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Michael Castle

RWS 1302

Paris Attack Responses

There have been many responses to the Paris attacks. These responses
utilize many different appeals such as ethos, pathos, and logos. Each of
these appeals have their own use, and can be more effective when used in
tandem with each other. I have chosen two separate media accounts of the
potential response to the event. The first account is a video of president
Obama, who was speaking about how America and the world should respond
to the incident. The second is an article written by Opendemocracy, and they
focus more on the European response. They talk about how Europe is already
responding to the event, and how they should react in the future. Both the
video and the article utilize these rhetoric devices, and I will analyze how
they use these to get their points across
The first device that is used in the article and the video is ethos. Ethos
is the use of credibility to make people agree with what you have to say. This
means that if you are in a position of power and knowledge, people tend to
take what you say with more importance than someone without knowledge
of the subject. The video of president Obama utilizes ethos more than any
other rhetorical device. The president has a lot of ethos appeal because of

Michael Castle
RWS 1302

his position. As the president when he speaks people will listen. Whether or
not the people agree with the president, his words carry power. This creates
a massive audience for the president because generally when the president
speaks, he addresses the entire nation. This especially applies when he is
speaking about such a newsworthy issue like the attacks in Paris. The article
does not utilize ethos as much as the other rhetorical devices, but they still
use some. The media source is Opendemocracy, and there words carry some
weight behind them. While the president has far more ethos appeal,
Opendemocracy has many readers, and offers information that many people
look for. With these readers comes credibility. The audience that
Opendemocracy is trying to reach is not quite as broad as the president, but
it is still a sizeable group of people. They are trying to reach their readers
that are concerned with the state of Europe, and how Europe is going to
combat this growing terror threat on their own soil. While both of these
sources have ethos incorporated into them, the presidents speech utilizes
ethos more effectively.
The second rhetorical device that is used is logos. This is an appeal of
logic about what is being talked about. Facts, statistics, and recounts of the
events are what make up the logos devices. The source of the facts also
matters because more credibility in where the facts come from lead to
people taking the facts more seriously. In the presidents speech, logos are
the least used appeal. The logos of the speech are when the president

Michael Castle
RWS 1302

recounts the events of Paris. He talks through what happened, but it is an

underused appeal. The president focuses on pathos and ethos because in
speeches logos are the least effective. Credibility and emotion are much
easier to communicate to people because people can not only see your face,
but they can also see what kind of emotion you are bringing to the speech.
The article makes up for the lack of ethos and pathos with a strong use of
logos. They talk about what Europe is already doing in response to the
attacks. For example, the author talks about how The UK parliament is
finalizing review of a bill introduced in October that would block UK citizens
who fight abroad from returning home for up to two years, and since May
2014 has had the power to strip citizenship from dual nationals it suspects of
terrorism, even if it leaves them stateless. The Netherlands, Norway and
Denmark are also planning to make it easier to strip citizenship from dual
nationals suspected of terrorism, and Belgium recently joined the list.
(Ward). Facts like this show that the author is knowledgeable about the
subject, and that what they have to say is important to the situation.
Opendemocracy also utilizes the use of logos heavily because of their
readers. Generally Opendemocracys readers are people that have an
interest of different worldly events, and the best way to communicate all of
these events is with factual based articles. While both of these sources
have logos appeal, the article bases their claims with facts, while President
Obamas speech does not effectively use this device.

Michael Castle
RWS 1302

The last device used is the pathos appeal. This an appeal plays with
peoples emotion in order to get the point across. This appeal is much easier
to utilize in the form of a speech than in an article. This is why the
presidents speech has far more pathos than the article. The president talks
about how sad the situation is. He also says that his prayers are with the
victims and the city of Paris. These words combined with the presidents
emotions create a trusting mood with the speaker. This combination makes
people not only trust the speaker, but also they make the audience agree
with what is being said. The pathos appeal was also a great appeal to use
because of the emotional state of the audience after the events. The general
population was disturbed after the attacks on Paris. This gave the president a
perfect chance to use pathos heavily in order to win over their emotion. The
speech was well designed because of the knowledge about the emotional
state of the audience after a tragic event like the Paris attacks. While the
president focuses on pathos, the article doesnt incorporate emotions in
many cases. The only use of pathos is when the article says Terrorism is a
tactic of the weak. Its power lies primarily in its ability to provoke a strategic
over-reaction by governments in ways that undermine rights and the rule of
law. Hasty departures from core values play into the hands of those who
attack us, since abusive measures undermine the willingness of the very
communities whose cooperation is needed to combat terrorism. This
paragraph is where the author shows his true emotions about the subject.

Michael Castle
RWS 1302

This paragraph does not compare though with the emotional appeal the
president uses in his speech about the Paris attacks.
Rhetorical devices are used in all rhetorical situations. These can be
extremely effective in getting your point across, and making people agree
with your point of view. Ethos can make people trust you, and when people
trust you they will listen. Logos make people believe what you have to say
because you seem like you are an expert on the subject. Pathos plays on
peoples emotions. When people are feeling emotional, they tend to be more
agreeable to your topic. All of these rhetorical devices also have preferred
audiences for their effects. Certain settings make these devices more
effective with certain audiences. This means that when a speaker or writer
are communicating, they do not only need to consider what type of device
they are going to focus on, but also what audience they are targeting. These
sources utilize these rhetorical devices in different ways in order for their
audience to take their point seriously and agree with what you have to say.

Assessing Europe's response to the Paris attacks. (n.d.). Retrieved February 14, 2015, from

Michael Castle
RWS 1302
Bing. (n.d.). Retrieved February 14, 2015, from