Every article that can be rightly regarded as well written and appealing to the reader must be able to stand the test of persuasion. The Aristotelian mode of persuasion is based on three elements; ethos, pathos, and logos. The end product of a proper use of these elements would translate to a demonstrated persuasion that one is able to find convincing. This is achievable if the speaker is able to appear as credible through the use of diverse ways: that the speaker appears as plausible enough to be believed, that the speaker is able to stir specific emotional responses from the target audience, and that the speaker is able to articulate the arguments in a manner that will seem truthful.
The article in question is about an emerging issue in the American schooling system that is aimed at addressing the challenge of bullying that pupils have to grow through while in a brick and motor school. The writer in this context tries to convince the readers that online schooling is a better way of mitigating the challenges. The controversy in this article is that whilst it is laudable to some degree, it is apparent that it does not entirely stop bullying owing to the increasing tendencies of online bullying.
This article is based on the experiences of Kelsey, the daughter of Krista Hooten. Kelsey is a beautiful who is terrified by the very thought of having to back to school for the start of her seventh grade. She is tormented by the bullying she has had to endure and the attempts by her parents and the school to make school bearable have not been fruitful. She suffers both psychological and physical bullying. The writer’s use of pathos and logos as the main modes of persuasion has rendered the article credible and able to be taken seriously. However, her little usage of ethos would leave some audience less convinced about her reasons for putting the article across. She fails to point out her motivation or specific interest in the controversy.
The writer has been able to craft this article in a manner that is able to allow one to feel empathetic to Kelsey. This is a brilliant employ of pathos as the readers are convinced to view bullying from Kelsey’s point of view. The “terror” that she feels at the very thought of going back to school is probably a reminder of usual childhood frights that we all people go through at some point. Similarly, the readers are able to feel the anguish of a parent who has to balance the need to educate a child whilst ensuring that her psychological development is not impaired. The other mode of persuasion used is logos; a systematic simulation of logical appeal. The writer uses clear statistical data to describe the factual issues in support of online schooling. The K12 commissioned survey comes hardy in this regard, particularly when it points out that ninety four percent of parents enroll their children because of bullying.
Whilst the article comes across as a justification for the proliferation of the K12 programme, it equally points out the skepticism of the entire goal. The writer does not avoid the divergent opinion that bullying is just as prevalent online as it is in ordinary schools. The use of pathos and logos is persuasive and any reader is able to relate to article and understand its context. Pathos is used intelligently by the author by trying to make the target audience to look at the pains of bullying through the primary and the secondary victims eyes; that is Kelsey and her parents respectively. Logos is similarly used through the advancement of concrete factual figures that allude to the advantages of one system over the other. However, the use of ethos is somewhat muted and one may be left wondering why the author would be so interested in the article. In my opinion, despite these shortcomings, the article uses the available modes of persuasion properly.
Gage, J. T. (2011). The Promise of Reason: Studies in The New Rhetoric. Carbondale, Illinois: SIU Press.