A rhetorical analysis can be defined as an essay that is broken down into different parts;

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The primary goal of this article is to compose an essay using a rhetorical analysis. A rhetorical analysis is an article that is split into sections that discusses how the various parts of the essay work together to produce an impact. The reader is educated, amused, or convinced by this influence. This paper would also go into the intent and ethics of rhetorical speaking. To finish this article, I wanted to include two texts: Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Message from Birmingham,” Adam Smith’s “Of the Natural Progress of Opulence,” and a link to a Ted Talk.
Aristotle was a famous classical rhetorician who focused of rhetoric analysis. He drew the distinction between essentials and non-essentials and suggested that the purpose of rhetoric is to reveal the truth. On the other hand; Wayne C. Booth is a modern rhetorician who concerns himself less with what rhetoric analysis should be (Foss 27). He prefers to discuss how one can master the art of persuasive speech. The purpose and ethics of rhetorical analysis ranges from one book to another.

In reference to ethics and rhetorical analysis; not all persuasions are ethical. It is important to note the fact that Persuasions can be listed as either ethical or unethical based on how they have been represented on a text. A persuasion is unethical if it is used for the purpose of personal gain at the expense of the society or others (Foss 39). It is also unethical if it is used for personal knowledge and gain against an audience that does not have any knowledge of what is going on.

The type of method used also depends on whether the Persuasion used is ethical or unethical. Some of the methods that are used in the writing of texts and articles are unethical while others are ethical. A good example that can be used to explain unethical persuasion include brainwashing, Coercion and torture. Brainwashing refers to the process of feeding people with information that is wrong and not helpful; Coercion on the other hand refers to the use of moral or physical force so that you can compel someone to do something (Foss 17). Lastly; torture refers to causing someone to experience agony through intentional means. Ethical Persuasion on the other hand involves a positive feedback. It involves creating resolutions where problems exist; exploring the views of other people as well as yours.

In order to differentiate between an ethical and unethical speech; David Martinson and Sherry Baker proposed the TARES test that is used for differentiation. According to the TARES test an ethical speech ought to be Authentic; it ought to be real (Foss 65). An ethical speech also ought to be true and have respect to the audience involved. It should also provide a persuasive appeal and equity.

In case the Speech lacks a majority of this contents; it is safe to say that it is unethical. Fitzpatrick and Gauthier also developed a set of questions that are used to determine on a Rhetorical speech; some of this questions include the purpose in which the persuasion is being employed for (Foss 87). Does the persuasion interfere or contribute with the process of making decisions and whether the choices and the consequences affect the lives of the individuals involved.


The letter from Birmingham was written by Martin Luther King JR. It was written in the year 1963, 16th April (Luther 65). Based on the Rhetorical speech; after a close analysis and research of the text, I came up with my own ethic of rhetoric. Personally; it is safe to say that the Letter of Birmingham goes hand in hand with the Ethics of persuasion. Martin Luther King Jr was born in the year 1483, November the 10th. In reference to the TARES test; ‘A letter from Birmingham’ can be categorized to be ethical since it incorporates most of the components.

A good example that can be used to prove that the text is ethical is the fact that it is based on authenticity. Martin Luther writes this text with a high authentic level. His response in the text is very overwhelming (Luther 43). It also has a great respect for the audience that was been targeted. Sir Martin had a great respect for the MLK. He also wrote what was on his mind. This means that the text was full of the truth. Most of the content that is written in the text is acceptable and just. Martin Luther used this opportunity to explain on why Birmingham was full of violence and chaos (Luther 12). He also tried to explain why the protestors were disobedient and did not want to follow the law.

Sir Martin also used this text to express how he was disappointed with the Clergymen from the South and the white moderates. This groups of people believed in Sir Martin but did not take any move to help him (Luther 39). They were also against the tension and frequent unrests that were caused by the protests. Generally; ‘A letter from Birmingham’ is a very ethical text. Other supporting points that can be used to prove that this text is ethical include the fact that it is written so that it can create resolutions. Martin Luther Jr wrote this text with an aim of solving Birmingham’s problems (Luther 50). He wanted to bring back peace and calm in the region. Martin Luther wanted an end to violence and disobedience.

Through the text; Martin Luther sought to explore and express the views of other people. He expressed the views of those who supported his mission as well as those that did not. He was not biased; he wanted to ensure that everyone was well represented in the society (Luther 18). In reference to Aristotle and his distinctions in the purpose of rhetoric/persuasive speech; Martin Luther wrote the text in an emotional tone. Sir Martin wrote the text using a simple but emotional language that was meant at persuading the target recipients. According to Aristotle; an Emotional language in a text creates more appeal and sense to the readers. Apart from Aristotle’s attribute to Emotional language; various scholars and authors have agreed to the fact that this type of language has a stronger sense and captive ability.


This text was written by an individual known as Adam Smith. The final version of the text was presented in the year 1985, 25th March; accepted on 1985, April 3rd (Bowles 23). After a thorough analysis of the book; I was able to come up with my own ethic of rhetoric. As opposed to the Letter from Birmingham; “The Natural Progress of Opulence” can be said to be partly unethical. A good example that can be used to prove that this text is unethical is the fact it is based on Adam Smith’s perceptions (Bowles 75). This text describes how economies would, if left to themselves, develop.

According to my research; Adam Smith ideologies were only centered in Europe. His ideologies did not focus on any other continent. This means that his ideas were for his own benefit and a small population (Bowles 87). Another reason that can be used to prove that this text is unethical is the fact that it did not explore or express the views of other people. This text was dedicated at expressing Smith’s view in relation to the progress of Opulence. It is safe to say the fact that this book is centered at expressing Adam Smith’s economic views about Europe (Bowles 23). The text doesn’t have any ideological support from any other Scholar apart from Smith.

The only thing that I found acceptable in this persuasive speech is the type of language that was used. Just like Aristotle; Adam Smith uses the Rhetoric Agenda in dividing out his text. Each part has a rhetoric segment that is rhetorical (Bowles 89). The aim of this segment is to ensure that the information being passed sinks into their minds. It also aims to signify the relevant pieces of information. The type of language used is slightly complex but generally simple and easy to understand.


The Ted talk was about the great Country of Bhutan. It involved Tshering Tobgay and his mandate to move Bhutan into the 21st Century while maintaining peace and cohesion. Bhutan is a Country that is located in the Border along China and India. It is a small Country that has vowed to remain Carbon neutral (Tobgay, 2017, 14). This talk is one of the most inspirational talks ever recorded. Generally; the Prime Minister shares the Country’s vision and mission. He talks about his desire to put happiness before economic growth as a well as other environmental preservation standards (Tobgay, 2017, 18). This talk was recorded and presented with an official at the TED conference. After a careful analysis about the talk; I would say that this is one of the most ethical forms of speech that I have ever heard.

During the talk; Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay talks about his efforts and dedication about his Country (Tobgay, 2017, 43). Based from the Ted talk, I was able to analyze the fact that he was not a self-centered person. He valued the livelihood of his people; whether they were happy or not. The talk also outlined his role and mission about the Country. Some of this roles were very inspiring. He had a mission that targeted at making the life of every individual in Bhutan a success (Tobgay, 2017, 16). Some of the main reasons as to why I think this talk/speech is ethical is because the speech had a great respect for the audience involved. The talk had topics that were of great concern to the people involved.

Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay was also authentic when we delivered the talk. The promises, visions and missions outlined by Sir Tobgay were not a bluff. His visions were not a lie/deceiving (Tobgay, 2017, 18). Other supporting points that can be used to prove the point that this speech was ethical is the fact that it created resolutions towards the development of the Country. The talk also shared the opinions/ideas that most people in the society wanted. Generally; based from this supporting points. It is safe to say that the TED talk is indeed a persuasive speech.

Works Cited

Bowles, Paul. “Adam Smith and the’Natural Progress of Opulence’.” Economica (1986): 109-118.

Foss, Sonja K., ed. Rhetorical criticism: Exploration & practice. Waveland PressInc, 2004.

King Jr, Martin Luther. “Letter from Birmingham jail.” Liberating faith: Religious voices for justice, peace, & ecological wisdom (2012): 177-187.

Tobgay, T. (2017). This country isn’t just carbon neutral — it’s carbon negative. Ted.com. Retrieved 13 July 2017, from https://www.ted.com/talks/tshering_tobgay_this_country_isn_t_just_carbon_neutral_it_s_carbon_negative

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