What are five examples of rhetorical analysis concepts or terms?

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Five concepts used in rhetorical analysis are audience, purpose, ethos, logos, and pathos. Identifying audience and purpose occurs within analyzing the overall rhetorical situation. Ethos, logos, and pathos are elements of the rhetorical strategies which the author employs, in part to achieve their message.

Rhetoric usually refers to texts that are intended to persuade the audience. The rhetorical situation of any given text includes the author, the person or people to whom the author is appealing, and the author’s purpose or reason for trying to persuade them.

Examples of these concepts may be identified in the Declaration of Independence.

The audience to which author Thomas Jefferson is appealing is composed of American colonists. Throughout, Jefferson uses the pronoun we. This use of first-person plural encompasses both his fellow members of the Continental Congress and the audience of colonists. He specifically identifies this audience in the last paragraph: “the good People of these Colonies.”

Jefferson’s purpose is to persuade the audience that gaining independence from their British colonial rulers is both justified and timely.

When a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

He also uses ethos, the appeal to ethics or morality. After stating that the reasons for independence are not “light and transient causes,” he lays out many of the offenses that the British king has committed, after stating,

The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.

Logos, the appeal to logic, is used extensively with the items in this list, which the author will “prove” by offering “facts.”

Pathos, or appeal to emotion, also appears in numerous places. Jefferson uses emotionally charged words such as happiness, evils, injuries, cruelty, and perfidy.

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