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Pathos, Ethos, and Logos - Essay Example

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Jefferson, Executive Director of Women’s Right Division, wrote a letter directed to the Secretary of State Colin Powell to discuss his concern about the U.S. State Department’s third annual Trafficking in Persons…
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Pathos, Ethos, and Logos
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As the increasing number of human trafficking, LaShawn R. Jefferson, Executive Director of Women’s Right Division, wrote a letter directed to the Secretary of State Colin Powell to discuss his concern about the U.S. State Department’s third annual Trafficking in Persons Report, which has the potential to decrease human trafficking, has become less and less effective (Jefferson). Furthermore, Jefferson argues the absence of the government’s anticipation has increased the amount of human trafficking. Consequently, he asks the government to raise their concern to this problem. In his letter, Jefferson uses Pathos, Ethos, and Logos to argue his point of view. This is a strong, well-written letter. Pathos is used by pointing out the millions of trafficked humans. Ethos is used by Jefferson’s reference to his belonging to the Human Rights Watch. Logos is used by appealing to specific problems like the lack of statistics and definitions. This letter is impressive mostly on the Ethos and Logos to persuade the reader to understand his point of views.
Jefferson makes the reader feel angry and disappointed by the lack of research and measures done by the United States when some countries fail to address trafficking. “Trafficking is a blatant violation of human rights and is almost universally condemned, yet many countries are failing to address this problem seriously” (Jefferson). He creates emotion to the readers, so they can get the message he wants to share. This is an appeal through Pathos. Jefferson does not show real anger in his letter because it was written for the Secretary of State, so due respect must be given. This is the lack of Pathos from Jefferson’s letter. Although the reader can feel the anger and disappointment, it is not clear enough. One or two sentences appeal to the Pathos, but mostly logos and ethos were used. An example of one sentence is as follows, “trafficking is a widespread human rights violation that threatens the lives, health, dignity, and security of millions of people throughout the world, with women and children suffering the brunt of the abuses” (Jefferson). Despite this plea, Jefferson does not use many others. It seems that Jefferson was relying on Powell’s knowledge on the subject, not his emotions.
Although Jefferson’s letter has lack of emotion, the credibility of his letter is really impressive. He used Ethos to strengthen his argument. Frequently Jefferson refers to Human Rights Watch when stating a request or opinion instead of asserting it on his behalf. For example, “Human Rights Watch has for many years documented and monitored trafficking in persons and advocated for greater accountability of traffickers. We have investigated trafficking of women and girls” and “Based on our experience and consultations with nongovernmental and other organization working to end trafficking around the world, we have the following concerns about the Trafficking Report” (Jefferson). Every point Jefferson makes is backed up by his organization, the Human Rights Watch. Jefferson uses his credibility as a senior member of Human Rights Watch very effectively, because with this credibility he can manipulate and gain support of the reader.
The credibility and emotion that Jefferson shows is just the tool to support the Logos, which can be seen in paragraph seven. “Absent a deeper and clearer evaluation of governments’ anti-trafficking record, the Trafficking Reports risks becoming a public relations opportunity for states that inadequately protect trafficking victims and fail to punish traffickers” (Jefferson). This statement leads to the logical appeal of action. Logos is specifically used in Jefferson’s appeals for statistics, clarification of the United States position, and evaluations of anti-trafficking appeal to individual’s logic. It is also the reason why Jefferson argues to address the human trafficking. Jefferson made his argument completely logical reasoning. This logic persuaded Colin L. Powell to believe Jefferson’s plea.
In conclusion, the letter was well written and in line with the author’s expertise in which he displayed his knowledge well. Jefferson developed his letter very well, so the reader can know what he is arguing and get the message he wants to share. Jefferson accomplished this by using varying degrees of Pathos, Ethos, and Logos.
Reference
Jefferson, L. R. (2002). Letter to Secretary Powell regarding the U.S. State
Departments Trafficking Report. Retrieved November 30, 2009, from Human
Rights Watch: http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2002/06/17/letter-secretary-
powell-regarding-us-state-departments-trafficking-report Read More
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