Read the excerpt from President Woodrow Wilson’s speech, “War Message to Congress.”

With a profound sense of the solemn and even tragical character of the step I am taking and of the grave responsibilities which it involves, but in unhesitating obedience to what I deem my constitutional duty . . .

Which best expresses the type of appeal in this excerpt?

2 Answer

  • He is using the appeal Ethos which is an appeal that persuades the audience.
    You know it is not Logos because there are no numbers/statistics in the excerpt and it is not Pathos because that appeal deals with making the audience feel bad and emotional.
  • Answer:

    C) Ethos, an appeal based on the speaker's character.


    Ethos is exemplified as one of the three 'artistic modes of persuasion'(as said by Aristotle), the other two being logos and pathos. Ethos implies to appeal ethically to convince the audience to believe in the idea proposed by the speaker. Such appeal is constructed on the premises of the author's reliability and command.

    As per the question, the given excerpt from the speech "War Message to Congress" by President Wilson employs 'ethos' which implies an appeal that is based on the speaker's character and credibility as the speaker accentuates his authority by saying 'I am taking and of the grave responsibilities' and 'I deem my constitutional duty'. Thus, option C 'ethos' is the correct answer.