author or the facts used by the audience toconvince or present an argument to the audience (Fletcher, 136). Inthe article, there are several incidences where the author uses ethosas rhetorical appeals. Some examples include

“Lastyear, the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey&nbspfound&nbspthatin 18 cases in which various courts considered the admissibility ofrap as evidence, the lyrics were allowed nearly 80 percent of thetime”.(Nielson and Kubri, p 6).

“Toaddress this question, Stuart Fischoff, a psychologist at CaliforniaState University, Los Angeles, conducted a&nbspstudy&nbspinthe late 1990s to measure the impact of gangsta rap lyrics on juries.Participants were given basic biographical information about ahypothetical 18-year-old black male, but only some were shown a setof his violent, sexually explicit rap lyrics. Those who read thelyrics were significantly more likely to believe the man was capableof committing a murder than those who did not”.(Nielson and Kubri, p 10).


Pathosis rhetorical appeal where the author or the presenter focuses on theemotions of the audience to make his or her point. Pathos is powerfulin influencing the audience if used effectively because it focuses onthe feelings and heart of the audience (Fletcher, 136). There areseveral examples of pathea in the article, which include

“Inkeeping with rap’s “gangsta” subgenre, the lyrics read like anode to violent street life, with lines like “In the hood, I am athreat / It’s written on my arm and signed in blood on my Tech” —a reference to a Tec-9 handgun. “I’m in love with you, death”.”(Nielson and Kubri, p 3).

“Asexpert witnesses who have testified in such cases, we have observedfirsthand how prosecutors misrepresent rap music to judges andjuries, who rarely understand the genre conventions of gangsta rap orthe industry forces that drive aspiring rappers to adopt this style.One common tactic is to present a defendant’s raps asautobiography. Even when defendants use a stage name to signal theircreation of a fictional first-person narrator, rap about exploitsthat are exaggerated to the point of absurdity, and make use offigurative language, prosecutors will insist that the lyrics areeffectively rhymed confessions. No other form of fictional expressionis exploited this way in the courts.” (Nielson and Kubri, p 7).


Logosrefers to the ethical rhetorical appeal. It appeals to the ethicalcredibility of the arguments or the author. The author can use ethosto communicate a sense of trustworthiness of his arguments byappealing to the moral standards of the audience (Fletcher, 136).Some of the logos in the article include:

“Theother evidence against Mr. Skinner was largely testimony fromwitnesses who changed their stories multiple times. And yet, the juryfound him guilty of attempted murder, and he was sentenced to 30years in prison.” (Nielson and Kubri, p 12).

“Butfor the uninitiated, it is easy to conflate these artists with theirart. It becomes easier still when that art reinforces stereotypesabout young men of color — who are almost exclusively thedefendants in these cases — as violent, hypersexual and dangerous.If that’s what jurors see, what are the chances for a fair trial?”(Nielson and Kubri, p 9).

Mypersonal stance

Iagree with the author. The authors use facts and other rhetoricalappeals to argue their case. They are successful in appealing to theaudience the importance of the issue and how it affects rap music.Additionally, they ask valid questions and makes reference torelevant cases. Therefore, I am persuaded by the authors.


Fletcher,Jennifer. Teachingarguments: rhetorical comprehension, critique, and response.Portland, Maine: Stenhouse Publishers, (2015).

Nielson,Erik and Kubri, Charis E. RapLyrics on Trial.Jan. 13, 2014.http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/14/opinion/rap-lyrics-on-trial.html?version=meter+at+5&ampmodule=meter-Links&amppgtype=Blogs&ampcontentId=&ampmediaId=&ampreferrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F&amppriority=true&ampaction=click&ampcontentCollection=meter-links-click