Ethos, Pathos and Logos Even someone living under a rock has most likely heard of the ongoing debate for and against outsourcing. Outsourcing is defined as enlisting help from an outside supplier or manufacturer in order to increase profit. To make someone gain interest in one’s view on something such as outsourcing, one needs to make a persuasive argument. A good persuasive argument contains three aspects: ethos, logos, and pathos. Ethos is established in the character or displayed character of the writer or speaker.
Logos uses logical evidence or reason usually with facts or statistics. Pathos appeals to the reader’s emotions. Thomas Friedman, three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author and The New York Times columnist, uses rhetoric to increase the persuasiveness of his pro-outsourcing article “The Great Indian Dream. ” Meanwhile, David Moberg, senior editor and contributor to numerous national publications, uses different examples using the same tools in his anti-outsourcing article “High-tech Hijack. Articles, such as these for and against outsourcing, use rhetorical persuasion by citing different examples and facts to add appeal to a specific view. “The Great Indian Dream,” the pro-outsourcing essay, contains several examples of persuasion using rhetoric. Thomas Friedman discusses how India came to be a workforce to compete with, in a logical and easily understood approach. Friedman demonstrates knowledge on the issue by acknowledging the opposing argument that outsourcing can be bad news from a competition point of view, but claims there is a solution.
Friedman, citing what an Indian executive once told him, explains how all the United States needs to do to eliminate concern for outsourcing is “redouble their efforts at education and research”(Friedman). This is a truly persuasive statement because it establishes the character of the writer making him seem unbiased with this simple solution. Pathos is often demonstrated with the use of children, animals, and memories to evoke an emotional response from the reader. In “The Great Indian Dream,” Thomas Friedman applies this technique using his nine year-old daughter and his imagined granddaughter.
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Friedman adds persuasion to his argument by appealing to the reader’s sense of awe. This is shown through the innocence of a child’s response to questions about where products come from. This emotional response tends to make the example more relatable for the reader. In addition to using children to persuade, pathos can also be seen in the quote taken from Rajesh Rao while talking about how American executives now know proper Hindi greetings. Mr. Rao, a software marketing manager from India, states, ''A few years ago nobody in America wanted to talk to us.
Now they are eager”(Friedman). This statement attempts to make the reader feel a sense of sadness for the Indians before offshoring began, and a feeling of happiness now that it has begun. The last element of persuasion, logos, provides the greatest depth of logical reasoning for favoring a specific view. For example, Friedman shines a light on the time-zone difference, which allows for a continuous workday between the United States and India. With the chance to develop one’s own company nonstop by working 24 hours a day, who wouldn’t logically make this choice?
Furthermore, India contains 555 million people under the age of 25, all raised with a strong emphasis on education. Friedman reveals this image of India which is comprised of so many young and intelligent individuals that make the country the obvious place to go in search of a large quantity of less expensive employees. “High-tech hijack,” an anti-outsourcing essay, demonstrates the same principles of persuasion in an attempt to influence the reader to oppose outsourcing.
David Moberg also gained a great deal of credibility on outsourcing by winning the Max Steinbeck Award from the International Labor Communications Association and a Project Censored Award for his coverage of labor issues. Moberg cites several respected sources, such as IDC, a private IT research firm, University of California Berkeley, and Economic Policy Institute, which only adds to the persuasion of his argument making it that much more supported. Using highly respected sources and discussing a solution to the problem by means of government legislation displays ethos for his position.
Moberg points out a study of the gross overpayment of corporate positions found that “Executive pay for the 50 largest outsourcers of service jobs increased dramatically in 2003 to 28 percent above the average for large-company CEOs”(Moberg). This alarming number he uses, combined with the rising unemployment rate, renders a sense of contempt in the reader towards these money driven executives. Secondly, Mr. Moberg uses a first-hand example, with the story of Stephen Gentry to express his relatable emotions felt by many.
Gentry, a fifteen year technical programmer for Boeing, worked fulltime while earning a computer-science degree and was forced to train his Indian replacements before being fired. After being unemployed for eighteen months, Stephen Gentry describes American corporations as “so greedy and cutthroat-oriented they don’t care about me, you or anybody else except their bottom line”(Moberg). This quote, taken from an individual with experience in the subject, persuades the reader showing a significant emotional experience caused by outsourcing. Mr.
Moberg presents the use of logos while talking about several credible studies regarding offshoring. The first study conducted by University of California Berkeley estimates that 14 million service jobs are vulnerable. This staggering number persuades the reader against outsourcing which is logically the cause of the United States’ high unemployment problem. Both articles have good examples of persuasion, but both also seem to put their own spin on what facts to omit. Friedman’s position, being positive regarding offshoring, shapes his argument in many ways.
First, he fails to mention all the jobs lost in America due to outsourcing, yet he puts a positive spin on the subject by discussing how greatly it is helping India’s economy. Secondly, Friedman also mentions that the United States can simply fix the problem they are facing by working four times as hard towards education and research. According to “Outsourcing decision support: a survey of benefits, risks, and decision factors a neutral academic,” an academic article by Tibor Kremic, “The social costs of outsourcing may be difficult to quantify but they can be significant.
Outsourcing may result in low morale, high absenteeism, lower productivity, etc. ” Friedman leaves this fact out while Moberg seems to stress it. Meanwhile, Moberg, being anti-outsourcing, fails to mention the great economic impact on India, and instead he focuses largely on the mass unemployment generated solely in America. Friedman also claims the resolution for the problem lies majorly on government legislation and should be fixed through new stricter laws.
Whether pro or against the issue, it’s easy to see how a basic argument can be shaped using ethos, pathos, and logos to persuade the reader. By using these rhetorical tools one can appeal to any reader through a basic emotional response. Either emotion or logic can completely lose its appeal however without ethos by the writer. Both readers use pathos and logos well, but when it comes to ethos David Moberg takes the cake. Rhetoric along with using specific facts can be the difference when it comes to persuading the public in favor of a certain view one holds.
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