Rhetorical Analysis on St. Jude’s
By: Dominique Mosby
February 18, 2014
St. Jude’s is a non-profit organization for children with deadly illnesses. The organization raises money for children to get the correct treatment. It provides treatment for children with illnesses such as cancer, leukemia, and Lou Gehris disease. This gives children an opportunity to fight back against their illnesses or diseases. The website has pictures with text under or above the images. It shows many different things such as, doctors, children, and scientists. The predominant focus of the site are the visual. People love seeing pictures more than they like reading actual text. [sk1] Pictures give a better view and idea on what the site really contains. The text and visual complement each other by the text describing what is going on inside the picture. Even if the picture only contains a person smiling the text explains who the person is and their position as far as St. Jude’s. The visuals help enforce the text, it does not give any information that the text does not have. The visual deepens the understanding of the text by the type of pictures that are posted by the caption of it. [sk2] The visual is placed either on the side, top or bottom of the text on the site. The text would not even have a big effect if the visual was missing. As stated above people would not get the same effect with just text with no picture but the ultimate effect with the visual aid. In addition to the visuals and texts this website uses Ethos, Logos, and Pathos to get across to their audience.
Pathos is the appeal of emotion, it creates an emotional response from its reader. It promotes questions such as how did you feel? Or what emotions did it bring out? With the St. Jude’s website it created numerous emotional appeals and responses. Looking at the website is very sad. Seeing the pictures of children with deadly illnesses makes the audience feel grief. [sk3] Another emotional appeal is relief. The website shows pictures of doctors and families holding children smiling. This is displaying that St. Jude is a loving and caring environment for the children which promotes a sense of relief. [sk4] Worry is an emotion that can be connected to St. Jude’s site. People may worry because they may have children of their own with these illness or that their child may develop some of these illnesses. These illnesses does [sk5] not just happen to certain children, it can happen to any child. The use of pathos benefits St. Jude’s website because it touches the readers and connects with them emotionally.
Ethos is another appeal used to analyze articles, books, and websites. Ethos deals with credibility, meaning are the creators’ legitimate or a good source of information. The St. Jude’s site is a credible site because it is worldwide. St. Jude’s is a research hospital that many people use for their children and they have plenty supporters all over the world. If the site was not credible it would not be still running. St. Jude’s is a convincing site because they have links and real people that were helped by using them. On the webpage it has facts on a slideshow showing what illness they have found cures for. The reputation of the site is found to be positive and uplifting. St. Jude’s site is uplifting, showing that the survival rate for certain illnesses going up. This sense of uplifting boost their creditability because it is easier to believe something coming from a positive aspect, rather than a negative one.
Logos is the last appeal of the rhetorical process. Logos appeals to the logic part of the rhetorical process. Logos also focuses on facts and reasoning used to persuade. Facts on the site have to do with the new treatment options to help the children get well. Another fact is the survival rate is growing for sick children with a certain illness. The visual on the site is constructed with several links for visitors and current members. Organization and composition are a part of this site. This site is organized simple for users to just click whatever they want to look into and receive legit facts on a subject.
In overview St. Jude’s displayed great use of Ethos, Logos, and Pathos. The use of visuals are a great advantage to the organization. The visuals helped reached the readers emotions by showing the sick children. In addition, it is a credible site because of its reputation and its statistics, which deals with Ethos. It provided facts and reasoning on the site for joining, which is tied to Logos. Overall St. Jude’s website showed examples of Ethos, Logos, and Pathos. Lastly, it is an effective website to attract attention for new user.