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Rhetorical Analysis Essay Sample on Media and Violence in Children

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Each piece of content your read is meant to create a certain effect on the reader. Persuade, entertain, provoke thoughts, raise awareness, explain – achieving these and other goals requires different approaches to crafting content. Breaking down which literary techniques and devices the author uses and how they work together makes rhetorical analysis. A rhetorical analysis essay about media and violence below showcases what a decent academic work of such type should look like. Use it as a template, model to follow, or a source of content presentation ideas in order to develop an outstanding rhetorical analysis essay of your own.

Rhetorical Analysis of the Article: We Are Training Our Kids to Kill

The article 'We Are Training Our Kids to Kill' by Dave Grossman examines the killings committed by kids in the U.S.A as a result of violence shown in the media. He explains the huge role that television and media play in advancing violence perpetrated by children. He particularly looks at how the act of placing faces of children who have committed violent crimes and murder helps to encourage other kids to follow the same path in the hope that they would become overnight celebrities (Dave, 1999).

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He argues that out of the many kids who watch faces and media coverage of murder perpetrators on TV, some will not see them as villains but as heroes and role models. The author goes ahead to give an extensive elaboration of how media coverage of violent crimes helps to inspire kids to engage in copycat crimes. Finally, he provides actual solutions to these problems and clearly outlines the roles and responsibilities that all stakeholders have to help eradicate this trend. This paper explores the goals, the techniques used by the authors, examples of those techniques, and the effectiveness of the methods used to persuade the audience to agree with his point of view.

The primary goal of the author is to make the readers see the role of the media in propagating child violence and murders. To achieve this, the author uses both logos, pathos, and ethos to persuade the reader to agree with his argument and point of view.

Grossman appeals to logos by carefully revealing the relationship between media coverage of violent crimes and child-related murders. He cites statistics from numerous researches and provides actual examples of child-related crimes and murders that have been inspired by past related crimes careless covered by the media. He shows how one case of violent crime involving kids that received huge media coverage set the stage for the next crime. He shows the chronological evolvement of these crimes and how they are interrelated (Dave, 1999).

To this end, the author uses tangible evidence and facts to show how irresponsible media coverage of crimes contributed to cases of child-related crimes and murders. He provides proof of actual crimes by using both hard data and careful reasoning. A large part of the article is logos-driven, and the author capitalizes on reasoning to make his case to the audience. By doing this, the author is able to win over the minds of the readers since most readers respect evidence and proof of facts to win over the audience.

The author also uses a pathos appeal to persuade the readers to agree with his argument. He invokes the reader's emotions and concerns by outrightly discussing the deaths of children that occurred in each of the cases he has described. By openly discussing these deaths, Grossman invokes the reader's instinct to protect the child from such types of crimes and the need for them to act to prevent such types of crimes from occurring. For example, he described how a 16-year old boy was accused of killing his mother and then going to school and shooting nine other students, killing two and injuring many. The vivid description of such violent acts taps into the emotions of the reader and helps him draw them to accepting his point of argument.

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The author's professional background and credibility give the ethical appeal to his point of argument. Grossman is an expert in the psychology of killing who currently teaches psychology at Arkansas State University. He has written numerous other articles that examine the motivating factors behind murder crimes in society. For example, in 1996, he wrote an article 'On Killing: The Psychology Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society' (Dave, 1999). This professional background and rich experience he has on this subject matter make the audience believe his arguments and get easily convinced by what he is saying.

Besides the professional background, the author has also invoked the ethical appeal in his argument by taking a moral standpoint. He describes how parents have failed to protect their kids from what they see on TV and how the disconnection between families – often caused by divorce, creates an atmosphere where little parental attention is paid to kids. In this case, the kids are left with no option but to derive life lessons from what they watch on TV. By taking the high moral standpoint in his argument, the client can invoke the ethical appeal and therefore convince the reader to agree with his point of view.

Finally, the author does provide a call to action, where he offers some possible solutions to this problem in society. He tells the reader what he or she can do to help stop the trend of child-related crimes. He also states the role that different stakeholders can take and the policies that can be implemented to help curb these problems. This gives way out to the reader and therefore helps make them agree with his argument.


  1. Dave, G. (1999, July Vol. 271, Issue 4 ). We are training our Kids to Kill. Saturday Evening Post, pp. p64.
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