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PHIL 103 Ethics

Published : 29-Sep,2021  |  Views : 10


For this assignment, I want you to consider the rhetoric of pathos, ethos, and logos. Once you have determined this, I want you to apply this rhetoric to a reputable* article that addresses an international topic, which could be widely defined. How does the author apply the concepts of logos, pathos, and ethos in their argument? Was this effective or not? Before applying these concepts, it is crucial that you provide a clear explanation of the article and the claims it makes.



The assignment is based on the leakage of an oilrig that is situated on the gulf of Mexico (Qu, Fangyuan, et al). In the year 2010, the oil spill named BP oil spill and Macondo, which is operated by the administration of BP were begun to leak. In the history of petroleum industry, this incident known as the largest oil spill. From the aspect of the volume, the accident is 31% larger than the entire previous oil spill. The well was sealed in the year 2010 and in the year 2012 it was reported that the oilrig is still leaking and the oily substances are flow in the water. The marine-based business was very much affected by this incident and the fishing industry had to face a lot of loss during these years. The government of USA had criticized for this and a strict voice regarding the protection of beaches has arisen. The most affected sites were Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.


The administration of BP had failed to keep their promise to keep the gulf safe and they had to bear huge loss regarding the same. The administrating authority of BP had shifted the blame on the contractor of the alleged project, Halliburton. BP also put the responsibility on the rig operator, Transocean for the disaster. On the other hand, both of them also raised their voice as against the disputable design of BP. Some of the top-level official who is related to the massacre had to resign from their post. BP’s approach in regards to the oil gull was failed due to the incident.


Aristotle had coined three terms in respect of the communication with the people. There are three appeals regarding the same. They are Pathos appeal, ethos appeal and Logos appeal (MacLeod, Andrew).

The story of the oil spill was covered by the CNN and the tragic story of the oil  spill was reported by the Matt Smith. In that report, not only the incidence was forecasted, but the after math effect of the oil spill had also been discussed. An attempts was made to inform the globe about the pathetic massacre. Matt Smith is a reporter working for the CNN and because of that, he has got a variety of people with whom he can share his thought. People give him credibility as he is well known reporter and his reports are based on credible sources.

In the report, Matt had tried to create an image in the mind of the people by using some words like blistering. He wanted to gain the emotional admire of the people. In his report, he had discussed about the blast that took place at the rig and stated his view about the effect of the accident upon the marine-based business, the families who had lost their close one in that accident and the detrimental effect of the incident on the ecological system. He creates an implication on the emotion of the people through his report.

The credibility of the Smith’s report is very much effective. His report was published online. It brings an opportunity to the people to know about the incidents from various perspectives. In the report, Smith had described the seriousness of the incidents and stated about the compensation that are paid by the BP. It is clear from the report that Smith had research on the topic and the reaction of the President Barack Obama on the same had been discussed. His efforts towards the personal interview of the president had given the report more credibility and the conception of Ethos had been established.

The report of Matt Smith is quite pragmatic in nature. Smith had defined some logistic view regarding the oil barrel in the gulf and had specifically described the happenings of the oilrig. It was mentioned in the report that the almost 4.9 m. oil were emitted from the oil barrel and the company had to face a huge loss regarding that. One of the boat skippers, Barry Deshamp expressed his view regarding the effect of the disaster as one of the most affected coastal massacre that affected the coastal area of USA. The marine-based business had faced a loss that was calculated as over 70 percent. These numbers had created a logistic impression on the mind of the people and the concept of Logos is fulfilled here.


The effectiveness of the report is Mr. Smith had tried to analyze every possible sides of the disaster and made an effort to inform the people as well. Mr. Smith created an emotional fog by applying the three appeals. The formal writing skill of Smith with a general tone had created a good impression on the readers and these makes him a good and eligible CNN reporter.


Therefore, from the above discussion, it can be concludes that the communication with the people is an art that need to be sharpen by way of applying some doctrines. The idea of Pathos, Ethos and Logos are some of them. The report written by Matt Smith had followed the rules and for that, the report was able to create effect on the mind of the people. The historical massacre regarding the BP oil spill had known globally and the report by Mr. Smith has an important credibility regarding the same.


MacLeod, Andrew. "The impact of communication on human behaviour in times of crisis." Journal of business continuity & emergency planning 8.2 (2014): 134-140.

Qu, Fangyuan, et al. "Polychaete annelid (segmented worms) abundance and species composition in the proximity (6–9km) of the Deep Water Horizon (DWH) Oil Spill in the Deep Gulf of Mexico." Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography 129 (2016): 130-136.

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