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Rhetorical Strategies

People try to persuade others in different ways when making a speech and the State of the Union Address by President Barack Obama was not an exception. The speaker applied pathos to appeal to the emotions of the audience. The president did this when he said how the brave men and women who have fought in the war were coming home. Obama included those people in his speech, and he avoided noting his personal achievements. This served to appeal to the emotions of his listeners; it meant that the president recognized the citizens’ contribution. For instance, the president was quick to highlight hard work of the American people, which helped them improve the economic status of their country.

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Speakers use logos by stating certain facts and statistics that help them support their arguments. Barack Obama explained how new businesses had helped to create six million new jobs. In addition, he noted that people began to buy more American cars during the last five years than they had ever done previously. The president also spoke of the reduction in reliance on foreign oil – something that has not happened in the last twenty years. Moreover, Obama highlighted the country’s economic status, by noting the reduction of $2.5 trillion in deficit. Thus, the president was able to support the claims he made in his speech by mentioning facts and statistics.

 Speakers use ethos to enhance their credibility and authority. The president noted the necessity of healthcare programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, although they were the main causes of US debts. He informed people that he would enact Medicare reforms, which would contribute to increased savings for the country. By saying this, Obama showed that he had the authority to instill reforms in the healthcare sector. Although the president noted that he was open to suggestions from both parties, he did add that he would only accept the suggestions on condition that they did not compromise the security of retirement.

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