How Other People Use Rhetoric when they Make an Argument

Course code:WRIT1001
Reference:APA style
the goal of this final essay is to describe how other people use rhetoric when they make an argument!
please see the document “rhetorical analysis.pdf”
At least 7 scholarly sources. 2 source about the topic and 5 about rhetoric.
Please select a title in the red circle in the attached picture and tell me what title you have chosen as soon as possible. Get my confirmation before you start writing.
Please see the two samples!!!  There are very clearly writing skills for this assignment. Please make sure to read thought these two samples and understand how to write this essay. And also see the lecture notes!!! Use at least 7 APA references including the 2 academic articles you will analysis in this essay. !!!!!!!!!!!

Shots here, there, and everywhere: Unethical rhetoric in vaccine arguments

In 1979, smallpox was deemed eradicated. Why? The World Health Organisation
(WHO) state it was due to a global immunisation program. While this is promising
from an official point of view, the world of rhetoric looks beyond this conclusion to
examine both ‘sides of the story’. Organisations such as NSW Health, WHO, and the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) promote the use of vaccines.
Others object to their use in today’s society, particularly in children. Individuals who
remain doubtful of the idea of vaccines state that our innate immune system is enough
to create a barrier between disease and an individual. However, those in science and
medicine disagree, and express this concern. The problem then arises: are the
rhetorical devices employed in an ethical manner? Does communication need to be
altered? This essay will argue that writers often employ unethical argumentative
strategies to conquer and divide perceptions toward vaccinations. As such, it is
important that authors employ ethical rhetorical decisions so that arguments are
persuasive to a general audience, rather than pandering to a target audience to
“maximise support” (Wood & Lee, 2009, p. 1578). This discussion is supported by
the rhetorical analysis of information available to the public on immunisation. The
analysis will consist of publications from NSW Health and others who promote their
use, as well as from the Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network (AVN), a pro-
choice organisation claiming a neutral stance on the debate. It is important that those
on either side of this debate do not employ rhetorical fallacies to persuade their
audience to adapt their point of view.
A critical aspect of argumentation is the opportunity for individuals to participate in
the discussion of the differing perspectives (Kearney, 2009, p. 168). This is
comparable to the concept of making an informed choice, which is encompassed in
the AVN’s catchphrase: “Make an informed choice! It’s your right and it’s your
responsibility!” Here, the author uses direct language and second person to create an
appeal through pathos, whereby the audience is empowered and feel as though they
have an obligation to comply. The use of exclamation marks and emphasis on ‘your’
further emphasises this. Hoop & Hogeweg (2014, p. 110) note that the use of second
person can address a specified audience, while also being flexible and generic enough



WRIT1001 Final Essay
to refer to various audiences. This means that both the intended audience, and those
who stumble on this page receive this information (Grant-Davie, 1997, p. 271). While
the AVN may intend for a specific audience to be the recipients of their work for the
purpose of increasing support toward their cause (Wood & Lee, 2009, p. 1578), it is
still argued that the language applied is done so in an unethical manner to any who
read it. This is portrayed by the neutral stance, which the AVN claim to maintain,
however is contradicted by the excessive list of disadvantages that are recorded on
their website, denoting the misleading nature of the communication (L’Etang, 1997,
p. 36). Killingsworth (2005, p. 251) comments that this appeal through ethos can be
revised as the “position of the author”, whereby an author sections off their
argumentative strategies, only revealing them when required. Ironically, the website
sets a persuasive tone, with the intention to imply that information currently provided
by other sources may not be factual. This signifies the importance of communicating
information in a manner that is non-bias, factual and contextually appropriate
(L’Etang, 1997, p. 36).
Visual rhetoric is a powerful means of persuasion in the presentation of an argument.
When used simultaneously with written language, visual rhetoric has the power to
sway an individuals’ opinion (Walsh, 2015, p. 362). Under the heading “Making an
informed choice” (2012), the AVN use the image of a gavel and scale sitting behind
it. The gavel indicates conclusive legal evidence leaning toward one side of the
argument. In this context, it refers to an anti-vaccination stance. This objective is
further emphasised through the use of written language on the page, which details the
introduction of the “No Jab No Pay” laws (AVN, 2012) (Australian Government,
2015). This introduction uses language such as “them” and “the government”, stating,
“…they took away our contentious objection…and have given themselves the
power…” (AVN, 2012). This is powerful language and appeals through pathos, as the
aim of this type of language is to provoke feeling of passion, empathy and fear from
the audience. It creates a barrier between the author and those “on the other side” of
the argument, segregating and creating blame in an almost mocking manner. The use
of the balance in the image also further supports this stance, as it implies a decision is
made based on the weighing of advantages and disadvantages, indicating a major
drawback to the use of vaccines. Here, the use of visual and written communication is
combined to create a powerful combination of persuasive tools (Walsh, 2015, p. 362).

WRIT1001 Final Essay
Further, under the same heading, information is provided to ensure an informed
choice. It is stated that, “By the time an Australian child is 18 months old, they will
receive 37 doses of vaccines” (AVN, 2012). This information is provided in an ad hoc
fashion, where language is used intentionally to elicit feelings of shock in an
audience, by using a large number with reference to a child. While this number is
contradicted based on the National Immunisation Program Schedule (2016), the AVN
create a successful appeal through both pathos and ethos, due to the intentional use of
misleading information provided (L’Etang, 1997, p. 36). Here, unethical language is
employed by way of eliciting irrational fear from individuals, especially parents. Of
course, as parents make the decision as to weather or not their children will be
immunised, this written argument is aimed at parents: the decision makers and those
who will be influenced by way of emotional attack (Dillard, 1994, p. 297; Ruiter et
al., 2001, p. 614).
Importantly, information can be provided in a factual manner to promote the use of
vaccines, rather than through scare tactics. This is exemplified by NSW Health’s
publication titled “Myths and realities: Responding to arguments against vaccination”
(2015), whereby information, which include the limitations of vaccines such as
adverse effects, is provided to the audience. They state, “those delivering vaccines
[should] honestly discuss the benefits and risks of vaccination” This demonstrates an
appeal through ethos, where the credibility of the author is gained through the factual
stating of information, and is further done through the use of the ‘NSW Health’ name.
This is an important method of demonstrating an “offence” rather than “defence”
position (Kroll, 2008, p. 461), providing the opportunity for individuals to disclose
their own opinions (Kearney, 2009, p. 168). This also encourages the audience to
build their own knowledge base on this topic, so they are able to make an informed
decision – an important aspect of ‘fair’ argumentation. Ethical language is
exemplified as individuals are presented with the necessary information necessary in a
factual and non-bias manner. On analysis, persuasion of the author’s purpose is done
through the use of the Rogerian structure (Kearney, 2009, p. 171; L’Etang, 1997, p.
38), which acknowledges an opposing position in the debate.

As mentioned, health professionals are at risk of using unethical means of
communication to promote the use of vaccines. It is essential that only factual

WRIT1001 Final Essay
information be presented, providing a platform where the recipient can adopt their
own view. For example, the inappropriate use of statistics may be an appeal through
fear to convince the audience of their cause (Fahnestock, 1986, p. 331). However, an
ethical application of statistics is exemplified by the CDC (2014) who stated,

about 80% of Japanese children were getting pertussis (whooping cough)
vaccine…there were only 393 cases of whooping cough in the entire country,
and not a single pertussis-related death. Then immunization rates began to
drop…more than 13,000 people got whooping cough and 41 died

While it could be argued that this is an unethical use of statistics to create an appeal
through pathos, this can be disproved as the author does not aim to deceive
individuals on the matter being argued, but convince them of their perspective
through the use of factual information, as an appeal through logos (Kahan, 2014, p.
7), as it makes a clear claim based on true facts provided. Obviously, the CDC aim to
persuade individuals to vaccinate themselves and their children, however do not use
scare tactics with ulterior motives, but facts provided that argues their point.

Visual, written and verbal rhetoric are all used to promote or hinder the use of
vaccines. The purpose an individual has is not what defines the ethical use of this
communication, but how they have used language, with regard to the application of
the rhetorical appeals, especially pathos in this context. It is important that the
argument is an exchange between two parties, rather than an indulgence of
information toward a target audience. Due to the nature of this argument, that is, it
affects ones health regardless of the stance chosen, it is easy to manipulate the stance
of an individual through fear (Ruiter et al., 2001, p. 613). Hence, it is important to
identify the rhetorical devices used, and the effect they have in swaying an audience.
Ideally, participants to the discussion should present a neutral and valid argument,
allowing conclusions to be made by readers rather than contributors. This essay has
demonstrated the significance of the way in which an author can use rhetorical
devices to persuade an audience. It has also demonstrated the importance of making
ethical rhetorical decisions so that audiences are able to make clear and informed
decisions based on the information that is presented to them.

WRIT1001 Final Essay

Reference list
Australian Government (Department of Health). (2016). National immunisation
program schedule. Retrieved from
Australian Government (2015). No Jab, no Pay – New immunisation requirements for
family assistance payments. Retrieved from
Australian vaccination-skeptics Network. (2012). Making an informed choice.
Retrieved from
Australian vaccination-skeptics Network. (2012). Know your rights! Retrieved from
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). What would happen if we
stopped vaccinations? Retrieved May 29, 2016, from
Dillard, J. P. (1994). Rethinking the study of fear appeals: An emotional perspective.
Communication Theory, 4(4), 295-323.
Fahnestock, J. (1986). Accommodating science. Written Communication, 3(3), 275-
296, doi: 10.1177/0741088386003003001
Grant-Davie, K. (1997). Rhetorical situations and their constituents. Rhetoric Review,
15(2), 264-279.
Hoop, D. H., & Hogeweg, L. (2014). The use of second person pronouns in a literary
work. Journal of Literary Semantics, 43(2), 109-125. doi: 10.1515/jls-2014-

WRIT1001 Final Essay

Kahan, M. D. (2014, January 27). Vaccine risk perceptions and ad hoc risk
communication: An empirical assessment. Retrieved from
Kearney, J. (2009). Rogerian principles and the writing classroom: A history of
intention and (mis)interpretation. Rhetoric Review, 28(2), 167-184, doi:
Killingsworth, M. J. (2005). Rhetorical appeals: A revision. Rhetoric Review, 24(3),
249-263. doi: 10.1207/s15327981rr2403_1
Kroll, B. (2008). Arguing with adversaries: Aikido, rhetoric, and the art of peace.
College Composition and Communication, 59(3), 451-472.
L’Etang, J. (1997). Public relations and the rhetorical dilemma: Legitimate
‘perspectives’, persuasion, or pandering? Australian Journal of
Communication, 24(2), 33-53.
Lunsford, A. A., Ruszkiewicz, J.J., Walters, K. (2010). Everything’s an argument
with readings (5th ed.). Boston, NY: Bedford/St. Martins.
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precautions: A review of the psychology of fear appeals. Psychology and
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Walsh, L. (2015). The visual rhetoric of climate change. Climate Change, 6(4), 361-
368, doi: 10.1002/wcc.342
Wood, B. D., & Lee, H. S. (2009). Explaining the president’s issue based liberalism:
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