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RUNNING HEAD: Child Beauty Pageants

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Bria Board

Rhetoric Analysis
JAC 420
February 25, 2014

RUNNING HEAD: Child Beauty Pageants

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Rhetorical analysis is defined as the process in which forms of speech or written
materials are interpreted (Berger, 2009, p. 73). When one views or reads a form of media,
rhetorical analysis helps the individual determine his or her feelings on the publication. Ethos is a
concept of Aristotle’s breakdown of rhetorical analysis, in which expert testimonials and
statistics are used to add credibility to a publication (F. McDonald, Personal Communication,
February 20, 2014). Ethos is evident in Beauty Pageants Draw Children and Criticism.
Expert testimonials from psychologists, former beauty pageant professionals, and
participants add credibility to the article. A testimonial is a “third-party structure or institutionbased trust” (Spillinger & Parush, 2012, p. 52). Individuals are deemed credible based on “their
observable and verifiable credentials, which were rooted in specific qualifications or training”
(Metzger & Flanagin). For example, Syd Brown’s views on child beauty pageants are seen as
credible because she is noted in the article as a “child and adolescent psychologist, practicing in
Maryland” (Schultz & Murphy).
Important statistical evidence adds credibility to the author’s argument. According to
Kail, individuals respond better to statistical evidence when a numerical value is used, instead of
words like “most.” Schultz and Murphy used numbers when elaborating on the cost of entering
and preparing for beauty pageants.
Individuals are able to assess multiple forms of media because of rhetorical analysis.
Testimonials and statistical evidence increase the credibility of an article. Schultz and Murphy
use testimonials and statistical evidence throughout the article to add credibility. As readers ethos
takes place, therefore, we are persuaded to believe Schultz and Murphy’s point of view on child
beauty pageants.

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References

Berger, A.A. (2011). Semiotic Analysis. Media and communication research methods: An
introduction to qualitative and quantitative approaches (2 ed.). Thousand Oaks, Calif.:
Sage Publications.
Kail, R.V. (n.d). Influences of credibility of testimony and strength of statistical evidence on
children's and adolescents' reasoning. Journal Of Experimental Child Psychology,
116(3), 747-754.
Miriam J.M., & Andrew J.F. (n.d). Credibility and trust of information in online environments:
The use of cognitive heuristics. Journal of Pragmatics, 59(Part B), 210-220. Retrieved
February 23, 2014 from doi:10.1016/j.pragma.2013.07.012
Schultz, K., & Murphy, A. (n.d.). Beauty pageants draw children and criticism. ABC News.
Retrieved February 22, 2014, from
http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=126315&page=1&singlePage=true
Spillinger, A., & Parush, A. (2012). The impact of testimonials on purchase intentions in a mock
e-commerce web site. Journal Of Theoretical & Applied Electronic Commerce
Research, 7(1), 51-63. Retrieved February 24, 2014 from doi:10.4067/S071818762012000100005